I thought I would share a quick report of my stag stalking last weekend with Charly and Tom of Shavesgreen Shooting Services.
On Friday evening I headed down to the New Forest in Hampshire to meet up with Charly at his house where I was staying. After a coffee and a quick catch up we headed to the range which is alongside a Market Garden on which Charly Controls the deer and vermin. As we pulled into the gravel track I spotted a young Roe Buck just ducking into some thick cover beside a large field of lettuces. Charly double checked with me that I was confident my rifle was spot on before leading me on the short stalk which ended in a 45 yard shot, a button buck and one happy farmer. That night we had a takeaway with Tom and pushed off to bed a bit later than planned!
4.45am and the alarm is ringing, Charly is ready to leave at five to meet up with Tom on the Estate we were stalking. Coffee on arrival and out to listen to the stags roar by 6am. These huge stags make a truly spine tingling sound in the moonlight. Tom and Charly identified the stag we were to take by his roar and we stalked in constantly aware of the swirling wind and many eyes in the area. As the light increased we were able to look down on the most amazing scene of the stag holding 30+ hinds all the time defending against five younger stags. The distance at this point was a touch too far so we opted to stalk on and ended up 30 yards from the stag but with no safe shot due to a lack of backstop. By this time I was really enjoying the entire experience of the stalk.
That evening we sat up in a thick hedge and waited for an appearance which never came, stags were roaring in the distance and hopes were high for the following day. Another early start on Sunday morning and we came up on the same stag still rutting hard but this time out on some fresh plough 300 yards away. Between them Charly and Tom made a plan and we stalked in to 150 yards where all cover ceased. I took a steady aim on the stag and squeezed off the shot. The beast reared and trotted off at the shot only to stagger and fall after a few yards. I was elated and thanked my hosts profusely.
This had been a dream hunt with excellent hospitality, a fantastic trophy and a pair of true stalkers to enjoy it with.