Up until Monday the 3rd I had shot Red, Roe, Fallow, Munti and Sika. I had seen various outfitters advertising on here and hadn't booked any and its always a worry if you don't know the company or provider. I eventually chose Ian Farrington and almost cancelled as I've been poorly for six weeks and thought I would not make it but my lust for stalking was too great. I set my alarm for 03.20 but didn't need it as in my excited state I woke at 03.18 and on the road for 04.00.
I arrived nice and early and met a fellow stalker from the sight Kevhumps, whilst we were chatting Ian and Jo introduced themselves and I was straight away impressed by the safety brief and how the plan of the day was to proceed. Ian was very professional even though he has a caterpillar on his top lip (sorry couldn't resist). Jo was just the same but without a caterpillar.
for the morning stalk I was to accompany Ian and under cover of dark was to stalk into a highseat and wait in ambush, then if nothing was forthcoming a stalk of the woodland. Well if your anything like me I shake with excitement and get butterflies at the thought of stalking every time I go out. Once in the highseat it began to spit with rain and we waited and waited. After a while nothing moved and we began a stalk. It became apparent that there was little sign of deer and both Ian and I were despondent and couldn't find sign of anything. Once we finished in declared that he was baffled as the ground usually provides a cull of four a season and holds around ten.
We drove past the other area which I was to stalk on the afternoon and straight away saw CWD on the field. We met up with Jo and Kevin and they had seen eight and ten and had rifle on sticks but they too quick or skylined.
Kev and I were cut loose to meet back in the afternoon with Ian and Jo, so we took a ride to Woburn Abbey and for £3.50 took a drive round the deer park and anticipated having breakfast there. During the drive we saw loads of fallow, huge 20+ point reds and Pierre David's
All Kev could hear from me we "there's some" and "f**##*g hell look at that"
The fields on route to Woburn were teaming with Chinks and its a good job Kev was driving as I would have probably crashed as I was almost spinning right round and pointing like an idiot. Sorry if I annoyed you Kev.
The weather cleared up and the sun came out, for the this session I was to be guided by Jo who compared to Ian is quite short, (if they decide to pack in stalking they could paint and decorate as Ian could do ceilings and Jo the skirting) get the picture.
As we entered this wood my heart was pounding as we knew it was full of deer from the morning outing. Within fifty metres I spotted the backs of two Chinese and hissed sticks! Sticks, as I brought the 6.5 into the ready. As if they were ghosts they were gone but not running just GONE. On we went and into position on the T point of three rides with a tall hedge in the middle of one and blocks of trees left and right. The sun was low and through the scope it was quite challenging to see, but due to the wind it was out of my control. I was on one side of the hedge and Jo was knelt watching the other and ready to give me an early warning. I was standing set on sticks with the styer 6.5 in the ready and we waited. Then in front movement I tensed then relax, PHEASANT. This went on for a bit or a hare, then Jo hissed and gave me the look sign. Then it appeared at first the head and then then tell tale silhouette of a Chinese but due to the sun I just had no idea of sex. Before you start slating me it was a cull stalk and everything was in play and in season and safe backstops. I set the trigger and rolled off the safety and sent the 140grn on its way, Thwack and a leap, classic reaction to an engine room HL shot. With what I would describe as someone having a pillow fight as the fur exploded, then it was gone. I reloaded made safe then yes yes but anticipation. My head said "yes good shot and reaction" but there's always that question, is it down? As it ran into the hedge. To the point of shot and fur, blood I knew it was dead. After a tense blood track of around forty metres I almost crushed poor Jo and broke her sternum with the force of the hug and squeals and high fives from me. Yes my first Chinky and it was a beautiful big buck.
There was plenty of light so I got back into position after a photo shoot and gralloch. The sun began to sink lower. Then movement from my left and without need for binos I could see the shape of another Chinese. Scope on it and as I tracked it threading its way through the brush I could see tusks. I couldn't believe my luck a second buck. I composed myself and as he cleared the trees he paused and again I thought the 140grn away this time pinning him through the shoulders and he dropped instantly. No messing this time and no second thoughts this time. I was even more delighted than the first.
Jo had brought me luck and I had achieved not one but two cracking bucks and also christened my new custom stock. I called it a day and as we gralloched the second and bagged them up. Crack Kev had also took a shot and I was just as excited for him as this was his first attempt at a Chinese too. We had had to both share the same area in the afternoon as it transpired that the mornings area had been poached to death "literally"
what a fantastic day I had and I can't thank Ian and Jo enough for making me welcome, comfortable with the area, fairness in pricing and also for excellent banter. Only one moan Ian won't let me keep Jo for every other time I go stalking. You can't have everything. I not only have two new mounts for the wall but three new friends. It was also fantastic to meet Kev from the site and he is gain a real nice guy. You know it's true what they say. "Once you have a Chinese within an hour you fancy another"
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