Following the torrential rain on New Yearís Day the forecast for the 2nd was bright and sunny, a typical soft southern January day.
I hadnít been stalking on the pheasant shoot for a while due to the number shoot days during November and December. But with the keepers permission I was off to catch up with the roe does. It started well with the alarm actually rousing me and me being sober enough to drive. I arrived in plenty of time whilst it was still dark and made my way to a spot where I had seen evidence of deer, but I wasnít sure which sex or for that matter what time of day they had passed through.
I settled down for what I hoped wouldnít be a long wait as it was a tad frosty. Gradually things started waking up namely me followed by pheasants; a couple of woodpeckers then hosts of tits (must have been blue tits as it was still very cold). After an hour I spotted a couple of animals working down the hedgerow towards me and the lead animal was definitely a doe. Time to slowly get into a shooting position - that was when the third animal made its presence known. I obviously hadnít seen it but it had seen me.
Not the best result just a cold bum (seatpad on the Christmas list didnít arrive again!) A walk around the shoot followed, with me kicking myself in the cold bum for not spotting the third man (it was a young buck)
On the positive side there were plenty of pheasants around for the next shoot and I registered the locations of a few greys to deal with in February and topped up the sun tan at the same time. Weather down south is great this time of the year
Not the most successful start to a new year but enjoyable and something no-one can take away but letís hope things such as my observation skills have improved since then as I am off out early tomorrow and will be on the look-out for all three animals this time!