Having had to work on Saturday I was keen to get some fresh air, unfortunately my lamping plans were cancelled as one of the dogs cut its front pad.
I leapt out of bed Sunday morning and went to a lovely fern covered bank where Charlie regularly sits to warm in the elusive winter sun. Anyhow the sun was particularly elusive Sunday morning but i some how felt sure my luck was going to come good. To my right I was kept company by a Wren franticly searching a thorn bush for a morcel to fuel its hectic charm. Meanwhile a Cock Robin perched resolute guarding its territory in a small Hazel to my left. As I daydreamed enchanted by my company a Blackbird put everyone on edge sounding the alarm. With hightened senses and a small injection of adrenlin I scanned the bank 150yds away expecting to see movement while hoping the cause for alarm was not nearer by. Eventually I spotted movement but it was not the kind for which I had hoped. A sheepdog was on the prowle and was meticulously working his way across the bank, B^$T^&D. My shooting was as good as over, I slithered through the hedge and walked fast to get to the far end of the bank I had been watching. As I neared a well used Badger run at the far end I carefully selected a 2 metre piece of hazel whip from the hedge then stooped and waited for the trespaser. With my back pushed well into a small Holly bush he didn't see me but smelt me as soon as he came under the hedge. To late the Hazel went to work on his arse and he fled the scene not even daring to look back once on his 500 yds sprint. He'll think twice before he takes himself for a walk again .
Sunday afternoon I got back from doing some jobs just in time to dash to a shooting tower not far from home. As i sat heavy rain began to fall on the tin roof and I felt my decision to be there was a good one. As the light faided I watched a smug Squirrel filling up from a Pheasant feeder, sheltered from the showers by an oversized lid. I willed it to investigate the tunnel under the 45 gal drum and save me some wheat but be did't, but left in a rush as he and I heard voices approaching. I immediatley unloaded and put the gun out of site. A man and boy walking hurriedly towards me only seeing that the tower was inhabitted at the last moment, too late. I politely asked if they had forgotten their map, 'no' was the moody reply. I pointed out that they were not on the public footpath by about half a mile, rather than admit they were purely pleasing themselves they said they were lost. I pointed them in the direction of the nearest footpath and said I would not be far behind them since that was the way I had to go also. This was not true but I figured might encourage them to take my advice. I would normally be more understanding but the blokes attitude did not seem friendly. I returned home wondering why I bother with people and animals straying at will all time of day.
This morning having worked Saturday was my extended weekend. I decided to try a piece of ground about 10 miles from home, the ground is soon to no longer available to me due to change of ownwership. I drove to the the gates and opened the back of the Landy preparing the rifle for action As I screwed on the mod large cold raindrops began to fall 'S(-)1Tú'. Now I don't mind getting wet but I hate my kit getting wet, so I jumped back in and shut the door. futunately I also try and get into place well before light and this was no acception. After 10 minutes pondering I decided since I had nowhere sheltered to wait and the wind was cold and in the worst possible direction I would drive to a good vantage point. This is not my normal style but I thought at least my scent would be fairly well contained and I would stay dry and warm (call me soft if you like).
I had waited only 20 minutes when to my right and directly down wind two Muntjac crashed out from the woodland edge. They were fighting hard, I jumped out the Landy and cycled the bolt. I was still either unseen or they could not care less. They were now in front of the vehicle and going hammer and tong. It made me wince hearing the one driving it stubby antlers across his adverseries rib cage making a noise, like a stick run over slatted rubber thuuurrrRRPP. That was it the one had had enough and turned tail closely pursued. I whistled at them to no avail, then I sqeezed the Buttalo several times, still no reaction. They were now 130 yds away on the woddland edge goring at each others necks. I even tried calling out and drumming the side of the Landy, they were so engrossed they continued their spar as they disapeared back into the wood .
I waited 10 minutes but they never reappeared, and so I retired to the cab of the Landy. I watched Pheasants coming off roost and nearby sheep making their morning migration up the valley in single file through several holes in the fences. At 8.30 a quad rumbled through the woods and eventually appeared 100 yds away with the keeper flicking corn out by hand. He had his face turned from the driving rain and didn't notice me untill he was about to return to the woods higher up. Oh well I decided my chances were probably passed anyhow, he turned about and came back for a chat and warm up in the comparitive comfort of the Landy. As he pulled up along side and asked how I was a Munjac buck appeared from where the other two had previously. I raised my hand to silence him and we both froze, the Buck scrutinised the unusual addition to his landscape. While his head was turned possibly trying to locate the Doe, I opened the door and slipped out. I froze again as once more he eyeballed us, now he headed for the wood about 70 yards away. I had the rifle on him and the safety in the central position, I whistled and he stopped his head down (safety off). He was heading away from me and if it had been Charlie a simple Portugese heart shot would have been administered. I whistled again and he had a look with one eye, the crosshairs rose smoothy to the rear of his ear and the top of the neck.
Crack - Wallop, job done .
At last I have reactivated my account after several baron months, and a weekend of frustration.