I had been pointed in the direction of a chap in Suffolk by hottopic who was unable to take me out himself. So I set off from home at 2:45 am for the two and a half hours drive to Suffolk. I had arranged to meet Pete at 5:45 in the car park of a local pub then to follow him to the farm. No dramas on the way up and on arrival a crisp and frosty morning greeted me. I had made good time and was at the pub 15 mins early and Pete duly arrived at 5:45. A short trip to the farm and straight out onto his ground. As the sun starts to come up its obvious its going to be a glorious day with next to no wind and not a cloud in the sky.
We head off to hopefully find some Fallow and within half an hour in the distance we see two fallow slowly moving away from us feeding as they go. Well with such a still and frosty morning the sound of our crunchy footsteps must have carried for 100's of yards because the deer had made us before we could get any where near. And after a bit more of a look around and nothing showing Pete suggested a sit in a doe box on the edge of a small clearing in the woods. After an hour or so a Muntjak Doe wondered into the clearing and that was not only my first deer of the day but my first Munty.
Later in the day around 3:30 pm we set off for the evening stalk. Pete had had a couple of calls during the day from some farmers reporting sightings of deer in a couple of places, so a plan was formed to look in these locations first then back to a wood near the farm for the last hour. Well the first field when we got there was being drilled so not any chance of a stalk there. So he said we would have a little nosey across the road. As we drove down the edge off the field we caught sight of a Roe doe to our left. Stopped the truck and glassed the deer to confirm it was a Doe and while we was doing this a second doe appeared. So got into a good position and Pete said a shot was possible on the smallest of the 2 and if he was happy that the first one was down he would give me the word to take the second if a shot presented. First shot and the first Roe down at about 170 yards, the second deer ran out in the field in an arch and stopped about 80 yards from us "right o" says Pete and the second Roe is in the bag.
Gralloched the deer and put them in the back of the truck and Pete was really chuffed for me and I was quite pleased myself at this point and was prepared to call it a day happy as Larry. But Pete had other ideas, he said we have a bit of time left lets see if we can get you on a Fallow. So headed back towards his place to a bit of woodland he said we would be guaranteed spot a fallow of two.
We arrived at said piece of woodland but no deer, so he said "want to see some deer I will show you some deer" and headed up hill around the side of the wood. When we got to the top off the hill looking down the other side two fields over a heard of Fallow and we recond on 70-80 beasts. Pete said they are pretty much always on the same 3 fields and the owner does not want them shot. Apparently the spend all day in this small area and go on night ops after dark raiding neighbouring farmland returning to their safe haven by dawn. Well I had seen Fallow even if I had not managed to shoot one. On they way back down the hill Pete says "sod it lets have one last look at the bottom by the wood" well we got there and nothing but undeterred he parked up in a gateway and said we would have 10 minutes sit and see. Well bugger me not 5 minutes later a Yearling Fallow buck strolls out of the wood and starts grazing the crop. " Off you go and don't come back without it" he says. I grabbed my .270 put one up the spout put the safety on and set about closing the 500 yard gap between me and the Fallow. The woodland was on my right and curved gently out and round to my left. so i had to stalk about a hundred and fifty yards with nothing between me and the Fallow but a 5 inch high crop, so only moving while the deer had his head down i managed to get to a point where I could no longer see him nor him me. So my next move was to get another couple of hundred yards closer before moving out into the field to get a clear line of sight. I am now at a point I feel my forward push is enough and now flat on my stomach a now shuffle crab like sideways out into the field about 10 yards, I now see the deer is still at the spot and had no inkling that I was there. At this point my heart rate was racing both with the excitement of this long stalk and the anticipation of my first Fallow. Rifle on bipod looking through the scope confirmed a young buck still unaware of my presence but I felt that the rough grassed area with tall weeds and odd bramble between the wood and the crop and some 20-30 yards in front of me may cause a problem. So just in case i moved anther 2 or 3 yards out now 100% happy with my line of sight I put the cross hair on target for a heart lung shot and took half a dozen deep breaths to calm myself safety off nice and quietly and gently squeezed. And that was that my first fallow lay in front of me.
3 species of deer in 1 day and 2 firsts my first Muntjak and my first Fallow needless to say I was like a dog with 2 tails for the rest of the day. So many thanks to Tim (hottopic) for arranging my day and to Pete for taking me out at short notice and going that extra mile to make my day the best it could be. After taking the Fallow back to the farm to gralloch under some light sorting my gear out and saying good bye i headed off home and arrived back home just before 10 pm, a long day but my best stalking day to date.
The first pic is the veiw from the Doe box and unfortunately as great a bloke Pete is he did manage to get his finger in the way when photographing my Fallow but I forgive him as he provided such a cracking day