After my last couple of outings not being very fruitful due to poor weather, poor backstops and no shows, I took up a long awaited opportunity to catch up with my friends at Jelen Deer Services for a possible chance to change my fortune, I had already had a chat with Mike at Jelen regarding the possibility of bringing my wife Heather, who after putting up with my many shooting absences, fancied coming along to see what the fascination was, and was assured this wouldn’t be a problem as they can cater for all requirements.
We arrived at Jelen around 3.00pm and it was decided that myself and Heather would be shown to our ground by Dave and my son Scott (my normal bag carrier) would go out with Simon and Paul.
Dave dropped us off at the entrance to a small wooded area and pointed us in the direction of a double enclosed highseat, after a short stalk through the small wood plantation we found the highseat climbed up and got comfortable, with brief instructions to Heather of what to look out for and with binoculars in hand we both started checking out the area, we was in a fantastic position on top of a small hill overlooking a valley through a newly planted wood with thick woods to our left and right leaving a section immediately in front of us as a possible ambush area.
After about 40 minutes I received a small elbow to the ribs and a pointed finger to an area around 100yds down the hill and off to the right where there was the unmistakeable head of a button buck peering around a tree, just behind him was a doe grazing, we watched the pair move between the trees, first the buck in front, then the doe but never quite getting a good position for a shot at the doe, when suddenly the doe broke away and slowly started up the hill towards us, as I watched her through the scope waiting for her to turn I suddenly heard an almighty commotion coming from my right, I lifted my head from the scope to see a pair of Muntjak in full flight run right beneath us in the highseat, with all this noise the doe suddenly stood up tall and I was convinced she could see us, for what seemed like an eternity we stared at each other until she dropped her head and turned, as she did so I let loose one of the 95g Nosler BT’s freshly reloaded by Dan at Crouch Valley Custom Reloads, It hit home hard, 2 steps and the doe fell, there was no movement just silence.
Suddenly my radio crackled into life, It was Dave “did you get it? What was it?” I relayed the information when Mike came onto the radio with “go get it and get back in your seat, it’s still early yet”
With this, we both climbed down from our seat, and started off down the hill where we got to the doe, Heather said “let's go then” so we grabbed an end each and started back the 90 yds up the hill, gasping for breath (I really must get fitter) we both got back up the ladder and sat down.
After another 15 minutes I suddenly saw off to my right around 110yds away, several legs beneath the browse line of the trees, I picked up my rifle again in anticipation, within minutes the first of 2 does came into view followed by the second, the first was slightly obscured by trees but the second presented a good clear shot.
The shot was taken and the doe fell on the spot, the first spun round, ran into the woods only to run back out and seeming to check out what was going on, with her side clearly seen between 2 trees another shot rang out, she fell where she stood.
Once again we started off down the hill, when I arrived at the furthest doe I turned to see Heather armed with my shooting sticks checking for the blink reflex (she’s really getting the hang of this), she said “come one then, one each, let’s go there may be more”.
Up the hill once more I remember thinking how much heavier these seem to get the closer we get to the highseat, gasping for breath I arrive at the seat, turn and see Heather dragging the doe for all her might (she’s only 5ft 2), a feeling of pride came over me watching her, with this I decided to go back down and give her a hand.
Once again we climbed the ladder, and got comfortable, the light was starting to fade quickly by now and we whispered about how our eyes were starting to play tricks on us, carefully scouring the shadows Heather picked out another shape moving in the distance, I lifted my rifle and looked through the scope, I could see the white of the caudal patch and the distinctive white around the lips but just couldn’t make out a positive gender ID when I heard the engine of Dave’s truck in the distance coming to collect us.
We packed up and met with Dave who had turned up with a Roe of his own, and moved the carcasses to the truck where Mike also appeared, we grallocked the carcasses and revealed 2 perfect heart shots and one lung shot.
The feeling of relief of a change of luck is a great feeling as I sit here smelling the fresh liver cooking in the kitchen, I would like to send a big Thank You to Mike and Dave at Jelen for allowing me to stalk on their grounds and for allowing Heather to come along (although there is the talk of her getting her section 1 now).
Also thanks to Dan (Crouch Valley) for the Ammo, I’ll have some more of them if you please.
Incidentally, My son Scott got his hands dirty helping Simon and Paul who bagged a Fallow a piece bringing the tally up to 6 deer for the evening, so a good time was had by all.