After finishing my daughters birthday cake, I thought, its time to let you know about my fantastic short trip to Wayne for another great hunt for roebucks.... Most of you know already, my absolut addiction....
OK, I arrived late morning in Birmingham, much better weather than in Germany, so I was happy and ready to start!
Wayne picked me up and a short drive later, we arrived at his place.
A little snack, a cup of coffee, a "Hello" to his wife and the dogs (including the famous "Max") and some test shots later we changed into hunting clothes and headed off to one of his roe grounds.
According to the weather, most grass fields just started to green up, so it was up to us to cover some ground, looking for fields offering already some good forage...
We went to places I do already know from the years before, so stalking these areas is quite used to both of us.
Most of you may have seen Waynes posted thread about the age of an roebuck he filmed a few weeks ago, called "The tall one" (or just "him"). He was for sure one on the list, also we did know from last year that he may have his territory in an area which wouldnt allow us any access or success (gardens, houses, no safe backstop, ...).
First we stalked a well known large field, where I was able to get some very nice heads the years before.
Reaching the far corner we soon spotted a lonely roe feeding along the edge, a quick view through the binos secured a nice looking roebuck! We made our way to a wooden highseat, climbed it and watched the buck feeding totally undisturbed.
The range was about a 160 meters already and he kept feeding away from us, I checked my rest and after a while we decided not to risk anything and not to take the shot... We kept watching the scenery, another very promising youngster showed up, two does came out feeding and one doe already had her little one with her, what a great evening and start!
Last light found us heading down to the area where we expected "The tall one" to stay in and sure enough, he was there, feeding safe in one of the gardens... We watched him for a while, he looked really scruffy, still velvet on one side of the antlers, one eye looked swallen, after all , somehow not healthy and in a not good condition...
We drove back home, time for some quick beers and a short snoring, before back out again!
We scanned the area from last night first, saw "him" again, you already know where... Damned!
Then we reached an upper field and spotted a buck laying down in the taller grass with a doe next to him, a quick jump out of the car, a few more steps to a fence pole, rifle up on it and ready for him to get up... It took him a while, long enough for me to heat up the buck fever, as he got broadside the crosshairs went on him and I took the shot. But it was a bad one, too low, the buck ran off a few yards, looked back and allowed me another shot, which then dropped him in his tracks.
Approaching him, we saw a really fine buck:
A quick bleeding the beast and off we went to another area, where Wayne knew another nice six-pointer.
We scanned the area, realized two does bedded down along a hedgerow, but couldnt spot the expected buck, so we headed off to look over some meadows Wayne just got the permission to stalk on above the one we just looked at. Nothing there.
So back down to the hedgerow, the does were up and a nice buck, the expected six-pointer with them!
Another quick sneaking on to another fence pole, another shot fired and down he went (yes Wayne, I know, it was much too high, but dropped him in his tracks, right?):
Really nice head with very good color on it!
Now it was time to gralloch both beasts and do another quick scan on "him"... You already know, where he was at, dont you..?
OK, time to head back home. After a stop by, we prepared for some pigeon shooting and drove to to a farm to do so, there wasnt much traffic, so we drove home for a snooze, before being back out in the field we went the afternoon before...
We got there very early, because we wanted to cut some branches in front of an highseat taking the sight to the side we expected the buck to come from.
We finished "work" and drove further down for another quick scan for "him", this time, he wasnt around, or at least not showing up...
So back to the field, this time Wayne went into the wooden highseat in the corner and I moved on about 80 yards further into the field on a smaller iron ladder. We settled in, prepared ourselves, I got my camera on the bipod and focussed to the direction I expected the buck to come from and sat back to relax. I took some pictures of Wayne (even more relaxed, right mate?) and waited for something showing up...
After a while, nothing moving on my left hand side (the one I expected the main action from) I realized a movement to the right-it was the expected buck, grazing his way right into my wind, being already in between Wayne and me!
I saw Wayne getting his camera ready to film the scene, but was absolutely sure not to take the shot (also safe) near the direction of Wayne and let the buck pass by closer into my direction... It took him long enough to get me shaking like a leaf again on the so loved buck fever....
Finally he reached the "drop zone", just 15 yards in front of me, the shot went off, the buck ran off, but just to stop and drop right in front of the fenceline, about 20 meters from where the shot was taken, great!
