Tuesday 21st October 08
Mainly bright with stiff W wind, 14°c.
I went to the Middle ground straight after work and first looked around the beef buildings plantation and game strip. I saw nothing there and collected a few apples from the tree there (only a couple of pounds). I came back to the car and drove to the far end of the willows field and met the landowner, who was just finishing feeding the pheasants. We had a long chat and I collected about twenty Lbs. of apples from the two trees in the new plantation. I stayed to see what deer came out and mum and her two kids emerged from the other end of the plantation just before dark. I stayed until I could no longer see but no buck showed once again.
Wednesday 22nd October 08
Mainly bright with light S. breeze, 14°c.
I went straight to middle ground from work again and as there was little or no wind I decided to stand at the end of the new plantation where the doe and kids had emerged yesterday evening. As I made my way there I saw two roe at the far end of the willows field, about five hundred yards away. A look through my binoculars revealed two does, I did not disturb them in order to get in position on the end of the game patch, but had been there about five minutes and felt the wind from behind me. I realised that my scent would be taken the length of the game patch and my only option was to stand at the other end and see what developed. I had to move the two does and adopted the ‘Hanky on a stick’ routine and after a couple of minutes they trotted to the hedge, jumped the ditch and disapeared into the plantation. The light was beginning to go and I made fairly brisk progress to the end of the plantation, then went down to stalking speed to stand on the corner of the maize strip.
After scanning the stubble I stood watching the rabbits for a few minutes, going about their business when a roe stepped out of the maize about a hundred yards from me. It looked at me immediately and I stood stock still for the five minutes or so before it relaxed and moved out onto the stubble. I thought that it was one of the does that I had moved into the plantation earlier, but on viewing through my binoculars I eventually made out a pair of antlers. Immediately my heart rate went up and I lifted my rifle onto my sticks and took a deep breath. The buck was walking quite quickly whilst feeding and in the failing light it was difficult to track it through my scope. It stopped and turned for a perfect shot at about a hundred and thirty yards and I fired immediately. I saw the strike and re-loaded, lowered my rifle and had a shock to see something running. I brought my binoculars up and saw a hare running away. It must have been squat close to the deer but gave me a bit of a start.
The time was just 18:20, I walked up to my deer, a six pointer and I mentally noted what good condition he was in. I decided to bring up the car and dug my sticks in the ground to mark the spot and sprinted off
(alright, I walked briskly). I dressed him out in the headlights and once at home he tipped the scales at 50lbs. I decided to leave the larder preparation until tomorrow as the dogs needed walking and feeding and there were other jobs to do before dinner and settling down for the night. A very memorable evening as this was the result of several visits to this area over the past five months, when I first saw this and a younger buck.