When stalking with Wayne I had made a remark about Chinese Water Deer and Wayne hooked me up with David to try and get me one. So last week i was a guest at David in Norfolk. I drove up from Dover and when passing Cambridge I came in this beautiful countryside with some real highlights near Thetford. The area around Norwich reminded me a bit of my own countryside; sort of flat, but with more hedges, woodlands and rough grounds. Nice.
I have met David briefly before and when I arrived he and his family (and 6 dogs) welcomed me in his lovely house. That evening I also met Vincent, and with him i sat at a high seat the first evening to try and shoot a muntjac. After some friendly talk we concentrated us more on the surrounding grounds which looked really promising. Soon we saw 3 muntjac crossing in a small woodland at our left. Vincent said I could take a shot but I did not feel comfortable with all the branches and leaves which could deflect the shot and we decided to wait. They where likely to cross in front of us later, as Vincent assured me. At dusk this indeed actually happened. Because of the fixed scope with 8 times magnification it became hard to see the muntjac. The first one was crossing a path and then stood just on the edge in cover. I could not make it out anymore but Vincent said it was still there. Luckily a second one crossed the path, clearly visible. I already thought about giving it a whistle to let it stop when it decided to stop himself. Shot went out and the muntjac dropped on the spot. Vincent hit my shoulders blue, and another muntjac came from the right and stopped at the dead muntjac to have a look. When it turned slightly broadside I shot it. This one took of to the cover on the right. Vincent looked trough his binoculairs and said that the first muntjac was still standing in the cover. We let this one be and after a couple of minutes we went down to have a look. The first one shot turned out to be a nice buck. For the second one we tracked the bloodtrail and found another buck 30 meters in cover with a shouldershot. Vincent called David and they gave me loads of banter about shooting there best bucks and being greedy. I took it serious but they laughed about it and said it was alright and they where very pleased with the result. As was the landowner. I gralloched one of the muntjac which immediately earned me the nickname “ Dutch Butcher”.
Next morning we went to a beautiful permission of David. We sat at a high seat overlooking a grass field surrounded by woodland. David explained that the cwd would come from the fields towards the woodland to go in cover. When it was light David went down and spied round the corner of a small woodland. He then waved at me and I thought we should pack up and I started to collect all our stuff and Max the dog. David rushed back to me and then a cwd limped around the corner. David had seen this cwd coming and said it had a broken leg. He said to shoot it. I used the tree for a shooting rest and aimed. The cwd dropped on the spot. I felt a bit sorry that it went so quickly. My first cwd ever and I only saw it for 2 seconds in real life. We walked over and it turned out to be a buck with only one tusk. His front leg was broken, he probably was hit by a car the day earlier. I was amazed by the skin of the cwd, very thick and the hairs are beautiful. We took pictures and decided to stalk round the area. After a while we bumped several muntjac but did not get a opportunity for a shot. At a feeding area for pheasants a cwd doe was eating some mais. I got the sticks up but she was not broadside. She then walked up towards us. When she was 5 meters away David clapped his hands to make it stop. Instead it took off like a rocket and disappeared into cover. Still a exciting experience. We then drove round to see the grounds. David at one stage pointed out some feeders and said that sometimes muntjac would eat from them. And to our surprise a nice buck came out of cover and indeed did so. I got the gun from the slip in the car and aimed at the muntjac. Because of the slope of the hill and the grass in front I had to aim a bit higher then normal. After the shot it dropped like a stone. Turned out to be a nice buck with lovely colour.
That evening we decided not to go out. Next morning we went to the same area as the day before and sat at the same high seat, unfortunately we did not see anything and we decided to have a stalk round again. This time we only saw pheasants. After stalking the main area we decide to stalk back to the car. Then I spotted a cwd in the corner of my eye. It walked towards us on a ride to our left. David set the sticks up and said I could take the shot if I wanted too as it was a good buck. I waited as the buck still walked towards us. It stopped at 20 meters from us as it sensed something was out of the ordinary. He was right, 2 men and a dog waiting motionless but anxiously for a change to get a shot on this beautiful buck. It turned slightly away, giving me a good look at his shoulder and the shot went out. Again dropped on the spot, and we were 2 happy bunnies and a happy dog. The cwd buck off course was not too happy about it…. What a nice animal it was. I am still amazed with the nice coat they have and how they are build.
That evening I took David and his wife out to dinner which was the least I could do for the kind hospitality they gave me. Next morning I did some Christmas shopping and said goodbye. I invited David and Vincent over to Germany to have a go at the wild boar. I cannot guarantee them a gold medal, as both cwd are likely to be gold medals. In total I had 3 muntjac and 2 cwd. Far more then I expected. I will have both cwd and the biggest muntjac buck shouldermounted. Hanging from my wall it will remind me of a SUPER time with David. Many, many thanks for the wonderful experience and hunt.