Went out the other evening & boy was it hot, hemmed in by a rape field & a tall hedge I was dripping within a couple of minutes. Had the word from the farm manager that there was a good buck seen by one of my high seats so I decided to stalk my way up there via the perimeter of the 90 acre field. After a 2 minute walk I spied my first doe, feeding in the rape field to my left. She saw me immediately but seemed unconcerned & wandered slowly off feeding as she went. After a further 20 minutes slow stalking I spied another doe so had to take a small detour soís not to spook her & any bucks in that area & just as I managed that successfully I bumped another doe who hared off across the rape but luckily away from the area I was heading for.
Then out of the blue I spied a buck slowly making his way down a grass ride between the rape & a wheat field, I was approximately 250 yards from him so decided to stalk in closer but trying to keep a pylon & the lone tree in this field between me & him. As I got to 100 yards & could see through the bins he was a very good buck indeed so decided to close to 50 yards & get under the pylon using the undergrowth there as cover & the pylon legs as a good rest as I dislike using my sticks at the best of times. I successfully reached the cover of the pylon without him seeing me, got a good rest on the leg of the pylon & lo & behold he laid down..............bugger!
I waited for 20 minutes no joy, so whistled him hoping he would stand & look out of curiosity, no joy. So clapped my hands, no joy, banged my car keys against the pylon leg, no joy he just laid there & all I could see were the tips of his antler slowing moving as his ears flicked the flies away. So I decided to move across the wheat field towards him keeping my sticks open in my left hand & the rifle in my right resting as best I could on my hip hoping once he saw me he would jump up & look at me long enough for me to draw a bead on him......................no such luck! He saw me after 20 yards jumped up, twirled & headed straight into the rape field behind him putting up 2 very noisy cock pheasants as he went, in retrospect I should have just been more patient & waited longer under the pylon.
I hoped he might head straight across the rape towards my high seat located in the corner of this field so after a cigar & a cold drink I headed on up there but again taking it slowly as the Roe do frequent the grass margins of these fields a lot. Once I was at the seat I spotted another doe just to the left of the seat but luckily she was facing away & wandered slowly round the corner. Getting to the seat I unshipped my roe sack, grabbed another cold drink & collapsed into the seat soaking wet from top to bottom. After recovering I glassed the immediate area & yet another doe wandered out of the rape onto the grass margin 10 yards away & proceeded to slowly feed back the way I came.
Then a buck started barking right behind me which is a field on another farm but it was right by my seat so I thought he might come through the hedge & just then there was a big rustling below the seat, here we go I thought but no, two young Badgers bustled out & into the rape, then another big rustle & yep you guessed it a big adult Badger followed them. Well another cigar was called for, then another scan of the area & I was sure I could see a Muntjac in a large clearing in the rape just 30 yards away so up with the bins & it was the biggest Hare Iíve ever seen in my life, he was huge, then to top it off another 3 appeared & stayed there for ages just feeding on the sparse vegetation in this clearing. Well this was getting like an edition of spring watch when yet another doe wandered out of the hedge from my left followed by a young buck. Well thank god for that I thought & swung the rifle round just as he passed into the rape. He then proceeded for 40 minutes to wander about feeding on the rape flowers as I followed his progress through the scope seeing his muzzle appear each time he reached up for a feed.
The doe had wandered of deep into the rape & I had lost sight of the buck so I thought he had followed her, after another hours wait it was getting dark & I decided one more cigar then off home, just as I reached for my lighter out he came, walked straight across the margin ducking down into the hedge. Well that just about summed up my evening but I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it, nothing like getting out there & seeing whatís on your ground is there? 6 does, 2 bucks, 3 Badger, & 4 Hares not to mention the Buzzards & Kestrels that were about.