After my stalk a couple of weeks ago in the frost (see frosty does) I decided to give the same field another try.
I got there about 06:45, stalked through the woods and plonked myself down on the edge of the field. I spied away....but nothing to be seen. I waited, and waited, and waited, but still nothing. I was wrapped up all snug so I decided to stick around while the light improved. It's a beautiful spot, other than the noise from the M4, so it was nice to see and hear the pheasants coming down from the trees. Just to my right a pair of squirrels climbed down the trunk of the adjacent tree and scampered around the floor. Surprisingly Fallow, my lab, just watched them rather than give them a d*mned good chase!
After an hour I figured that I might as well head off and stalk the woods, so stood up and stretched my limbs. Just then I glanced the tail end of a muntjac disappearing into the brambles on the far side of the field, about 120 metres away. I sat down again and waited and, sure enough, a buck re-emerged. Holes in the brambles were dotted along the hedgeline, and I followed the buck through my binos. Then a second muntjac - a doe - appeared a few metres further along the hedge.
I had my rifle with the legs of the bipod fully extended and my back against a tree. Looking through the scope I tracked the buck and doe making their way along the hedge, deciding to take whichever one presented the first shot. The doe disappeared back into the hedge followed by the buck, who then came back out and paused broadside on while he nibbled some greenery.
I squeezed the trigger and down he fell. I waited a minute and then the doe re-appeared. Seeing the buck her tail went up and she re-traced her tracks into the wood, never presenting a shot.
Releasing Fallow from sitting by my side I got up and went over to the buck - about 105 paces away. Fallow picked up the scent about 20 metres away and went up to the buck. A quick derisory sniff and then she sat by his side.
Gralloched and back in the larder he dressed out at around 25 lbs. He had a better head than I first suspected, about 7.5cm each side with small brow points.
A nice end to a long wait on the shortest day!
Well done, patience is the way ahead in this pastime, both for you and Fallow.
Is that a gold bodied Willie gunn?
What a lovely little fella, Muntjac are pretty natty at appearing when you are intending to get something else! I have to say I think they are one of the most sporting of our deer species. I was doing some homework on my blocks at the weekend and the amount of Munty slots that are showing at the minute is unblievable, getting in touch with them is going to be the problem though, all in immature woodland!
Anyway well, he'll eat well I'm sure!
To be precise - a copper-tube, gold-bodied, hair-winged, willie gunn!
Muntjac are funny little beggars. For all that some people call them vermin I think they are one of the most exciting deer to stalk - you never quite know where and when they will pop up next.
Have you tried calling them using the Buttolo roe call? It can be really exciting, with muntjac appearing out of the blue and tearing towards you. Then, the next time you try, nothing. I use it very selectively (to avoid the roe getting overly familiar) but still can't figure out why it works sometimes and not others.
My old man is the fly tyer not me, so i get to hear of all his flys, talk about a passion, I hope i don't get the salmon bug like he has got it just yet, although i'm up on Dee in Feb!
I have tried the Roe call a few times and as you say most times nothing although i did have a fantastic result one morning.
I have some stalking on a bit of land in the bottom of the Deben valley, the area consists of permanant pasture the river Deben, thick reed beds and Alder Carr and Blackthorn thickets, it's a fantastic area for Fallow, Foxes and of course Muntjac, there are CWD about in the vicinity although I've not dropped onto any yet, unfortunaley.
Anyway, I was up my high seat one morning in October doing some homework when a Doe presented itself at around 80 yds to my right, I waited to make sure she did not have a dependant fawn her as she wasn't in much of a hurry which makes a refreshing change. I neck shot her and she dropped on the spot, I waited a few minutes as in the past Muntjac are often paired up in this area. Nothing appeared so I climbed down to do the gralloch, as I approached a white flick of a tail appeared in the cover of the nettles, if only I had waited a little longer!
Gralloch done I laid her under my high seat and climbed back up, I thought this may just be the ideal time to try the call out, I waited 20 minutes to let things settle down then started to call, I called in about 1-2minute bursts with around a 5 minute interval, after 20 minutes the just came swaning past my high seat behind no further than 25 feet away and dissappeared behind an Elder bush, I readied myself through the door of the high seat, I didn't call anymore as he was already interested, I only had to wait 30 seconds or so as he crossed the stoway and stood no more than 20 yards away from me full broadside presenting a lovely shot, the tang of my moderated 6.5 rang out and i had 2 Muntjac down. The exictment of calling that Munty was far far more than I have ever experienced, better than my first Red on the hill, it just felt so rewarding.
Having a free standing high seat has also transformed the shooting on this block of land, it makes everything so much safer and simpler.
I hope you have a good christmas and a happy new year, I'm off to Norfolk after some Roe for a couple of days and then back to Suffolk to scout some new land I've just taken on so will be getting a lot of ear ache from the missus I'm sure!
All the best
well done mate
that does look a cracking head
you might want to re-measure it again and give PaulK a pm with the measurements , he will be able to give you a good idea of how good it is
As it realy does look a superb trophy from the pic,
will you get it mounted ,or just skull cap it ?