Not really much of a write up I’m afraid. I was kindly invited out for a stalk on Tuesday afternoon/evening at a friend’s farm in West Sussex. He has roe and fallow on the land, but the roe are few and so it was just a few end of season fallow bucks on the menu.
We started around 4pm, drove up to two large fields split by a very thin thicket. Immediately we saw a large group of bucks out in the middle, approx. 300m away. Unfortunately the wind wasn’t in our favour and they got up and moved off at a leisurely pace into the far woodland. We waited a while and then decided to flank round them and come at them with the wind in our favour. After stalking for 30 mins through the woodland, we came across the group. About 20 bucks, some real big ones, but most have now cast their antlers. They hadn’t moved far into the woodland at all, literally five meters in.
I tried moving round them a bit to get a better backstop and the wind in the perfect direction for us. I thought one had clocked me and then he laid down, so was clearly not that bothered if he had. I moved further round only to glance up and see a buck staring straight at me, from about 40m away. I stood bolt upright and rifle on sticks and suddenly all 20 odd of them stood up, I took aim on a medium sized one (he was a bit bigger than I had thought to start with) and pulled the trigger hitting him in the chest. He ran maybe 40m before dropping. That was me quite chuffed, shame he had cast his antlers. He weighed in at 125lbs larder weight, head and feet off.
As it was such a warm sunny day on Tuesday we took him straight to the dealer which wasn’t that far away. There were plenty of flies about, even doing the gralloch and so we thought it best to get him straight into the chiller before they decided to settle and lay eggs.
When we came back we headed back up to the same place we first pulled up to that afternoon. We sat in the truck for a while to see what may turn up onto the fields (wheat, now about 20-30cms high). After maybe 20 mins we saw a small group of bucks in the far corner of one of the fields, about 500m way at this point. We could make these out as bucks as some still had their antlers. It appears only the young and big/old bucks have cast here, although I doubt it’ll be much longer before they all go.
We stalked up the thicket between the two fields, only to discover the bucks had vanished, as they do, by the time we had got into a suitable position (albeit for a long shot). Then a group of does appeared in the field…almost from nowhere, maybe about 15-20 in total. We stood there for 30 mins or so just watching them, blissfully unaware of our presence…they were 300m away with the wind in our faces.
Then a group of four small prickets turned up and started mingling with the does, it took a while before they came close enough for a shot, un-bunched themselves, and we were in a position with enough of a backstop. My mate then shot one of the prickets, also chest shot, about 150m. Unfortunately the group moved away from us before we could get a second pricket, only to be joined by another group of does, maybe 30. They eventually all moved off, over the boundary.
Absolutely stunning afternoon weather wise, good company, topped off with seeing a good number of deer still and managing to put two in the larder. My mate’s pricket was small at 55lbs larder weight, head and feet off. Good condition though.
I have to admit I do enjoy woodland/farmland stalking in such conditions, especially for fallow.