Sorry title should be THEY'RE BACK.
I posted earlier this year asking for sightings of the missing fallow from North Herts. Well I'm happy to report that since to 1st of April the fallow does have returned on mass. Over the past week we've seen a group of 40+ in the middle of the rape fields (well at least what should be rape). This will please the farmers no end I'm sure.
I've been involved in deer stalking for nearly 10 years and during this whole time I've had two labs that Have been used for rough (I stress rough) shooting. And over the past few years my youngest dog, now 10, has been picking up on a local shoot. Because most if not all of my early deer shooting was done from high seats and neither were what you would call steady. The dogs never came out or had any training on deer.
Well sadly last week we lost my oldest dog, my best friend, Whisper the chocolate lab. This has left both me and my other dog Berry a bit lost. As a result the last few times I've been out deer stalking I've taken him with me. Just for the company and with no expectations other than he might decide that the pheasants are runners he needs to chase down probably just at the wrong moment.
So I went out yesterday morning and decided to sit against a tree on the edge of a spiny on the opposite side of a field where we have a high seat. From the seat and edge of the spiny you can see he whole face of a decent sized wood and of late the deer have been coming out nearer the spiny.
We were in position before dawn and having got my self comfortable. I tried to get berry to settle next to me.
By the time the dawn had broken it seemed the every five minutes I was having to tell him to lay down and stay. I can honestly say I was starting to get cheesed off when I turned and saw that he was sitting bolt upright staring off behind me. He was shaking and flicking his gaze between me and something behind me. I though bloody pheasants. I slowly turned around to see a muntjac about 40m away starring the dog down. Slowly picked up my rifle and bang it was down.
Well berry looked at me as if to say now what dad. I walked him over the the muntjac and having circled it a couple of times I picked it up at which point he decided a game of tug of war was in the offing.
The deer grallocked we went for a short stalk before returning to the spiny. It was such a nice morning and it was still early so I decided we'd have another 20 minutes there and see what was moving about.
Well I was about to call it a mornin when I noticed movement in he middle of the field. A lone fallow running up the field. Usually an indication that its a buck. Bins up looking looking, yes it's a young buck. Rifle up oi oi OI! It stops bang "s!!t". Good reaction but through he scope I see what looks like a cloud of pins. I'm thinking brisket shot I've gone low. My heart sank as it disappeared into the wood.
Went to where I thought it was when I shot and couldn't find anything. Went to the Edge of he wood were it went in and again nothing. Looked to see where he dog was in saw him sniffing around at the edge of the wood 5m away. Went to see what it was that had his attention and saw blood. Lots of blood, a lot more than I expected. So I thought we'll why not "get on then Berry". And off he went. I saw him go into the wood about 20 - 30 metres a disappear coming back towards me. Oh we'll it was worth a try now where's that dog. I walked in over the bank and the was Berry sniffing a very dead fallow buck.
A very happy man. A great morning tinged with the recent loss of a best friend and the regret that I hadn't got into he habit of taking one of my dogs out with me all the time.
I've definitely got myself a new stalking companion.