I had a call during the week from one of the land owners, “There are a lot of deer on the top field, can you do anything about them?”
I was out on Friday, but nothing was showing, so up early on Saturday, and out before first light.
After the long drive over (all of a mile from my door) I pulled off the farm track and out with the bino’s.
Nothing in the first field, but something was moving on the other side of the hedge in the next field. After a little zooming in through the hedge I could see that it was a CWD, not very big and probably from last year.
I set up the .223, checked the clip to confirm 55grn soft points, donned my hat veil and gloves, got the sticks (there was no hurry as they are not the brightest of deer and they have not been pressured on this land), quietly closed the landy door and blended in with the hedge I was parked next to.
It took me no more than a five minutes to make it to the adjoing hedge, apart from dodging the flooded areas there was plenty of cover.
Once at the hedge line I had been aiming for I needed to make around eighty yards to draw level and get a clear shot.
This took another fifteen minutes, as I was waiting for the deer to drop its head in the grass, then I would move. The field is little more than a bog so crawling was out of the question.
Once I was level with the deer the rifle was quickly on the sticks, and within two minutes the deer presented a clear although quartering shot, the scrub from last year is quite high in places so it was a case of take a clear shot or risk clipping some growth on the way in.
I was only 62 yards away, and although he dropped at first he made a few attempts at getting back up, he eventually fell down and stayed down around ten yards from where he started.
I had been watching him for a minute, or rather the area where he dropped as he was mainly hidden in the grass, through the scope when something moved through my line of sight.
I lifted my eye to see a much larger buck heading away from me. He had gone eighty yards away then decided to stop and check why his was not running with him.
I figured that he would run soon but, as I wrote earlier, they are not the brightest of deer, and he started edging back toward me and the fallen deer.
I knew the first deer was gone, so I slowly adjusted position to acquire this new target.
All the time he was alternating between staring at me and at his fallen buddy on the ground, and inching forward in a zig zag pattern.
By the time I had him in my sights he was just inside 100 yards and turning away.
I lined him up and put the round into him from front left shoulder to right side rear shoulder.
He flipped back, ran just short of eighty yards away, staggered and dropped.
He had fallen in plain sight around six metres away from a small river.
I watched him for a few minutes then lifted the rifle and went to check the first deer.
Judging by the tusk length he was a yearling and in good condition. The shot had exited in front of the shoulder opening a large hole through which he had bled out.
During the gralloch I found that the bullet had taken out the bottom part of the heart. He weighed 10.4kgs in the field so a good size for his age.
The larger buck was three or four years old. He was in excellent condition.
The gralloch confirmed that the shot had completely destroyed the heart. He tipped the scales at 13.2kgs.
The larger buck.
The deer together.
When I frist saw the larger buck I thought I had shot his mate, it was only during the gralloch that I realised it was his buddy. Good job we have closed seasons.
The saying goes something like, “a picture says a thousand words”.
After I had completed the gralloch I went to move the landy, only to find it had sunk.
I then spent the next six hours digging it out of the mud.
It had sunk to the axel.
I had to dig out channels, with the only flat looking object I could find, an old fence post (only recently bought the landy and not got all my gear back in it yet so no spade) all along the sides and two meters in front before I found solid enough ground for the tyres to get hold of.
It may not look too bad but this rut was almost at the top of my wellie.
Once I got the landy going and was moving up the field I bumped an even bigger buck that must have been watching me the whole time.
When I finally got back home she who must be obeyed was not impressed, so it’s out again next weekend to see if I can find him.
Not a bad result considering I only took the ground on last year to control the bunnies.