Shot my first deer on Friday evening after many months of genrally being useless, noisy, late, etc etc.
It was the first decent night we've had for a while, bule skies, gentle breeze it was a truely great night. I'd made a real effort to creep up the side of a big open field and make my way into the wood quietly. With spring in the air the woodland floor is starting to get green and I was able to slowly walk in without a sound for a change. I found a tree about 80m from where the deer enter the wood and just waited, stood leaning against the oak tree. After about 10 minutes I started glassing the wood with my new Strathspey 8x42 bins, for any sign but nothing so I just waited. A few minutes later I glassed again and at the end of my sweep left I poo'd myself when I saw an ear flapping the flies followed by the head of a red hind appear from behind some fallen trees. The wind was in my face and it looked my direction and I froze. It carried on munching the holly and brambles it was standing in and looked down. I slid behind my tree and got a hand on my CZ550 and then froze again when she raised her head and started to turn to make her way out of the wood into the open. As she passed behind trees I took my chance to first raise the gun, shoulder it and as she cleared the last tree I had the cross hairs on the boiler room. She stopped and turned her head in my direction and in an instant I'd let the shot off and froze again.
At first I wasn't sure if I'd hit her as it was a standing shot at about 50m. She continued to move towards the wall and the open fell, but decided to run back to where I'd first seen her. At which point I'd got another round in the chamber just incase, I didn't need it she coughed a horrid 'i've got something on my lungs' type of cough and stepped into the undegrowth. I waited the longest 10 minutes of my life and starrted to walk to the last spot I'd seen her.....she wasn't there. ********!
In the wood it was just starting to get too dark to see so out came the head torch and I walked in the direction I thought she was travelling but found nothing. At this point I realised I was going to be out for a while so I phoned the local rozzers on 101 and told them what I was upto as we have terrible poaching problems up here and the last thing I wanted was an ARU getting all grumpy out in my woods. So with that done I stated quatering the holly and bramble thicket she had been laid up in before I'd seen her. The reflection of her eye gave her location away and I found her 10m into the thicket.
This is where the real fun started. Having rushed out straight from work I'd forgotten the quad keys and after pulling her out of the thicket I decided to call in the reinforcements and called the wife. The reality of it was I'd 200m of rough woodland to clear then 400m of wet field and a ditch plus another 100m to the car. The quad was a must. Whilst I waited for the missus, I gralloughed and removed the head, anythng to shed some weight, she was a big girl!! An hour later the wife turned up with the kids and dogs and we mamaged to get the old girl on the back of the quad. The deer almost had the last laugh though. On the way out of the wood their was an off camber incline and the weight of the deer on the back was enough for the quad to reach its tipping point alarmingly quickly! I stepped off and put all my weight in the inside peg and using the throttle at arms length I coaxed it up the hill to the track and off to the car.
By the time I'd cleared a space in the garage (I really wasn't expecting to get anything) and rigging up a hoist we finally got her to rest and get my blood soaked kit in the wash it was 10:45. I was knackered and sat down with a well earmed glass of red!!
She's currently skinned and I'm going to butcher things towards the end of this week. I'll try and get some pictures up but they are crap quality as I only had my £20 quid woolies mobile on me.