Well since the hinds have finished on the ground in Scotland I was getting withdrawal symptoms, so thought it was time to try find a few Munty to keep me sane.
Spent a few evenings on a little patch between two small woodland parcels. Plenty sign of them but after 4 evenings not even a sighting.
There are plenty of footpaths in the area so began to think the deer may be nocturnal. Hadn't had time to set the camera's to see so this week thought I'd try another little place on another farm. I haven't been able to shoot on this farm till recently with FAC as I had a closed ticket and the land was only passed for 17 HMR. So been there on rabbits with the SG and pigeons coming in to roost. While there I've always seen munty.
This week I decided this was to be my target but to make it more of a challenge only looking for a decent buck. I've never shot a good buck so would be nice to get my first on my own little patch.
First night went out and stalked along the edge of the wood that runs the whole length of a massive field. Probably getting on for 1/2 a mile. Near the far end I sat up against the fence and waited for all to settle. The rabbits began to come out onto the field margin which is left about 20ft wide as they do so much damage. Then after a while I decided to have a look over a small hump and up the woodland edge, poked my head over to see 2 deer grazing on the rough grass. Dropping back down I was thinking I'd take my bag and rifle and try crawl into 100 yds or less so I could clearly see if either was a good buck.
Then the phone rang it was Prometheus confirming a level 2 stalk. After a longer than expected call I put the phone on silent and looked again. Still there I crawled toward them, but by the time I was as near as I dare get the light was about gone and I couldn't tell which was which let alone see any antlers. So watched for a while till they clocked me. Both deer stood looking and one barked repeatedly but I couldn't tell which and to be honest don't know if it would be more likely to be the male or female barking. So I let them move off for another day.
This evening returned to find 1 deer in the same place and once again slowly moving away from me. Stalking gently along I got to about 100 yds. The deer just out of sight round the corner I made my way to a tree on the fence line hoping he would be 50-60 yds away and in line for a nice shot. Got there looked round the tree, and NO deer he must have wandered into the wood. Waited a good while in case he popped out near by but no such luck.
Light was pretty much gone now but on turning round saw a fox couple hundreds yards away but he ws not interested in my squeeks and continued on his way. This area is no place for long shots as there is just too much built up area in the background. Along way off but I'd never take the chance in case of ricochet.
Working my way steadily back I wasn't expecting to see much but thought I'd go slow just in case I did. Even if light was bad it would give me an idea if any more munty about.
To my surprise I could see 2 way out in the field. I moved in with the wind coming from across the field blowing toward the wood. I planned to try stalk past them so there was no houses in the background, just open countryside. I got level with them, one good size and a smaller one. I thought a doe and well grown follower, so wasn't botherd about a shot. Then the smaller one moved off fairly quickly into the wood leaving the larger one looking at me from the field.
I froze looking through the bins as it moved closer to me. Closer and closer till I could see a cracking pair of antlers, no chance of getting the gun up on the sticks as he was watching intently. He came to within 10yds. Nearest I've ever been to a live deer. I couldn't belive the size of him, broad back and wide across the shoulders and sporting a good 5" of antler. He stood direct infront stamping his foot while eyeing me up.
After what seemed like an age he moved off maintaining the distance right past me and back toward where I'd come from. A great experience on a lovely evening. I'll be back in the morning see if he's there. I'd love him on my wall after a good stalk.
In all I saw 2 others on the way back so 5 in total.
For me it doesn't get any better than tonight even though I didn't make the shot, he'll be there for another day and since I've only such a little patch I'll probably only take one buck and one doe this year so I want to earn them.
Hope you enjoyed.
I'll put some pick up if I get him.