On one of my permissions there is a fair amount of area to cover so most of my shooting is done from my vehicle - plus I like to know that all I need is with me in my vehicle. I also find “touring” can be more productive than high seat (or static vehicle) sitting and the local wildlife seem fairly comfortable with passing traffic.
Normally, when I shoot a deer, I will either drive the vehicle to the spot where it lays or (if that is not possible) I will take the roe sack. If I take the vehicle to the dead animal I then suspend it from an old towball-mounted bike rack to do the gralloch plus head & feet off before taking to my local game dealer for prepping (£15 jointed & packed, freezer ready – good value I reckon).
Friday evening, with the last knockings of daylight imminent (but still definitely legal !!!), I rounded the last corner in the last field for that evening tour and there, at about 220 yards just emerging from a mid-field scrubby pond surround, was a muntie buck. I mounted the rifle and thought shall I / shan't I because, A) I don’t particularly like gralloching in the dark and, B) I was getting a bit late for being home for Madam’s vino time (6pm).
Anyway the 22-250 rifle (and me) had been performing fairly well earlier with a couple of longish range rabbits plus a crow and a magpie but the overriding decision maker was the bleatings that I had been getting from the (long departed, homes of their own) kids “we’ve run out of venison. When are you going to top our freezers up?”
Decision made I squeezed the trigger and heard the satisfying “therwump” of a 55gr Sierra SP smack home and the buck just fell sideways and did not move.
Not having the time to wait for any possible second deer to appear I got out of the car, grabbed my knife plus gloves out of the Roe Sack (why did I not take the whole bloody thing I have no idea) and started across the field which I then noticed was wet heavy soil which had been ploughed in to potato stitches the size of mini tsunami’s!
By the time I reached the deer I was near knackered just carrying a knife but there it lay with a perfect heart / lung entry hole and no exit wound. Well done Mr Remington, Mr Hodgdon and Mr Sierra. Well pleased.
I then went to move the deer to the nearby pond bank in order to bleed it and I thought “bloody hell, this thing is huge”. Possibly the biggest muntie I have ever shot.
Anyway, I bled it out then performed (for me) a fairly quick and surprisingly tidy for a laid-on-side gralloch after which I picked up the deer to finish the rest off at the car.
I maybe getting on a bit & I consider myself fairly fit but after 50 yards of arms-length muntie swinging in (what seemed to be) ever deepening soft-mud WW1 trenches I had to stop.
After the second 50 yards my arms were burning with pain and my boots had taken on mud clumps the size of snow shoes with still a further 100 yards or so to go.
Anyway, I eventually got back to the car where I completed the prep - but I was shattered.
Saturday morning I could hardly get out of bed. Sunday was worse and even today (Monday) the tops of my arms still feel like lumps of lead.
Next time I will definitely take the roe sack. If its a fallow it can live in peace!