Had a great stalk with Jon Snowdon Alfie (Jon's dog of renowned fame!!) and his guest, new to stalking Tony from Blyth
we all met up at the rendezvous, Jon took us to several places, but the wind was quite strong, so it was the Leaward side, and sheltered areas we first visited, no luck. We then ended up at a forestry block, almost no wind at all!!. We walked along this long corridor of Scots Pine for about 200 yards, Alfie started to go on point, and as we got nearer to a new block of Forestry we could see why Alfie showed as much interest, in front of us at about 100 metres was a Doe and her last years Kid.
Jon indicated to Tony to load up and "get ready", Tony took no persuading at all, (great to see a youngster carrying out the instructions with no fuss at all, as though he had done all this a thousand times before, in fact he had only been out stalking twice before!!) We stalked to about 80 yards, Jon deployed the sticks,Tony took over, and in a second gun mounted, aim taken, shot taken, "good shot reload" Jon said, the Kid made into the tight foresty block, Jon said time to look for "pins & paint". Plenty of pins, no paint......now this is where Alfie really earns his corn, and I suppose so does Jon!!, Alfie was wanting to go into the foresty block, so off they went and after about 20 minutes back they came with Tony's third deer in as many outtings!! Jon's face was covered in blood from the dense pine needles, but I think it actually improves his looks!!
Was young Tony chuffed, or what, well of course after after Tony's shot, the Doe made off, so we were taken to another block close by, I stalked this extensively, but without success, saw one or two but off the boundary. I returned to Jon & Tony and decided a cup of tea was in order, but Jon being Jon said "you know where the Kid was shot, stalk back there and over the next ridge, Iam sure the Doe will be in the area", I did as the Boss said with no encouragement
Back to the shot site I stalked and beyond in the still sheltered block, coming to the brow, and glassing vey slowly, there she was 140 yards away, but she was obscured by some silver birch, so swallowing hard I stalked to about 100 yards, she was still feeding, but still no broad side, I waited for about 15-20 minutes, then she walked into the open, broad side, good back stop, automation took over, crack went the moderated .243 Mannichler, I could see her, falter slightly, then dash forward, but no classic heart shot, I thought missed!!. Jon and Alfie quickly came to my aid, once again Jon said "search the shot site for pins & paint", both me and Tony searched what I thought was the shot site....nothing I searched a further 20 yards on, and there it was lots of "pins", but as with Tonys earlier shot, no paint" Alfie meanwhile was going daft, so I felt more heartened
"Once more into the breach Jon said to Alfie", and both disappeared into the thick foresty block, we could hear Alfie shouting on almost identical to Tony's situation. After what seemed to be a very long time Alfie and Jon found the beast, which was still alive, but Alfie was not letting it go anywhere, we joined Jon and Alfie some 80-90 meteres into the thick foresty block, just in time to see Jon adminster the Coup De Grace through the atlas joint, a satisfying end to a stalk which resulted in the humane despatch, but could have ended differently had we had not had an experienced stalker and dog. Many thanks Jon & especially Alfie from both Tony & me.