Crappy week so I decided to twist a mates arm to go stalking this evening. The ground is dense woodland but it has a lot of roe. We normally stalk together but each in a different block. It is tremendously difficult to stalk onto deer normally as its noisy under foot and and the cover is too thick. However if we go as a two sometimes they move into the path of one of you when they are getting out of the way of the other.
Anyway my mate then called to say he couldnt make it but his father would. One hour later the father rang to say he was now tied up too
Both of them told me to go on my own, so what the hell
Loaded gear up and off. As I was driving in I thought I saw roe feeding in one area. I drove well past and got kitted up then headed back using the track to keep the noise down. Then, there through the trees I could see a doe feeding, obscured by trees. I set the sticks up and waited, as she stepped forward she presented a nice neck shot at about 60m. Shot away and deer down
I wait, and then hang on, deer back up and moving around uncertainly . Round is chambered but no clear shot at engine room and deer wont stand. Nothing for it but to get another shot away, I have always been taught that if you have a wounded deer then you have to finish it quickly and the best way you can, venison now not an issue. Second shot away, again good impact noise and deer down. Phew!
I was now very concerned at how the first shot had gone wrong. Wait a few minutes and go forward. Find dead doe perfectly neck shot Just away behind her a doe kid, gut shot though. The kid must have been sleeping right next to her, invisible in the cover. I finish it quickly and feel awful. The uncertain movement must have been because it had been startled awake and seen its mother down. Got them both gralloched but left without a very happy feeling inside.
2 questions at this point. What could I have done differently? I really didnt want to see a wounded deer staggering off and there was no way I could see the woodland floor at the time of the decision. The second is a bit more grim. The guts seemed to come out of the entry hole not exit hole, is this normal and how can it happen?
Moving on. I had only been in the wood 3/4 of an hour so decided to stalk on. I crunched around some more of the wood being barked at and bumping deer away. Normal service resumed for this block.
As the light faded I headed back to an area with better ground both on the noise and visibility front. Then along a ride, 2 white spots, binos up and yes 2 roe feeding away from me at about 100m. Left hand animal a doe. Once more onto sticks and wait. After a minute or so the doe turns broadside on and shot away. I can see her jump about 3ft vertically then 1 deer goes left and the other right. The doe had been facing left. I wait and can hear both deer moving. Next a deer appears in view to the left but positively bouncing, the noise on the right stops. Deer on the left vanishes into the wood. I walk forward and search around 30m radius around the spot I had marked, nothing, but the light is pretty bad now. I am now feeling desolate. I cant work out what the hell I am going to tell my mate. Its his venison and I've gut shot one and lost another. I mark the spot and go back for the car and lamp as the light has gone.
Once back and with the lamp I see a really good lung blood trail. It takes me 80m into the wood and stops. Still no deer Then, back slightly, in a ditch I see it. Its got antlers, small ones in velvet!! Oh crap,dont tell me I've shot the buck somehow. At this point I am feeling like the worlds worst stalker!! I pull it out of the ditch and see the tush on the back end
It was a doe, but an antlered one!! She'd taken a round from the 30-06 straight through the chest, spun and then gone 80m in the opposite direction!! Thank God for the lamp. Gralloched her and then all 3 away to my mates.
Mate very pleased that doe cull has been improved and with the venison.
Still dont know what the heck I feel about it all so I think I'll have another beer!!