Back home from work yesterday so I had a look out this morning. -1°C driving there and not much showing on the stalking ground to start with, even the squirrels and rabbits were hunkered down. Once the sun broke through it took half an hour for things to start moving, but no sign of deer. Eventually a deer started barking a couple of hundred meters away but I could make nothing of it, it was in a thick plantation and did not seem keen to show itself. I turned around and stalked further along the wood, eventually another deer started barking a couple of hundred metres infront of me and nicely upwind, only three or four barks then silence. I stalked in along a ride and came to a recently felled area with thick plantation on two sides. I guessed this was where the animal I had heard 15 minutes previously had been but there was no sign of it in the open.
Instead of settling down for a wait I thought I would try a differect tactic, and I made a single low bark. I was just thinking to myself that it did not sound very convincing when a buck trotted out onto my ride a hundred metres away and was giving me 'the look', he was not happy at the thought of an intruder on his patch. He turned around to go back back into cover and a second bark from me stopped him niclely broadside.
At the shot he jumped and ran, I gave it five minutes then had a look with Raff, he went belting off on the wrong line and I was thinking to myself I had better wait for him to calm down then resend him (he can be a bit mad when he has not been out for a while!) when I saw he had found the animal, he had been running a hot scent all along. 50 m away from the shot site but at a different angle from what I thought he had run. No photos unfortunately as the camera had a flat battery, but he was a nice middle aged animal with a poor six point head, had decent length but very weak top tines.