When I decided to get into stalking I never quite appreciated just how difficult it would be to get any decent land. Through my day job I have contact with a large number of farmers, and have been given permission to stalk/shoot on a fairly large area but these areas seem to be devoid of deer
Anyway, I have now had the good fortune to pay for a share some decent stalking land. It is 2000 acres of private forestry, & appears to hold good numbers of Roe & I have been told that reds have been seen.
My first day on the ground was on the 1st of april, and despite seeing 2 bucks & a doe a safe shot never presented itself. It was great to be seeing deer though after a good number of outings without even catching a glimpse. I'm sure my wife was beginning to thing I had a bit on the side.
So Sunday morning at 5am saw me heading out full of optimism & hope. Arrived at the first of 2 gates a mile apart that allow access to the land, just as the first signs of dawn were appearing on the horizon. Both times I had previously visited the ground this first gate was open. No problem, the key given to me fits the padlock on both gates. WRONG!!! Bugger me it didn't fit. Ah well, no option but to park and hoof it.
So kitted up and a mile hike saw me on the ground, a bit later than I hoped as the sun was now up.
Made a quick assessment of the wind and decided to stalk along the march to my right heading west. It really was a beautiful morning to be out. The sun was shining, the birds were singing & it felt like the whole world was still asleep.
The going was fairly rough, and the heather made it difficult to make silent progress. However after only 150m of hugging the tree line I spied a doe right on the boundry around 300m away, and after 10 minutes of happily lying watching her I saw the back of her fawn just over the boundry fence.
I couldn't determine the sex of the kid so after a while decided to attempt a stalk. Would be good practice if nothing else. Keeping low through the heather and utilsing a ditch I eventually got to within 200m, only to see the doe casually walk away over the brow of hill. No sign of the kid at this point so decided to try and make the brow of the hill and see where they had gone.
Still taking it easy any keeping an eye open for the youngster, I made to 150m and while glassing the tree line, I spied the head & neck of the kid. A buck!!! He had crossed the boundry to my side and was now fair game!
Getting into a comfortable prone position I put the x hair on his neck, then bottled it!! Had I been shooting at a paper target I have no doubt that I could have taken the shot accurately, but on a living breathing creature I am not ashamed to say I deffered to my lack of experience and decided to get closer.
So after what seemed like an age I made it to within 50m of the buck. Settled into a prone position again x hairs on neck, and no hesitation this time, round on its way, & he dropped where he stood. Recycled a round into the chamber & waited. After some time and no sign of life, I made my way over & gralloched him.
I stalked on for a short time, and saw a cracking buck crossing a ride, but was happy with my mornings work so made my way home for breakfast. And I had a deer to prove I hadn't been up to no good