Left work on Thursday evening and met the m25 carpark, but eventually arrived to meet Malcolm in the pub for a meal and a chat. We arranged to meet up the following morning at 5am and with that, I returned to the B&B.
The alarm went off at 4.30am and in some sort of daze, I duly got ready and commenced the short drive to the estate, to be met by a cheery Malcolm and a welcoming cup of tea. As I didn’t have my rifle with me, Malcolm allowed me to use his tikka .270.
After a quick chat off we went, complete with his mountain hound. No sooner did we get up the drive from the estate but we encountered a heard of Fallow, but as the doe season had just ended, we just watched.
A little way further on and we saw two bucks in the woodland just off the drive of the estate. Malcolm thought it would be an idea if I got out and stalked round them, primarily to get a safe shot. After about 20 mins creeping from behind tree to tree, I got to approx 150 yards off a buck, with its back to me but looking back towards me. In the slight chance it would turn broad side I moved to the right hand side of the nearest tree in order to get a stable rest. This was a distance of 3 yards, but in that movement, he was off. I glassed the area with the binos but he had vanished and so I unloaded and walked back to the truck. Quite eventful for the first 30 mins and we hadn't arrived at the ground Malc was intending. I knew it was going to be a good day.
After a short drive, we arrived at the ground. The best way I can describe it is a lot meadows, with woodland (complete with blue bells), a truly cracking bit of land.
We set off, spying hedge, woodland margin and fields as we went and saw deer, but does, bumping one buck that we hadn't spied. Luckily, he didn't bark or take off like a horse at the Grand National, but quickly moved to the other side of the field and into the woodland, but, that is stalking and sometimes you get seen, despite best efforts.
We carried on, towards another stretch of woodland and halted at the sight of a buck
Malcolm set up the sticks no more that 100 yards from it and I made ready. The adrenaline had kicked in and I jerked the shot, with a resounding miss. This was not good, as I never get buck fever..I was mad at myself and disappointed for Malc.
Still, it was a clean miss and so we set off back to the car, Malc making light of the episode. Back at the bothy, we had a bite to eat and I asked to go to the range, really as a confidence booster. Taking a shot at the target prone, the rifle was fine and my shot was in the correct area, which helped a bit.
In the afternoon we returned to a similar area and proceeded on our way. On spying through a narrow ride, we spotted a buck, pursuing a doe. This buck was a murder buck, but was approx 200 yards off. We stood in a wooded margin in the hope of a shot, when Malc spotted two more bucks, again walking up the opposite margin of the field.
One was browsing and although the shot could be done from where we were, after the mornings miss, I wanted to get close as possible. Malc agreed and we stalked in to the buck, following closely behind Malc. We got to with 120 yards and Malc put the sticks up. I took some deep breaths and took the shot.
Malc let his dog go and found the beast near where it was shot, I gralloched it and with sweat pouring out of me (much to the amusment of Malc) dragged the beast to an area where we could get the car. The weather was spot on and made a fitting end to the day.
Thanks for a cracking day Malc