I had a great stalk which culminated in shooting a very large eleven point stag.
However I was rather upset that the beast wasn't killed cleanly.
The first shot was taken at 200m off a bipod, the beast was broadside, and the shot struck half way up the body behind the shoulder. High for a heart shot, but in my experience of roe, muntjac and fallow, I was expecting the beast to drop fairly quickly.
Unfortunately the old boy just stood there while the rest of them buggered off. I waited for what seemed like an eternity before realising he needed another shot. I manoevered to get another broadside shot and put another one into the engine room, this time from about 150m. He reacted to the shot more conventionally and trotted off into a valley before collapsing. When I got to him he still had plenty of life in him, again I waited too long, before realising I had to finish him off with a neck shot.
This was not the way I would have wished to take such a magnificent beast and has got me thinking what I could do better next time. Obviously I shouldn't have dithered as I did, and followed up more quickly, but there are other factors I'm not sure about.
I was using a 6.5 x 55 with Norma 120g BT, would my .308 with Norma 150g BT have really made much difference? (The reason I took the smaller rifle, is that I was anticipating longer shots on the hill, and the rifle is super accurate)
Was it just bad luck? I was happy with where the bullets struck, except aiming lower for the heart, I don't really know how I could have improved bullet placement.
Do reds take a lot more killing? I haven't noticed any correlation between size and toughness before, except perhaps the opposite, with munties.
Whilst I probably average thirty deer a year, I will only shoot one stag a year, so any advice would be appreciated for next time.