Just a quick write up of a Saturday spent with 270wsm and Herbert from this site.
I was lucky enough to get a decent Job offer two weeks ago and decided that I deserved a treat. Bizarrely, being a shooter was actually really helpful in the interview, but that is a story for another time.
I have known 270WSM (Ade) for a number of years through us both being members of the same range, but up until a couple of Saturdays ago I hadn’t seen him for maybe a year or two. Anyway, we bumped into each other down the range and got chatting and he mentioned he wanted to grass a couple of fallow bucks before the end of the season. At the mentioned of this I arranged to go down last Saturday and also to bring a lad I go foxing/rabbiting with that had recently got his FAC and was keen to get out some experience on the deer before he put in his variation for a proper gun.
I got to south wales from London with just enough light to get out to a local farm and check the zero of my 30-06 and after a couple of hours kip and a very dirty look from my left behind spaniel, Ade who had kindly offered to pick us up, was waiting outside my house for the 0200 start. The journey was uneventful, apart from getting pulled over by the police and we were met by Herbert and Nell(The Springer) at a local pub for a quick brief.
On Ade’s advice we waited for the light to come up a bit, before I was placed in a seat overlooking a promising looking field surrounded by woods on three sides and Ade took the other lad to a seat in the woods.
As soon as I got in the seat I noticed a herd of about 10 fallow milling about in the fair corner of the field about 300 metres away. Whilst watching them intently, I also had a couple of glimpses of a very heavy 6 point roe buck, but unfortunately he was not on my menu that day. As the light really started to come up, the fallow started to head towards my side of the field, where they stopped and milled about before crossing back into the woods, unfortunately the only gentlemen to present a shot was a bit too palmated for my budget, but on exciting 20 minutes all the same. Once they had gone back in all went quiet. I spent maybe another hour and a half in the seat and watched a number of fallow moving, but they were either 300 yards away or in the case of 3 yearling does that came out to feed 80 yards in front of me, the wrong sex. Saw lots of animals though and i wasn't in the office!
I met back up with the lads, who had only seen a fallows bum all morning and we all extracted to breakfast. After breakfasting well, Ade was kind enough to spend most of afternoon walking the novice lad round a small wood block. Having earlier explained shot placement and species and sexing to him, he showed him all the different deer sign from slots to browse lines. He even spotted a roe buck sunning himself, but the lad couldn’t see him. This also lead to a rather amusing incident of the lad asking if a pheasants foot print was that of a Muntjac. Needless to say, I Will never let him live this down and he got ever so slight of a ribbing that day ;-)
Evening came and we swapped seats. I found myself overlooking a lovely piece of woodland that sloped gently up away from me. Within about 10 minutes of me getting there, I heard a noise behind me and was alerted to a small group of fallow moving from behind me. Something must have spooked them as they were shifting, but conscious they were going to cross a ride to my right I readied the rifle. A couple of whistles stopped several of them as they crossed, an ideal pricket within the group was however standing with a doe behind him so I left them go. About 30 minutes passed and I was beginning to think the gods were against me, when I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a roe, head obscured by a tree, but I saw a pizzle and awaited to see what was on top. When he moved I saw he was a spiker and was missing some of the hair off his front and side.
I thought this to be an ideal cull animal and let him pick his way from left to right at about 70 yards until he presented a good shot. The rifle barked and he fell to a H&L shot, quartering fractionally away from me. At the shot he dropped, got back up, slid sideways down the slope about 5 yards and then fell on his back, giving a couple of kicks. Good clean kill, happy boy! I left him about 10 minutes before going and doing the necessary. I had destroyed the heart, but unfortunately quite a bit of the opposite shoulder, but Dead is dead and there was some venison for the freezer.
Again the other lad had failed to connect, seeing only does, but he had enjoyed himself and learnt a lot. And with that we set off home, I got home after being up for 23 hours, but had had a brilliant time in a beautiful part of Hereford and did not want to go back to work on Monday!
It was really great that they were able to cater so well for both levels of experience and although I was disappointed the other lad didn’t get a shot, it is stalking after all, and I felt he came away with a really good grounding in the mechanics of it all. So a big thank you to both Ade and Herbert for making it a really enjoyable day for both of us.
I have booked again in October as a fancy a rematch with one of the big fallow bucks!
Regards to all,