Why is that after the rut he bucks tend to disappear...
Anyway after a couple of fruitless outings I was out again the other day. When I left the house the weather was fair, grey but fair with a decent breeze. As it was dry I decided to take the old dog out with me. He's 9 but has arthritis and doesn't work anymore. He is now the house ornament. I'd decided that I wasn't going to go go too far as the old boy cant do long walks these days but he always perks up when the gun cabinet opens up.
Off we set, on arriving at the riverside, the rain started... Great timing. we waited a while to see if it was to come to anything and it seemed to be easing off so off we went. We followed the river downstream, the wind wasn't a great help as it seemed to be swirling about a fair bit. About half way down we crossed the river, having seen nothing so far and yes you've guessed it the rain was lashing by now! Continuing on as far as I'd dare without having to carry the mutt back we turned to cross over the river again, and just as I approached the Alders at the bank what should be standing in a clearing on the other side a nice 6 pointer, an older looking beast and changing his coat so looking a bit rough.I had the rifle up but his position wasn't great for a shot, he was quartering away slightly so I moved into the river and further downstream to get a better angle for the shot. A perfectly positioned branch gave me a suitable rest and from 120 yds the 243 hit home. The buck immediately ran off although I'd seen the bullet strike, your never too sure until you see them in the grass. We hurriedly tried to find a shallow pert to cross over and found the point of impact, the old boy was raring to go by this time having witnessed the shot. I put him onto the trail and off he set, tail going 10 to the dozen. I had a fair idea where the deer would be lying but it was good to see the old boy working and enjoying it so much I let him take the glory. Sure enough he followed the trail and found the nice buck laying still under a group of Alders not far from the riverside. After watching the old boy in his element, then carrying out the gralloch the thought I was soaked to the skin hadn't crossed my mind. It was a grand outing and one for the memory bank, not so much for the nice buck but for what may be one of the last successful outings that the old boy has.
A short story but one that will be with me long after the venison has been eaten and the dog has passed away