I couldnt believe what just happened and needed a moment to cool down the fever before we reached another great and heavy looking roebuck:
After cleaning him, the sky turned black and we could see the rain front coming in quick, so down to look for "The tall one" again...
He wasnt in the garden this time, but when we turned around and looked back on the hedgerow, we spotted him and a doe feeding along. If he would continue, there may be a chance ... Sure enough he decided to disappear into the garden area, so safe for him again...
Back home, another couple of beer, back to bed and up again very early to head towards another area, a sheep farm...
The weather was nice again, Max joined us this morning, so we started our stalk right in the middle of the farm, heading to some grassy fields... We spotted some foxes around the sheep and when getting to the second grassy field a young buck, disappearing into a hedgerow along the boundary. We kept on stalking, covered a lot of ground, grass fields plus some woodland, but except some does nothing showed up.
Finally we got back to the car, got ready to leave, drove up to the highest point of the farm, scanned the area by binos and sure enough, in one of the fields we started in, a doe and a nice looking buck were feeding along a hedgerow.
So, back down again, a very quick stalk into that field, a quick scan, both kept on feeding, but changed direction, now uphill towards the boundary again...
We had to crawl across the open field, through the wet grass, but managed to close the distance finally. Both were feeding unaware of us along another hedge, so I got on the sticks, found some steady rest and dropped the buck with a nice shot right were he stood.
Then Wayne allowed cool Max, right now not cool any more, to track the buck and tell us and the rest of the world it was his!
What a show, that was really funny and I really do enjoy the performance of him a lot! He is a character!!
On the way back we managed to meet a lad from the directory to deliver some items he ordered through me here in Germany and have a cup of coffee... Always good to meet new lads through TSD!!
Time to get home and have a really nice big breakfast, before getting the heads prepared to take them back home...
After a well earned snooze we headed off to meet another friend of Wayne and spend the afternoon with him, good company, I am happy to have met him!
After the so far shortest night, we couldnt resist to give it a final try on "The tall one" again, first light found us on the field, where we expected him to show up.... A couple of does and a very curious and promising looking youngster, but not him...
We decided to change the location, to check the new ground for some roe, and return later in the morning...
Off we went, reached the other farm, parked and scanned the ground by binos...
Immediately Wayne spotted a big bodied roe (buck?) in one of the fields on the new ground, so a quick drive around, out of the car, preapring for the stalk and up a hedgerow again. We reached a gap in it and spotted two does plus the buck right on top of a bank, too far away and not safe so far...
We sneaked a bit closer, but the buck started chasing one of the does and off they were.
We hurried on, right on the uphill ridge and reached the highest point. Looking over the ridge we spotted the buck feeding totally realxed along a stonewall, so up on the sticks and a moment later he dropped after a good shot behind the shoulder:
A fine buck for this area, laying down in breathtaking surrounding...!
While taking some pictures, I spotted a doe and another buck on the field below us, so Wayne decided to give it another try immediately...
We stalked down quietly, had some "meetings" with the two does we saw first plus a spooked off munty, got to edge of the field, spotted the buck and doe feeding uphill towards us and got ready. Unfortunately they walked out of safety all the time, and finally settled in right on the top of the ridge, perfectly skylined...
We tried to get around but spooked them and had to give up after they took off finally.
Back to the dropped buck, dragging him down to the next road and back to the car.
We loaded the buck and travelled a narrow road between two larger grass fields, on the lower one I had shot "buck no. 2" two days before... I got a glimpse of two young bucks fighting each other on this field, plus another doe.
Wayne decided to try to get one of these cull bucks, especially after realizing that the smaller one was a kind of funny looking head...
We sneaked along the hedgerow, I got on the sticks and dropped him with a shoulder shot on about 70 meters.
Wow, what a morning to end my trip for roebucks here in the UK!!
After the gralloching another check for "him", but this time nothing there.... So back home, the final big breakfast, cleaning two more heads, getting the suitcase ready and back to the airport!
Wayne, my friend, as said several times before: I cant thank you enough for your hospitality, for your generousity hunting all these nice heads and enjoying some very memoriable stalks with you and Max!
Hope to see you soon to continue on this so perfect going friendship and swap hunt story!
I really hope, you will get "The tall one"! Cant wait to see what he is about....
To all of you: I hope you didnt get too bored, and I also hope, you will ever get a chance to develop a friendship like this!