Finally got a buck who is one of three causing problems at a new permission I got a month ago - I'd tried evening high seat sessions (its a small shoot with two lines of safe fire). I'd seen fresh tracks each day so suspected they were feeding either at night or at dawn.
I arrived at 5am saturday morning (dawn being 6.20am), after I'd gotten my gun etc out and got to the high seat it was 5.20am so a good hour to let everything settle down. Perfect.
Just before dawn there was a tell tale bark in the neighbours field. At dawn I heard something large go through the water filled ditch bordering the nursery, then twenty minutes later another one. I guessed they were feeding the other side of the polytunnel and heard a few noises.
I contemplated trying to get down the high seat and take a shot, but then realised it was 6.20am and I hadn't had a coffee and was being stupid. I waited until just before 7 before a nice buck limped into sight. He was kicking his rear right leg out as he walked but seemed fine otherwise and was happily browsing on new shoots. Trouble was he was to the right of my high seat, a safe shot but i'd have to swivel round to the right 45 degrees and find something to rest on... I managed it, then waited long minutes in an awkward position until finally a decent broadside shot presented itself. I squeezed the trigger, no whollop or reaction. "bollox" I thought... he trotted about 10 yards to the hedge-row, I'd reloaded by the time he stopped, I positioned the cross hairs, and he dropped.
I'd jerked to the left slightly and hit the lungs rather than heart, but a clean kill nonetheless. Got eaten alive by midges and mosquito's during the gralloch, but was too chuffed to notice until my girlfriend asked why I had red spots all over my ass crack (builders bum during gralloch)!!!
He was lame on one foot but otherwise seemed in good health. I'm DSC1 qualified, but the trouble is I've never actually seen a dangerously ill (TB etc) deer in the flesh!!! From what I remember of my DSC1 TB etc is exceptionally rare in wild deer as they are a very naturally healthy wild animal. I live in west sussex and the majority of the farming in the area I shot this boy is arable rather than livestock so I think the likelihood of it being diseased is very slim.
The glands looked fine, and he looked bright eyed and healthy. He had one dodgy hoof causing the limp but I'd put that down to all the damp weather. It was a lung shot but I couldn't see any lesions, would be good to get some reassurance from you all though as the last deer I shot here was a manky old thing I felt bad feeding to the maggots...??????