Well I thought I should get round to a write up of my time with Hunting Experience back in November.
After a long drive down the A1 I finally found myself in the pub where we were all to meet on Friday arvo. It wasn't long before the others started arriving and got ourselves booked into our accommodation. After a quick briefing for the weekend, we tooled up and headed out to meet the estate owner (a real sound guy) who went over the do's and dont's again. We were then paired off and I had the pleasure of getting the estate 2 i/c,who really knew his stuff.
With a beauty of a view, it wasn't long after we'd clambered up the highseat that we started spotting deer. Unfortunately they were too far off to our right, but nice to see. There were 24 in that heard. Sure enough there were a couple more heading straight at us on the right until a dog walker did what they do best and spooked them off. Darkness was creeping in now, but with the help of swaro's could pick up a young buck at the far end of the stubble. He wasn't moving quick enough towards us though and was just too far. He did however have some pals come out and trot downthe stubble to about 140yds. This is where eating carrots came in because it really was last light now, but raising the rifle and placing the thick post of my pecar on his chest, let the death ray do it's job! He went down as soon as he realised he was dead and the other four stopped to try and work out what was going on. I'd just got another lined up with my stumpy digit taking up the pressure of the trigger when they were off again, another half a second and I'd have had number two. It was not to be though as they didn't stop again. I headed across the field while the Kabota was fetched. After the quick photo sesh, we loaded him on and went to pick up the others as we'd heard a few shots.
By the time we all got back to the larder, there was smiles all round with everyone (apart from one guy) getting 1 if not 2 deer a piece! Needless to say there were lots of stories and piss taking over the evening meal and the drinks that followed.
Saturday morning came round all too quick and we were heading back to the scent of deer. I was inside the wood this time with John, one of the HE team. It was a drizzly morning with no fallow spotted, but a count of 16 munties, although we reckoned it was 8/9 different ones. It was a shame as we'd been told that the munties were off the menu with fallow only. Even had a mother and fawn come right up to us till I managed to get a blurry photo with the flash on....D'oh !!!
It was back to base camp empty handedfor me, but an all you can eat breakfast soon made things up for this human dustbin!
After the triple S, a quick kip was had, then back to the stomping ground with me trying to sniff them out like a rutting !!!
As I've done a bit of shooting before I was chosen to go into a bale hide in a rape field with woodland on three sides. I had clear shots to near enough a full 360 degree's. Taking my time to judge distance's all around me a Fallow pricket came out of the wood slightly right of me round about 200yds. I got the death ray steadied on the bales, enjoying just watching him till he got broadside on and flicked the safety off. Once again, with the finger on the trigger he lifted his head and bolted! It was just at the same time, yup, you've probably guessed two walkers appeared on the right side of my scope! They were still a good distance as on 6 power you've got a good field of view at 200yds. Bugger... but to top it off, about 60 seconds passed before BOOOM!! came from inside the wood!... oh well.....
Only a matter of 10 mins later a single beast came out a long way off to my left, this time about 330/340yds. She started walking out into the field stopped for a nibble, then move a few yards, then nibble, she was now about 30yds from the wood edge. Once again, steadied on the bale's I thought this could be my only chance. I was happy, but more importantly, confident, so squeezed off the shot. As the nosler partition was sailing through the air, I thought I had clean missed until THWACK, she took it straight to the boiler room. Naturally she spun round and headed for the wood. As I tracked her in my scope, she got halfway back before she realised she was dead and carried out a spectacular forward rolland lay there motionless . Chuffed to bits, I sat there and kept scanning forever in hope of spotting some more. It was getting quite dark now as it had been about half an hour since my last shot when I caught movement to my left. Before raising the bino's I could make out 3 or 4 fallow shapes against the rape. After looking through the bino's I couldn't believe it, a big heard of 40+ with one particular monster buck having the biggest rack I've ever seen! With the heard moving across the field at about 250yds I waited till they were in the middle, picked the lead doe to add a bit of confusion and let the game commence . I always, where applicable, track what I've shot, so I know what's where.
I followed her into a small depression where she didn't come out of, so quickly picked up the rest of the heard. They were now around 140yds, and with darkness closing in every second, locked on to another. BOOM... THWACK, they were off again, then down she went. Now they have run from my 9 o'clock position to 1 o'clock and the silly sods have stopped again! This time although the heard was stationary the deer were rightly jittery and wouldn't stop still for more than a few seconds, so as soon as I'd got the sights locked on again they would move and one would get in the way! Stupidly a fool stood on its own for that split second too long and it went down on the spot! They were off again, but my mag was empty with only 1 up the pipe. I managed to get anothe rround in the mag when they stopped for the last time now on my right at only 70yds! With sugar beat now as a background it was just too dark for me to comfortably take the shot, and they didn't stop long enough anyway, with that they were gone.
I sat down and tried to bring myself back to reality and after a short while made contact to ask for the kabota. They were a bit hesitant in believing me that I had fou rdown and marked ......till they got there. Needless to say, once back at the larder the work began as the others had a few too. We all mucked in to get the job done a bit quicker, 'cause it was eating into our valuable drinking time! We had a meal out at the 'local' pub which was great, mainly because they had Old Rosie (a real kick arse scrumpy) for which I have a particular passion for.......mmm...scrumpy.
We have now been given the green light on the munty doe's due to the numbers seen, which was nice.
Sunday morning I found my bleary eyes trying to focus up a very well maintained ride of mixed woodland
After watching a munty buck come and go for a while a doe turned up about 90yds. She obviously wasn't in a sporting mood because she soon ran the gauntlet from right to left, safely. Further to my left, some way into the wood came the roar of someone's canon which this doe wasn't sure about, and lucky for me, out she popped. She was a little slower than before, so she got the good news from me and bolted to cover.
Whilst sitting there thinking what a bloody great weekend I'd had, another monkey appeared, a buck, so I took a few pics of him with my phone held to the back of the bino's before he left.
After the cut off time had come, I headed over to track the little devil. There was a superb blood trail straight to her.
Back at the larder, hands got dirty, more stories were told, hands got cleaned, numbers were swapped, and everyone was on their way after agreeing it was a great weekend with great company.
Thanks Hunting Experience.