Keep reading on the SD all the training ads at the moment plus about how good a shots supposedly are, but never hear why we need some training or about the not so good shots. Well I'm going to share an incident that happened to me some twenty years ago.
A guy who shot on some land my brother owned got me into deer stalking up in the boarders. All the guys in the syndicate were late forties and myself nineteen. I was a massive fox and rabbit hunter. But this opened my eyes to something Ive never let go of.
I owned a .223 and shot a roe or two with it. But round the camp fire in the north I was always ribbed that it was not man enough, for deer or myself. So I joined minsterly range when Mitch own it and moved up to a .243 Tika . I was in the big league, so I thought. Shot roe and fallow no problem plus it would clover leaf at 100yrds. But alas I was still in the little league.
I was like a lamb to the slaughter. Being young and impressed by the mature stalkers with all the knowledge in the world.I was persuaded to get a bigger calibre. 308 Rem 700 plastic fantastic. Now I was in the champion league and fxxx knows how but they all insisted I needed 180/200 gr bullets so I bought a load of them. Having my fillings rattled and my shoulders touching when I pulled the trigger was all part of being a hunter, so I thought.
I was lucky to hit a man size target with 3 rounds at 100 yrds. It shot like shxx, I would had more luck duck tapping my hunting knife to the barrel, and someone shouting CHARGE! But I persevered different loads, change of brass you name I did it. Finally I could at a push get a reasonable group. But look at that dam rifle the wrong way and back to the drawing board.
Which brings me to the story.
I was a very green stalker who had a lot to learn and a good professional stalker was worth watching.
Three times a year we would go to shoot fallow on the Duke of Northumbria's estate with Colin the head stalker, just two hunters for the day. Great guy with good humour but very dry. The first two years I went the 243 was the calibre of choice and served me well. But the third year was my infamous 308. On the range one shot bulls eye, Colin was happy so the rifle was put away. On the particular February day I was spot one with my first shot. So away we went.
It was tried and tested over many years, Colin would leave one of us over looking a valley or on the edge of a ride. The other stalker would go with him and stalk the fallow. Usually the stalker would get a shot and the rest would come past the seated gun. I shot lots of fallow does and Prickets.
But on this day I had walk with Colin an shot two fallow moving them in Oliver's direction. To which he bagged another two. The day was going well.
It was my turn to sit and wait. Colin told me to be ready I was on a bank and was a shored that the fallow would come past me along the track and to shoot anything that was not a buck.
As I'm waiting there was some movement in the trees opposite me. Raised my gun, why I did not use my Binos I don't know. Through the scope I saw a deer, not just one but many. Good god I never heard then.
Safety off BANG! The one I picked was still there. BANG! Still there, BANG. GIVE UP. STILL THERE.
Then my my ass dropped out my pants my world collapsed. I wanted a TARDIS. The deer Finally moved and to my horror a monster red stepped out the trees. It hit me I was aiming at a red yearling. I ran over praying the carnage was not to bad. Not one carcass or two, but none I could find.
Colin and olive arrived all cheerful shouting how many. Soon removed the smile off Colin's face.
Not often see a Scottish guy cry. Nooo nooo nooooo, this is all he could say. " they only arrived in the summer. "
The day was not lost we found all 3 bullet holes in the trees, only god know how! But 3 dead trees and all reds accounted for.
Went on to shot another fallow under supervision but Colin never beard a grudge against me.
But on leaving he took me to one side and gave me a piece of paper with a name and number on it. His words were. " three thing for next year 1 ring the man on the paper 2 dooont ever bring that drain pipe again and buy something you like and 3 don't take any advice from that lot any more.
I took his advice, 308 rem 700 turned into a 25-06 stainless Tika which I still own and the number was for David Stretton and did my DSC1
I have greatly improved in twenty years. But have never forgotten this day.