I initially wrote this as a blog but seems no one visits there that much so I have moved it over.
With the first glimmer of hope for the season, weather wise, I thought I would have an early morning trip to the woods. The area I was stalking will be off limits from next month for a couple of years as the construction crews move in to plant windmills. Before anyone moans, there is already over a hundred mills in the area. They do not affect the deer and I find them quite pleasant. The lazy hypnotic turning and the quiet thwap as the blade goes over centre. I was up at half four and heading to the high seat. The trailer was on the back because win or lose today the high seat was being taken off site. I was in the seat by five fifteen. As it is clear fell there is inevitably a bit of noise as you go in. Branches under the moss cannot be avoided. I found the seat on its side but a couple of minutes had it back on its feet. Then the long wait would begin. It was a pleasant but cool morning. Note to self, musto is not as warm as muck boots. The scarlet sky heralded the sunrise and sure enough the sun soon tipped the trees at the other side of the clear fell. As it worked its way down something blonde was coming towards me. No such luck, gentlemen. I actually thought it was a feral cat. It turned out to be the smallest fox I have seen and the lightest coloured. I have seen plenty foxes. It appeared about thirty yards out and got to within ten yards of the highseat. As I tried to get the rifle round it made me. It did not panic. It trotted casually away into the clear fell. The world was coming alive. A pair of duck flew over. The pigeons were creating a racket as they flew from the roost. Then the morning choir got into full song. The sun was creating warmth now.
As it approached seven the hydro boys were heading for their offices behind me to the left. About ten past, I caught a flash of white from the stand of the mature larch in the direction of the offices. I watched and a big buck came over onto the clear fell to immediately disappear into the thick scrub. Then came the longest ten minutes of the morning. The antlers were the only thing occasionally seen as it moved in across about seventy five metres out. As it came out the brush directly in line with the side of the highseat there were two rows of self seed with clear vision between. The rifle was ready but it did not stop but as it cleared the second row there was a clear flat area. It stopped, looked round and then looked up. It was catching its last ray of sunshine. The 100gn Winchester in .243 took it straight through the heart on full broadside, 75 mitres out.
It is my best head to date. Larder weight was 17kgs. On inspection it has been through the wars. It has a broken, healed rib. It also has a bit of wood about 4 inches long spiked into its head between its antlers possibly from cleaning itself. The buck was seen several times last year but after the bucks closed.
I loaded the deer, then the high seat. Like me the high seat will be moving on to new ground in the very near future. It was only placed there about four weeks ago when the snow came. In all I have five high seats coming off that site. This was the only one that had not claimed a deer. It did so just before it left the site. Jim
The Stalking Directory