I spent Friday evening and Saturday morning back up in Norfolk for some more stalking, with Rob taking me out. I met up with Rob at the farm early at about 4 15 and we were away by 4 30 as he wanted to take me out to a part of the farm they hadnt shot yet this season before we made our way back to the other side to get up a high tower. We were to stalk a large area of wheat fields and meadows with lots of hedges crossing all over. As we stalked through the to the end of the 1st field Rob stepped out to scan the fields ahead and spotted a lone roe doe 2 fields down and Rob suggested we stalked down towards her as whenever he had seen her before the buck had not been far away. As we got to the bottom of the next field we spotted a truck a field over driving across to some horse paddocks and the doe disappeared through a hedge into another field over. We began to work our way up the next field along a hedge hoping to come round on the doe and find the buck also. As Rob went over a footbridge to cross into a field he stopped and edged back and told me to slowly cross and look up the hedge line to the right, as i did there was a roe doe and a kid from last year just 30 yards up the hedge. We edge back and decided to slowly work our way round on the other side of the hedge to them. As we began to set off to work round the doe had caught on that something wasnt quite right and ran up to the ridge of the field to see if she could spot what was going on. As she did this she alerted a buck that must have been 20 yards on the other side of the hedge to us lying down in the wheat and ran about 10 yards to see what was going on then relaxed and slowly made his was down the hedge line from where we had just come. Rob said if we work out way back 20 yards we should be able to get a shot if he crosses through the gateway. As we made our way round the buck appeared in the gateway and we froze, the buck stopped and looked right at us trying to make out what we were, i thought he would bolt as he had made his way down wind of us but after a 5 min stand off he worked his way left down the hedge line and Rob put the sticks up and said when he appears in the gap in the hedge you can take him. Just before he comes into view he decides to turn back and head towards the gateway but just before he came into view again he suddenly decided to lie down. We waited about 10 min but he didnt get up again so we slowly stalked down the hedge on the right to try and get around on him and as we got withing 50 yards of him a hare came through the gateway, stopped saw us and turned back through alerting the buck something was up. He stood up to check things out and edged into the gateway and stopped, just as i put the cross hairs behind the shoulder he took a few more steps then rob whistled and he stopped to see what it was a i placed the shot right in behind the shoulder, he jumped ran 20 yards down the hedge line then collapsed. My 1st English roe buck!! He had decent body mass weighing 45 pounds and was a nice little 7 pointer, it looked as if his left front tine had grown into 2. I asked Rob to guide me through the grolach which he did according to dsc2 and on inspection the shot had taken out both lungs, and was also another between the rid shot which i seem to be getting rather good at! Rob gave mark a call and he came down to pick it up so we could carry on stalking as this was a different buck to what Rob had been seeing regulary.
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We carried on up the field and as we got to the top Rob spotted a buck and 3 does tucked up against a hedge on the bottom of the field, and said we would stalk down the right of the field using the hedge to get in close and keeping the wind in our favour. As we got to within 100 yards there was a break in the hedge so it was 20 yards of crawling, and this is how i learnt not to let your binos drag through the field underneath you as they filled up with dirt! We eventualy came to the end of the hedge withing 50 yards to of them and i was on the sticks buck in the cross hairs but on having a better look at him he looked to have a lot of height and weight to him so i decided he was too big for me, but never the less it was a good stalk in and all helps towards me learning. We gave a small wood and meadow a look in on the way back to the truck but nothing showed so we headed back and to get up a high tower. Sadly we only got a glimpse of a muntjac crossing 200 yards away and at 9 with nothing else showing we called it an end.
The next morning was to be the longest morning stalk Rob had ever done, lasting in at 6 hours including grolach! As we started the stalk we bumped a buck but he wasnt on our permission but cirled round behind us towards a rape field but offered no shot. Rob said we would stalk in a big circle and may catch him at the end. As we entered the main bulk of the stalk, a 300m strip of woood land with an old concrete track running down the middle which we stalked along we bumped a munty buck in some brambles, we caught up with him 50m later but he went round a release pen and we lost him so carried on down the track only to bump a roe buck and doe that were well tucked up in cover and neither of us saw them. We got to the end of the strip and cut across a field to the left and down the main road a little to catch up with a roe doe Rob spotted feeding on the hedgeline to see if a buck was hanging around. As we got within 70 yards of her the wind changed direction and she winded us and stepped out to see us and as she did a fawn ran for cover in the hedge line and tucked up while mum hung around reluctant to leave but eventually ran off into the wood we were about to stalk barking. We cut round round the edge onto the wheat field to see if any deer came out this side, as we came round we spotted 5 red hinds at the bottom of the field which the doe must have scarred out. I was amazed how switched on they were and soon spotted us and made there way out of sight. We carried on stalking round but found nothing so we made our way alond the main road to find the roe buck we had seen earlier. Just as we stepped off the road the buck was 50 yards up the hedge line browsing, we set up the sticks as we came round into the field as so we wernt obvious from the road and i put a shot through his front shoulder and he dropped on the spot. As we got to him the shot was a little high and had taken a slight deviation off the shoulder blade so Rob had to atlas joint him to finish him off quicker than letting him bleed out. After the grolach organ inspection showed the bullet had taken out the top of the lungs, so it was still in the kill zone but next time will know to aim slightly lower at closer distances as it was zeroed 1" high. The buck was a good cull 4 pointer and in good condition, turning from winter to summer coat and had a nice silvery coat.
When we got back to the farm we had a well earned breakfast after 6 hours and a lot of walking, but came good at the end with a nice buck. I certainly cant fault Rob for the effort he puts into getting you on the deer, as well as being good company and always teaching me little tricks and giving me advice. It also makes my record stalking up with Mark, 4 stalks and 3 deer so no complaints on seeing deer and the variety in species. As always i had a great time!