I cannot thank Sikamalc enough for inviting me down for a weekend of stalking in the South East. I arrived at the lodge around 6.30pm and was warmly greeted by Malcolm and his good Lady. Moments later the iron griddle was on the stove and Malcolm proceeded to cook four massive Sika steaks. The extra one was for Wadashot who arrived shortly after. I thought I had tasted some great steaks in my time but how wrong could I have been. They simple melted in your mouth and were so flavoursome.
Shortly after the plan for the following morning was briefed by Malcolm and I was to accompany him and his partner as I am a novice and yet to shoot my first deer, whilst the very experienced Wadashot would stalk on his own at a different location.
The early morning alarm had us up and after confirming that my rifle was correctly zero'd and all my documentation was in order we set off.
Unfortunately the morning stalk proved unfruitful for us. This was possible down to intensive farm activity the previous day and we also suffered some heavy drizzle which as we all know is disliked by Roe especially and they much prefer to stay in the woods in these conditions. However it was not totally uneventful as between us all we had spotted several deer in the far distance on the boundaries. This made Malcolm and Wadashot more hopeful for the evening stalk.
After a hearty breakfast cooked by Malcolm's partner we set off again to erect a high seat that Wadashot had made. It was excellent craftsmanship and better constructed than most you can buy. We then went to visit a friend of Malcolm's who was to show him some woodland. His friend suggested that one of us should take a rifle and I was most pleased when I was personally selected. We set off on foot and had only walked about two hundred yards along a ride when Wadashot spotted some Fallow heading in our direction across a field. Malcolm wasted no time and helped me to place my sticks. He said "get ready and remember to recycle another round immediately should I fire a shot" Everything I was taught on my Level 1 came flooding back. Well, seconds later a first year Fallow presented itself broadside at approximately 50 to 70 yards ahead of us and stopped in the ride. It was safe to shoot with a good backstop.
It all took just seconds but seemed like ages to me. My adrenaline was pumping real fast and at this point I feeling extremely nervous. I placed the cross hairs on the vital organs and sent off a round. I was that nervous I had to be reminded to recycle and keep watching. Malcolm was continually glassing the buck at all times and I will be honest and say that I hit it a little high. I was told to move forward and dispatch it with another shot. This I did and I was immediately congratulated by Malcolm and Wadashot. It was all to much to take in at the time, I was in a temporary state of shock! It had been five months since passing my level 1 and shooting my first deer. I was no longer that virgin stalker thanks to Malcolm.
I attempted to gralloch the buck with the assistance of Wada's. I will have to practise a few more times before I put in for level 2 I think! We hung the deer in the chiller and headed off for the evening stalk joined by site member Robin, another seasoned stalker and another true gentleman.
The day ended with Wada's shooting two, Robin shot one and Malcolm pulled off a spectacular shot resulting in five altogether, four Roe bucks and my Fallow buck.
The evening was rounded off with a meal at the local Inn.
I must apologise for going on but I must conclude by saying that none of this would have been possible had it not been for the kindness of Malcolm. I was made to feel really comfortable at all times and everyone's hospitality was second to none. I will never forget this occasion, I have got so much out of it and my knowledge is so much greater.
Last but certainly not least, a big thank you to another site member "Dollyferret" who was my mentor through my Level 1 and who provided me with most of the equipment that made this weekend possible.
Thank you all, I will never forget this wonderful experience.
I have included two pictures below. The first was taken just after the event and the second was back at the chiller.