I'm in the process of getting a new bit of ground and trying to stay on the farmers good books by showing willing, getting out and more importantly getting to really know the ground and how the deer use it. So I went out on another bit of ground first thing on Sunday and having blanked decided as it was a lovely day I'd drive the short distance to the new bit and have a good look around. I'm not after shooting a load of deer straight off and needed to see how many are resident, amount of sign and the impact they are having. But I also known the farmer wants the deer controled (hence the reason I'm allowed on there) and it would be nice to get one or two and have one professionaly butchered and packaged up to give the farmer for when we have a proper chat.
So I parked up and went for a bit of a stalk. It was about 9.30, the sun was shinning and life couldn't be better. Bumped into a white doe sunning herself behind a privit bush and carried on up a small hill. Half way up I spotted a fallow standing in the trees about 80 meters away. It must have seen me but didn't seem to react at all. Slowly raised my bins but no clear view. Slipped the rifle onto the stickes and moved 5 meters to get a clear view. Bins again and noticed it was a doe and her jaw was hanging off. S...T she was sky lined and whilst I contemplated a welfare shot through the sholder I just couldn't get "safety first" out of my head.
Tried to move again but this time I was spotted by the white doe, from earlier, who lead the injured deer off over the hill along with a sizable group of does and prickets.
Well I spent the next couple of hours trying to get near the group which numbered around 15. At one stage I was within about 250 ish meters and could see another deer with a wound to the side of the nose with a flap of skin hanging down. But fallow being fallow they just kept moving in circles and never presented a shot.
I eventually admitted defeit as they got spooked by a dog walker and I watched them disappear over the boundry and off into the distance. The dog walker happened to be a local cooper who assured me that appart from the chaps who lamp the foxes he isn't aware of anyone out up to no good. I gave him my number and told him to call me if he spotted the injured ones or got a report of them and I'd try and get back to do the necessary.
Now I'm not going to start the old head shot debate. And will put my hands up to taking the occassional neck / head shot when the conditions are Perfect. All I will say is that two deer in the same group with similar injuries says night shooting (at the eyes) to me and not an "oh s..t" the deer moved as I took the shot situation. But I could be wrong, It has been known to happen.