As title suggests, a 3 way write up!
I have 2 Norwegian guests over just now for sika stags. Gordon has shot a lot of sika in the past and Bjorn, although an experienced shot has never stalked sika before.
We went out on Thursday and saw a lot of deer including some nice stags and one or two real belters. The place seems to be coming down with hinds and calves so a busy couple of months ahead.
No shots were taken on the Thursday but we watched 2 stags having a bit of a go at each other in a field that we had considered sitting watching but changed our minds as a big stag had been seen in the area we eventually opted for as an alternative. A few feet from them were 15 hinds and a bigger stag, feeding away without a care in the world. So the rut won't have quite started it appears.
Friday saw me up a high seat with Bjorn, whilst Gordon stalked the high ground giving him a great view of us.... and the huge stag he said on a text was in the area over the trees behind us. Out the high seat and stalked in on a really big boy on his own on an open grass hill. A crawl began but before we could get close enough he walked up to a fence and cleared it into the forestry, despite a blow on the call stopping him for a second but behind cover. Pity as he was limping on a front leg. We went back to the high seat after lunch and again came down out it to stalk into a young stag we saw come out high above us. Again a crawl in to about 100m or so. Bjorn was shooting up a fairly steep slope and he does not like a bi-pod. He managed a good shot off his elbows, through a wee bit cover and into the chest of the stag that lept up kicking out his back legs. Then the fun began. He ran straight at us before veering off towards the forestry, jumped clearing a stock fence and a stone wall behind it and must have traveled at least 4m through the air clearing them both before running off into the trees. Bjorn was using bonded 140grn bullets in his 6.5x55 and the shot was good so we were confident he was dead but it gave me a chance to work the dog. Up to the shot sight where we saw blood suggesting a lung shot. The dog tracked it down the hill but seemed to work to the left of the track and was allowing the wind to carry the scent to her from the right. I was a bit concerned at this but it was a track only 20mins old. She brought me to the fence and up she went on the back legs looking over and then at me. Clear indication she wanted to follow. Over we went and she tracked into the trees for about 40m to where it was lying dead.As I started to drag it to a spot to gralloch she started to bark at it, so I took the opportunity to tease her with the head. She went ballistic! Constant barking and jumping back from it but then standing her ground. I could not have been more pleased. The drag back to the car had her barking continually at it until I stopped. The moment the deer stopped moving she would stop barking. I hope when Rudi sees this he will be pleased and that she is doing the right thing. This is the stag, 92lbs clean and Bjorn's first sika.