Well it all finally came together yesterday. I havenít been able to get out much in recent months on the small permission that I have. The pupís training has been neglected and the landowner was getting a little restless for some venison. So first light yesterday saw me out on the ground looking for the elusive fallow. Unlike on previous recent visits the signs of deer were not so prevalent and I was coming to the conclusion that any deer on the ground had gone fully nocturnal. After stalking down through most of the ground I took up residence in my newly re-sited high seat and waited but now I had a much more extensive view of the ride than previously. Just as I was about frozen to the core and about to give up doubting the advisability of moving the seat I spotted the first of eight fallow moving up through the woods.
I didnít really want to shoot a mature doe and was hoping for a buck or a small immature doe but I felt obligated to take any opportunity that presented itself. In turn each deer passed the small window in the trees that offered a clear unobstructed shot each stopping for a second or so in the gap as if it intended for me to assess the deer before it disappeared out of sight. After five had passed I thought I was about to lose all chance of a shot and doubted that my ideal candidate would stop long enough for a shot and had to make a quick decision. Eventually a decision was made and a shot taken. The doe didnít drop on the spot but run on approximately 50 yards and dropped under the trees having re-entered the plantation. Having climbed down from the seat I walked the 60 or so yards to the impact point and noted pins on the ground but no paint. I feared a repeat of a couple of weeks ago when I was stalking with Roedinator and grazed a deer but without disturbing the scent trail walked back a few steps to where I could look down the rows of trees and spotted my doe down the third avenue back. I marked the impact point and went back to the car for Brno my GWP pup, an ideal training opportunity.
On returning with the dog I sat him down although he was already showing great interest in the pins on the floor and put him on the long tracking lead. Head went down and he was locked on like an exoset missile. Without wavering or searching around he pulled like a train straight down the path for 30 yards and then made a 90 degree turn to the right. I could see from the pine needles that a deer had made a sudden turn at this point so followed him he then went a further 10 or 15 yards and started to hunt the trail in a methodical manner by now I could see the where the doe had come to rest and eventually he tracked straight to her and approached her without any hesitation, well actually he grabbed her ear and started pulling on her until told to leave and sit. For a first ďfollow upĒ I was most impressed, he obviously has it in him. I just wish that I can do him justice and not neglect his training any further. Needless to say he had earned his tin of sardines, which is what I have always give my dogs as a treat.
After gralloching it was just a matter then of dragging and carrying a big doe 500 yards uphill to the car. If the previous stalker on this ground hadnít have dragged the landowner out of bed at 05.00 Hrs one August morning a few years back to recover a buck perhaps he would still be amenable to allowing the use of his quad. Instead of that he stood at the top of the field and waved at me and shouted ďOh good you got one thenĒ. I think I am going to have to take it easy today as Iím totally shattered.