Well the time finally arrived and after much anticipation i met up with Charly on the 1st and 2nd November.
The plan was to meet at lunch time on the Thursday to zero check then evening stalk plus the following day a morning stalk.
I live in lincolnshire so it was a 240mile trip. In my eagerness i left home at 0400 hrs ad arrived at the New Forest at 0800 hrs! way too early! So i parked up and tried to have a kip. i went to Charlys house at 1200 hrs and met his lovely wife, martina and kids.
We chin wagged and drank loads of coffee then went for zero check on some nearby land. I shot a group off the bipod and standing off the sticks, and i am pleased to say i did not embaress myself.
Now for the purpose of the following stalking description i offer apologies in advance if i wax lyrical and slip into shooting press style description/advertising mode. It is all meant in the best possible taste with tongue firmly in cheek.
Anyway i digress. Charly and i went for a stalk around some ponds but did not see anything. The ground is incredibly wet! we jumped in his car and drove to a different area with the intention of occupying a high seat until last light. On arrival, Charly spotted a fallow buck at the bottom of a steep valley so offered a perfect shot with a safe back stop. just on a descriptive note i come from lincolnshire which is totally flat, (you can see your spaniel buggering off after a hare over eight fields away) so any hill looks like a mountain to me! There was a pile of brash at the crest of our hill so we got behind this. Then as instructed by Charly i crawled around and stayed prone with my bipod deployed. Charly told me to take the shot when ready, so.......
I steadied my 30.06 parker Hale 1200 and looked through my Meopta 6x42 scope, placing the cross hair up the back of the beasts front leg, about 2/3rds up to allow for the downward angle, and loosed a home loaded 125gn sierra Pro Hunter, 125 yds to target. The deer shuddered as i quickly reloaded, it walked about 8 yds and dropped. "welldone" says Charly, I was over the moon, i thanked Charly Profusely, i had grassed my first beast!
We waited for the obligatory time and approached safely as per DSC. He was the worlds best stag to me at this moment in time! a master buck in my eyes! Charly explained that he was a perfect cull buck, as he was rutted out and also had 'fish tail antlers'. He could tell he had been rutting hard from the scars on his neck. After a few photos we dragged him to the vehicle, this is where i excel as i am built like a cart horse!
We took the beast to Charly's friends place where i met Tom. Tom gralloched the buck as it was dark by this time, and we only had a quad bike headlight to work by. Tom sharpened his knife and sorted the beast with the skill of a crimean war surgeon!!( on inspection it was shown to be a good bottom of lung, top of heart shot.) Come to think of it i may well contact Tom in the near future to engage his surgical skills, as with baby number 5 on the way my misses says it is time for the snip! GULP!!!
We returned to Charly's with a take away where with Martina we whiled away a few hours talking deer and putting the world to rights. Charly and Martina were kindly putting me up for the night in the office on a sofa bed.
We were up at 0530 and met up with Tom. We stalked into some wood land and waited at a regular crossing point, but to no avail. We changed location were Tom offered me a shot at a roe doe which i declined as to my novice status on deer was just out of my comfortable range. Tom despatched it with a perfect chest shot with his .243 Tikka, Leupold Scope and home loaded round. We collected the doe then Charly and i stalked into a roe doe couched in a gorse patch on some open land. We laid hoping for her to stand and offer a shot but as soon as she stood she was away! sadly offering no shot.
Tom and i stalked some woodland, i fluffed a chance by moving too quickly and spooking the deer. There was another chance of a shot down a ride but the deer was stood behind a big branch offerig no shot. one step forward and it would have been good! Shortly after Tom pointed out three deer up a ride but for the life of me to my unaccustomed eye i could not find them in my scope.
We returned to Tom's where i gralloched the roe doe under Charly's instruction.
Charly very kindly allowed me to retain the head from my buck which i intend to hang, which my misses is fine with, as long as i build her a conservatory to hang it in!!!!
We returned to Charly's where i made my farewells.
So i achieved two firsts, one beast grassed and one beast gralloched. I have done my DSC 1 but have learnt so much more from Charly and Tom.
Many many thanks to Charly, Martina and the kids and Tom. I am a much richer person for knowing them all and i will definitely be seeing them again!!
Parker Hale 1200 £200
Meopta 6x42 scope £150
Miranda car boot binos £20
Home load sierra 125gn pro hunter.