So off I set this morning on my boxing day stalk, kitted out with turkey & cranberry sauce sandwiches, a big slab of Christmas cake and a flask to make tea or coffee. Hopes were high as the sky was blue, the air crisp and I was heading to a bit of ground the commission had cleared and where there were plenty of deer. Arrived at the designated spot before 12 (well, it is Boxing Day after all) and made my way to a likely high seat. Settled in, let the peace of the woods settle around me and not twenty minutes in, looking over my shoulder I saw a likely roe 50 yards off. Set my scope hairs firmly on position on the vital chest area...and didn't take the shot! Ah well, I thought, have a bit of lunch and there'll be another soon.
So I did, and a short time later, again over my shoulder appeared a young male, short little antlers in velvet, followed closely by the mother doe making their way behind my position to a more densely wooded area. I manouvered to position and had the doe covered as she paused briefly not 35 yards away....and again didn't shoot, just watched them disappear into cover.
It's after 1pm now and off I go on foot, lots of deer signs but no deer though I enjoy the chill air and peaceful solitude. A couple of uneventful hours and a brief sit in a deer hide later I start making my way back and as it's still light I climb into the high seat for one last chance, spending my time on my knees, looking behind, to where the other ones had earlier appeared. 20 minutes later I look over my shoulder...where a doe has emerged just about 60 yards in front. Get into sitting position, bring the gun on her but instead of shooting just watch as she comes closer and closer at a good pace and she is right in front of me, sniffing the air and moving cautiously. I know she's not for the chiller today so just watch her as she nibbles a bit of grass, sniffs the air a bit more then moves up a track opposite the high seat unhurriedly, eating as she goes. Very enjoyable to watch.
So by the end of the day 3 cast iron chances, none taken. Never happened before, and I'm hoping it's a passing Christmas bit of sentimentality. I know I'm not alone as others have told me they have done the same.
I wonder what the trigger is for this stalkers hesitancy is?