....well I was on holiday last week; no specific plans made beforehand - apart from stopping the kids driving Mrs Merlin completely around the twist - but with fanciful notions of perhaps partaking in some form of shooting whilst I was off.
Unfortunately pigeoning was kyboshed due to there being no pigeons on the farms I can shoot on, and a possible fishing trip with a mate was scuppered due to weather....the week was rolling by, and I was thinking that I'd be back at work soon without having indulged myself (stop sniggering at the back...).
So - Wednesday evening found me checking SD for opportunities, and much to my surprise John Robson at YDS had a free slot for the Thursday evening. Bingo! Cue some hasty texts, final confirmation at about 10pm, an the following day found me crossing the pennines towards Yorkshire.
I met John, and we headed over to one to his patches, having a catch-up natter as we drove (I went to Finland with John last winter and got a belter of a whitetail buck). Upon arrival we headed to the far end of the farm so that we could spot back towards the field edges, but as the wind had shifted direction, there was a quick change of plan and we instead went back to the other end of the field to continue the recce. After around 30 mins without seeing any movement, we headed down a track to a wooded area that dropped down into a clearing before hitting trees again, and as we stalked through the first belt of trees, John was fuelling my sense of anticipation by telling me how we were heading towards a promising area......
We had literally just stepped to the edge of the treeline and were scanning in opposite directions with the bins when John hissed "Buck! And he looks quite good...!"
At first glance when I turned round I couldn't see said buck, but I was everso slightly further up the slope than John, so some rapid repositioning got me locked on.....(ok, ok.....it wasn't a Hawkeye moment.....the buck turned and I saw a big white ar*e patch that was the giveaway....). Sticks up, rifle up - the buck was quite relaxed, I just needed him to turn broadside on.....after a bit of mooching this way and that, he presented a clear shot, so there was a boom as the .308 broke the peace.... and the buck was straight down, around 85 yards from where we stood. We gave him a few minutes, and then John let Breeze forward to locate the buck - which was precisely where he'd fallen.
When we got to him, the shot had been good, and the buck was clean-antlered, very symmetrical, and by John's eyes, not too far from being a bronze.
My only disappointment was that I didn't get the full "Good shot, reload" experience, as after the shot I cycled another round in that fast that it was in the chamber by the time John had got as far as "Good shot" !!!
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