I haven't been on the site for a while - this actually goes back to the fallow rut when Foxdropper & I went to have a look out with Steve, a mate of 'The Stalker', who is fortunate enough to have some truely superb Fallow ground down in Devon. FD scored a nice buck which I think he's already put on here but, as its my first fallow, thought id do it justice as well... all-be-it a bit later.
Leaving FD at the highseat after he won the coin toss Steve and I got in the truck and went to scope out a few likely spots before deciding where to lay up later. Steve is lucky enough to have some very good ground covering a fair acreage making up a patchwork quilt of devonshire countryside hills with pasture, forrestry and scrub. Its all within close proximity so plenty of variety. After a good recce Steve left me at the most likely spot, only a small patch of 50 acres or so but in a barn as shelter which I was fine by me as the weather was pretty damp by this time. I'd only just finished ranging the likely spots when I heard the truck return and Steve say he'd seen a good herd down the road so we set off after them. We worked our way down the hedge and watched a herd of over a dozen does grazing. No bucks amongst them but we stayed just encase and its was really nice to observe them, especially as they came to within 15 yards of us.
It got to the make or break time in the evening where we had just enough time to relocate to another spot so decided to go back to the barn and I arranged to stalk up to the barn and meet Steve on the other side. The drizzle by this point had turned into a thick mist and, while I could make out some antlered bucks the vis was generally crap and I couldn't see behind them so I sacked it off on safety grounds. Frustatingly Steve said he was within 40 yards of some decent representative head fallow whilst waiting for me to turn up! We managed to contact FD and through some miracle found him in a valley in the near pitch black and impervious mist... should have made him drag it
The following morning after too much food and a couple of pints I wasn't exactly twinkle toes - the gear was still cold and saturated from the night before from selflessly rescuing Foxdropper in the deluge but it had cleared up a treat and we were all keen
We left FD at the same spot and went to check out a hill which had shown Steve some good fortune before:
It was just on the cusp of first light when we got arrived and were higher up than where the pic was taken. A large herd of fallow was towards the left side of the field judging by the dard blobs I could see through my bins and there was very evidently a mature buck keeping them in line judging from the larger black blob running figure of eights round the group. We stalked along the hedge and I got set up, seated on the long bipod and looking down on top of them. As the light slowly improved I was able to pick up the buck in the gloom but he was constantly on the move consolidating the herd and was a decent range at 180 meters. Minutes later Steve warned that the herd was getting edgy in the strengthening light and that i'd have to make my decision soon. As far as I was concerned the light was only just borderline shootable even then but gave the scope a couple of clicks and illuminated the dot tempting fate to wait a couple more minutes. I was not sooner happy with the light when finally stopped plumb broadside so i let him have it at 165 meters clearly hearing the thump and seeing it confirmed in the scope when he flicked his front legs out and made a haggered dash before piling up 20 yards further on.
To say I was happy with the result was an understatement when we eventually found him in the long grass, especially as the gralloch revealed his heard had been cleaved in two by the shot. After some huffing and puffing we loaded him up and went to get him ready for the larder whilst we waited for FD to join us.
He's now got pride of place above the gunsafe:
Sadly the wife only 'allows' me to have one trophy in the house... I'm working on it but the rest is currently consigned to the ourside loo!