I managed to find the time and headed out on Saturday 23Feb13 with Robert from StalkinginEngland.
A 2 o’clock meet for a zero and check fire before heading out on the stalk. There was a crisp winter wind blowing but a nice day with a very light snow on the air. Nothing that was going to put us off. We set out on the stalk, with the expert in the lead, showing me his way of stalking. Turns out Robert and I share an obsessive compulsive thought process about stalking, 10 paces, observe, absorb, 10 paces, observe, absorb... and so it repeats. It definitely pays dividends.
Within the first 150 yards, on land that Robert knew, we found a Roe doe lying down on a hedgerow, glassed her and waited. The shot wasn’t on, so it was more from an appreciation for the animal that we observed for a while. Moments later a nice looking Roe buck and another doe appeared out of the ditch and took their place on the hedgerow.
Time was getting on and Robert suggested a retreat and move to a seat. Which turns out was a great idea. Its like these guys are professionals
We headed off to a known site, with a great high seat in the middle of a commercial tree plantation. We got comfy for the wait….
Shortly afterwards, the dominant Muntjac for the plantation tips up. He feeds a little, and we wait, and wait, and wait. Cautious little blighter this one… However he managed to see off another Roe doe and one other that we couldn’t see but he could. All in all very interesting to watch, and he remains in the plantation to elude French David and his stalking prowess
Just as darkness was falling, the perfect cull Muntjac wanders out. Through my naff binos, not really purchased for stalking, the light wasn’t quite good enough to observe, but the Zweiss that Robert takes out were great. And the S&B 8x56 has extremely good twilight properties. We ID’d him as right for the cull, lined him up, and I took him. A good thud, but he dashed forward about 20 yds. We listened, and then tracked forward, found him where the engine had cut out. Turns out the round went into the engine room and in the gralloch and inspection we found that I’d actually split the heart in two with the round. More luck than skill, but at least he didn’t suffer.
I was blooded in the traditional stalkinginengland way with my grab and grin photo shown below.
Back to the larder and a lesson in butchery followed.
A great day out. Followed by great company, food and drink. Thanks to all involved at stalkinginengland, heres to the first of many