Work commitments caused me to find myself in the South-West last week, and so I was presented with a dilemma for how to occupy my time on the Wednesday evening.....do I (a) eat alone in a hotel, have a beer, watch a bit of telly then go to bed, OR (b) give IanF a call to see if there was any chance of slipping in a trip out....Hmmmm.....now let me see.....
Ian came up trumps, and so I rolled up at his place at the appointed hour, changing from suit to hunting gear with a turn of speed that would have made Superman seem sluggish. Ian provided the brief for the evening, which was to sit very still in the appointed highseat and keep my peepers peeled for fallow which were being rather a nuisance on the farm we were heading to. Yep, reckon I can fulfil that brief!
Upon arrival, Ian gave me some 'distance markers' and I clambered up into the highseat with the nimble agility of a chamois (well perhaps one with bags of cement strapped to each leg ) and settled in for the wait until darkness, keeping everything crossed that the deer gods would smile on me given that I'd only ever shot one fallow before....
I continually scanned the fields to my left and right, separated by a thick hedge running out directly in front of me; as the evening progressed, the wind - which had been a breeze at first - really picked up pace, and I was quite glad that the sturdy high seat was constructed by someone that knew what they were doing (rather than being cobbled together by a ham-fisted office monkey like me!). The only movement as time wore on was a pair of hares mooching around on the field on the right, and it got the point where light was starting to fade. I was looking out to the right and bringing my gaze around to the left, thinking to myself "Hmmmm, it's almost getting to the point when it's going to be too dark to shoo......F**K!!! There's a deer on my left!"
A deer had emerged from the wood to me rear left and was making its way across the field heading towards the hedgeline. A quick squizz through the bins confirmed that it was a young fallow buck, so the rifle was raised, and with a soft whistle the buck stopped around 50-55yds in front of me. A squeeze of the trigger, and the buck lurched forwards for around 10yds before collapsing after a solid chest shot.
After waiting for a suitable period of time, I climbed down and ensured that the buck was stone dead with a blink test. No reaction: job's a good 'un!!
So - my first fallow buck, and the evening was rounded off with some of Jo's superb cooking and a rather good glass of red.....as evenings go, beats the hell out of option 'a'!!!! (and a big thanks to Ian and Jo for accomodating me at short notice)