After a gruelling 5 and a half hour drive through rush hour traffic on Friday evening we arrived at the ground in West Sussex, we being myself and Gareth my stalking buddy. We unpacked the car sorted out the airbeds and went out for a look around, it was too late to have taken a shot but the idea was to see if anything was about with the N.V. Nothing out except for rabbits so off to bed.
Or so we thought... there was a party going on at the house and we were invited in for a drink. 3 bottles of Becks later we made our excuses and headed off to or air-mattresses on the floor of an outbuilding behind the house and got a few hours kip.
At 5.45am gareths phone let out a cock-a-doodle-doo noise and within 5 mins we were up and ready to go.... without brushing teeth or having a wash or anything.
I wasn't long before we came across a nice roe buck which had already seen us and was standing alert and ready to bolt, he will be going on the wall at some point in the future but it's his mate we're after so on we go.
Well to cut out all the boring bits we didn't see anything else all morning except more rabbits. I called breakfast at 9.00 and we drove to Mcdonalds on the A24.
After brekkie we decided to stay off the ground until just before sunset, so as not to spook anything and it rained on and off for most of the day. Every now and again we'd have a glass around from the top of a bank behind the house just in case, but still nothing.
Later that evening we headed out again and it started to rain again. Sunset came and went and before we knew it was dark. Heading back up to the farm in the truck Gareth spots eyes in a hedge which we think could be a fox, I stop the engine and turn the lights out. Gareth grabs the lamp and I grab my rifle from the back of the car, the lamp wire is tangled and then the plug pulls out of the battery. By the time the lamp goes on fox is nowhere to be seen Time to call it a night and off to the luxury digs once more
At first light Sunday morning we decide to take our rifles for a walk one last time before heading home, this time we split up and go in opposite directions around a pond.
Then my phone vibrates and I remember thinking "who the....?" it's Gareth, "get round here quick, there's a doe and a follower" So I'm now doing a fast walk but crouched and trying to be quiet at the same time until I get within sight of Gareth then I'm down on hands and knees. I get to where he's lying and the deer are nowhere to be seen, they have gone behind a pile of something that looks like mushed up toilet paper that goes in the muck spreader and before long they emerge from the other side. From the position I'm in the only backstop is a tree and there's a van parked on the lane in the distance behind so I need to shuffle through the brambles to get a better angle on the follower. As I do it starts to walk down the slope in my direction and stops maybe 85yds or so away, all the time following her with my crosshairs and oblivious to what the other one was doing, with the slope in front of the paper pile now as my backstop I squeezed the trigger before my heart jumped out of my chest, the young doe leaped forward and then dropped to the ground. I look up from the scope and just catch a glimpse of the older doe disappearing into the wood, I did think Gareth would have got a shot on her but he said later that it wouldn't have been a safe shot. (I was glad really as she was probably quite heavily pregnant looking at the size of her)
While I set about gralloching my doe, Gareth went to have a go at the rabbits for the last 3 hours before we set off home, then later I joined him shooting two at a time.... "you go for the left one, I'll go for the right.... after three" 1,2,3
We had been resisting the temptation all weekend.
Gareth has some photo's on his phone, when he sends them to me I'll add them here.