Well here goes. After a short wait I got the call from Wayne asking if Saturday was OK for my stalk. Well to be honest any day has got to good for free stalking. The forecast was for heavy showers which didn't sound great but not wishing to appear to be soft I was going go rain or shine. I only took up stalking earlier this year but have managed to get out on 4 stalks (2 days). My first was great just to see what the form was and get the whole etiquette thing. No animals shot but still a good day. The second day turned out great. I got to shoot my first fallow (am) and a second (pm) so had got over those initial nerves of making the kill. However I felt under extra pressure going out with Wayne and a couple of his mates as he had been so generous in giving the experience away, and being in company of experienced guns I really felt I had to perform if the chance presented itself. So Friday afternoon with the sun shining and no wind I decided to stop work early (this went down well with Steve who works with me) and get some practice in. I had made up a few different rounds with some varget in 6.5x55 and though it a good time to test them out, while getting in some practice. Using some paint tin lids I made up 5 targets and set them out. Got some decent groups all under 1" @100 yds and under 2" @ 200 so happy with that. Saturday morning got the kit ready and decided I would knock up half dozen rounds of the best performing load from yesterday (glad I did as you will see later). Giving myself plenty of time set of to Wayne's with the sun shining and a nice drive ahead. On arrival and after brief intro's Wayne, Andy and I set off to another Andy's for the SHOOTING TEST. This I was not looking forward to. I have never felt under so much pressure before but realize why Wayne wanted to be sure I could shoot. I opted to go last and watched the 2 Andy's shoot. On looking through my scope at the target which was 1" squares arranged with a with central square with black ones North, south east and west I could not see any in the bulls eye so felt I had a chance of at least doing as well as the others. Now I had only made up 6 rounds so thought I would use some Privi I had kicking around. My rifle doesn't like them much but I though they will do for this practice round. How wrong was I. I fired the first, couldn't see the hit but thought must be just in the black, let the second go, couldn't see that either but again thought must be in the black. On arrival at the target both Andy's were just around the central inch in the black but to my amazement I had one about 2" out of the bull and the other about 4" low. There was a bit of um-ing and ar-ing and I got the impression that I had failed miserably. Long way to drive and shoot a box I thought but from the whole in the target it would be fair to say i couldn't shoot. I decided to come to my own defense and say that my rifle didn't like the privi rounds and that I would like to go again using the hand loads. This was agreed and I got a second chance. Got lined up again and let the first go. Bang on pretty much in the center of the bull, second shot 1/2" away. Boy I felt relieved. Andy asked how I had done and should we go have a look? With probably a little to much confidence I said no need just look through the scope, which he did and agreed I could indeed shoot. It goes to show the need to be sure your ammo is right and if required its worth making it or getting it made for those crucial shots. No one wants to miss or worse still injure a animal for the cost of the right ammo. So packed up the gear and off to the ground we went. The ground was pretty high up and the wind was cutting across at a fair pace. Wayne paired me up with Andy (all his mates are called Andy, it saves him remembering names) and we set off stalking the edge of a belt of woodland before heading off across the top of the hill to a high seat. It turned out Andy had lived in my neck of the woods and my uncle used to keep bee's on his land, we had a number of mutual acquaintances which showed what a small world it is. We agreed the wind speed at the seat was around 20mph so would need to make allowances for this on longer range shots. Once in the seat we ranged the woodland edge using various markers of things like a birch tree, a bush out in the field edge etc, all this would make for more accurate shooting and make for a quicker shot if something presented itself. We quietly chatted and Andy parted with some useful info on reloading and on stalking in general. We could get away with a bit of chat as the wind was pretty strong and cutting across us up in the seat, which thankfully was boarded all round and up a nice firm tree. We watched and watched, nothing showed. Then we heard the un-moderated report from Wayne's new gun. He must have got something and hopefully some deer may come our way from him. Eagerly we watched but after some time nothing had appeared. After more time a hare appeared from the wood and grazed 150 yds away, then another appeared. Andy said that often the deer will show after hares have come out as they may feel a little safer knowing the hares are already out. Nothing showed. Then after a while and with the light at the point where it begins to play tricks with the eyes I decided to see what had happened to the hares. I glassed out in the field ad to my surprise saw a lone fallow, neither of us has seen it cross in front of us I must have bolted straight across the headland out into the field. We ranged it but at 245 yds with a stiff wind out in the open field decided this was too far and we couldn't clearly ID it either. We hoped this was the begining of the mass arrival of deer. Then another couple crossed at the other end of the field these were out at 365 yds so way beyond my abilities. In all a dozen had come out and all made there way down toward Wayne. We continued to wait in the hope another group may show nearer to us but with the light fading and both of us begining to feel the cold begin to get into us a little decided to make our way back. Once back at the truck we got stuck into a cuppa and I found some biscuits in my jacket pocket while we waited for Wayne and other Andy to return from collecting Wayne's animal. He had shot a decent doe which was already grallocked and in the tray on his quad. Max the dog looked pretty happy as he had a good run too. So a bit of chat about who saw what and some leg pulling that the host was the only one to shoot anything and we packed up to get back home. Half an hour later we were back and put carcass in the larder, packed gear into vehicles and as time was getting on thought we would all get off. I had a great evening and once again learned a lot form Wayne and Andy. To be honest i would have loved to have shot something (as we all would) but accept no one can say exactly where the deer will be. I know Wayne was disappointed not to have got me onto some deer but he needn't be I am grateful for the experience he and Andy have given me and it all adds up to more knowledge and hopefully better skills to use next time. So "that's it folks" I'll finish of by thanking 223, Wayne and all his mates called Andy. They were top blokes and have excelled themselves in being so generous with their time and advice. I hope to catch up again sometime. Thanks guys.