I have been stalking with Jelen Deer Services for a number of years and have always been very impressed with their services, but the last time was the best stalk yet.
I had booked a cull roe and/or fallow buck stalk with Mike for the first weekend of August. Mike picked me up from where I was staying and as usual the topic of a good representative buck came up as we discussed the evening stalk. We made a plan: to look at a few places and then I would sit in a high seat for the last couple of hours of daylight.
Mike and I checked out a few spots where he thought there maybe a fallow buck or two. As it was still fairly early we took it easy. Mike gave me a radio, as I was to stalk on my own through the woods to where the seat was, which overlooked a small clearing while he would drive around and park at a spot that overlooked a couple of gallops, and guide me by radio if he spotted anything of interest. It was time to go to the high seat. The first rain shower struck and I thought: that’s it, no chance at a buck. How wrong I was!
I had been in the seat for around 10 minutes when I saw my first roe doe and within a short period of time there were 5 does. Most were last season’s kids, but no cull bucks. Then all hell broke loose as a massive buck started chasing the does. I watched them for about 5 minutes. The buck started feeding and I radioed Mike for permission to fire. At about 50 yards the buck stopped feeding and looked up – the radio then crackled: “Can’t hear, can you please repeat?” My heart sank, as the buck was now very alert. I then asked again and the magical words came through the radio: “Take him”. I took the shot and dropped him.
Mike is in the process of training his black labrador to find deer, so I waited in the hide for “Delboy” and Mike to arrive. Delboy found the animal very quickly. The bullet had entered just in front of the shoulder and exited just behind the other shoulder, breaking its spine and causing minimal meat damage. And looking at it close up, I realised that it was a buck of a lifetime! A massive 6 pointer with thick horns and it looks like it’s going to make a good bronze medal!
I would like to thank Mike and his team at Jelen for making it a truly memorable stalk.