Hi all ,
Some of you may have seen the thread a couple of weeks ago when Wayne and Andy came down to exmoor for a quick overnight trip, we had some good fortune and good but very cold weather.
A date was set for a return trip being the weekend just gone, me and Giles would travel up Friday to arrive in time for a evening outing.
We had a slow journey up and I was starting to panic about upsetting our hosts and missing out on an opportunity at the munties. I love these little creatures, elusive and ever watchful they hardly ever keep still. Not to mention if they know your around they just hang back bark at you from what would normally be well within range outside of cover constantly letting you know they know where you are!
All this I have learnt from previous trips with Wayne and Andy, another thing that I have learnt is that a dog is a BIG advantage and not just for following up , wounded deer.
It was around 5 years ago that Wayne and I first got in touch to sort some swap hunting , so in that time I have seen Wayne's dog Max work quite a few times. I can honestly say that every time we have hunted Max has always been a real asset and I know Wa yne is very proud of him and so he should be.
Probably best if I don't describe every outing but just the couple that will stay as great memories for the rest of my life .
Saturday morning saw us heading for a high seat a short walk into the wood , the plan was to sit for a while then quietly walk the very convenient rides to try and spot a munty from. Now I'll tell you all that it was a chilly morning and sitting still does not help in keeping warm, this coupled with the fact that I personally don't like sitting in high seats ,even more so when my stomach is burbling away and I can feel Wayne thinking "oh no "! I would far rather be walking although I use them alot as we all know they can be a great advantage.
I think experience counts for a lot in any walk or aspect of life and you really should listen to people who a lot of it. I guess Wayne felt me fidgeting and explained that this area and seat felt "right" I knew what he meant I could feel it too. Mist was rolling in and out of the wood but the sun was now starting to warm things up a little. I jumped as a munty eitherwinded us or just felt like letting all know that this was his / her territory. The woods and munty managed to make locating the noise quite hard but after a few minutes we knew the general area. Scanning the area through the bins , eventually I spotted him through a vee that two tree's made, I could only see two legs and a little lower chest. Gun now up I watched as each time he barked one leg moved ! Just at this moment it became obvious that the mist was rolling in particularly thick, so thick that even in the woods we could not see 40 yards. I think munty knew that it was time to move on and although we didn't see him again even when the mist cleared we could certainly hear him higher and a little further away. It was then that I realized my heart was going flatout and I had forgotten all about cold toes.
About 20 mins later we set off on foot , slowly and carefully glassing into the undergrowth for chestnut colours or an outline or movement with Max at heel. Max did stop to point and sniff at one stage and it was probably a pheasant as quite a few about. Mist now gone and Sun out we reached a high point and took in the beautiful surroundings , starting back down the track Max , who heels on the left stood across Wayne and sniffed the air quite vigorously we glassed but could see nothing in what looked like a fairly open area. Max kept pointing the same way and literally stopping Wayne. We were just about to push on when Wayne spotted a munty on the skyline, we got into postion I missed first shot but got the little buck with the second. I was happy hunter but for me the highlight was Max working. He earnt his breakfast and some that morning.
On another stalk Wayne pointed me in the direction of the high seat and his last words were you'll be able to see my truck so could I keep an eye on it ! An hour later I've not seen a munty but Wayne a couple of hundred yards sway has had two shots , I'm just starting to think that I'm only here as security ! When from the cover in front (which I have just scanned with the binos) out jumps a munty buck from exactly where Wayne said they should emerge, how does he do it.
Giles was over the moon with his outings and scored twice , it would have been great if Andy had taken a beast aswell but it was not to be.
I'm really looking forward to when they come down during the red rut , I only hope I can give them the same level of hospitality.
Wayne the photo god has put up some great photos already and mine were taken with my mobile so I won't put any more up except for one where Wayne appears to be praying to a tin of quality street !
Wayne and Andy , we both thankyou and owe you.