I picked up a new bit of ground about 8 months ago, just rabbits at first. I knew there were deer on there but there was, quite understandably trust to be earned from the landowner before things progressed any further. I've worked pretty hard clearing felled trees and was actually offered the 'upgrade' when I delivered some venison sausages i'd made with a bottle of plonk. He said there was another stalker on the ground but that we were both welcome.
I met the other stalker in the third week of March when I was out trapping moles on the ground. I wondered over to introduce myself as he was gearing up, having parked next to me & the reception was a little defensive, then frosty when I explained our situation. Anyway, without going into my own feelings on stalking does in the third week of March I honestly pointed out where i'd seen some earlier in the week & we swapped numbers after he'd given me a quick fire Q&A:
- How long have you been stalking
- Do you have DSC?
- Yes... 1 or 2?
- Have you had many deer off here... (none)... I've had loads... dozens.
- What caliber rifle do you use?
By this point i've already made up my mind on the bloke and thought it best to ring the farmer later that day, explain i'd met the other stalker and that we'd swapped numbers so that only one of us was on the ground at a time for safety's sake. I got the distinct impression the other bloke wasn't very popular but didn't press it & jokingly said he'd probably be round with a bottle later.
Anyway .... one month later (today) I phone to check it was ok to go round later this evening - all fine. A couple of hours later the farmer phone me back to say the other stalker had had the same idea about stalking this evening and had been round casting insinuations about my age / responsibility & that he wanted me kicked off the ground for safety reasons.... you can't have two stalkers sharing. He didn't quite get the result he wanted as the farmer said if you can't have two sharing sling your hook
So now partly due to my hard work, partly to the other bloke being a complete nob ive got a prime bit of ground to myself which brings me, eventually, onto tonights stalk.
08:10 I arrive - a lovely evening here in North Somerset, still, sunny, mild (ish) good midge weather as well as it turned out but whose complaining. At the neck of the first field I paused to have a good scan not expecing to see anything.. movement along the far treeline... characteristic of a buck doing a territory round from the naked eye and the confirmed with the bins. A nice 6 pointer moving towards me, probably heading for the gate i was now lying in so I pop the lense cover and follow him through the scope through the scrub. He's busy, fray - stamp - sniff, move, fray - stamp - sniff. At aroung 80 meters he puts his head up to nibble something and I take him in the neck and he crumples on the spot.