I dont get out stalking as often as Id like to so when the chance comes along to get up to the syndicate ground in Ayrshire I jump at it.
Travelling up on Friday evening I spotted a couple of bucks out feeding, one near Penrith the other further north on the treck across from Dumfries. I was hopeful this indicated the deer where making the most of lots of new growth and would be out on our ground.
I set off at 6pm and stalked along a wide ride heading for a large clear area I knew held a good chance of spotting a deer or two.
Making my way to a large peat hag I sat down and waited, glassing every few minutes and glad of the breeze in my face keeping the midgies at bay.
Come dark and I hadnt seen anything, oh well, theres always tomorrow....
Except there wasnt...it was there...but it was wet on a biblical scale from 4am until 11pm so that put the kybosh on getting out in that, however, the forecast for the next day was little of no wind and sunshine.
Remember Michael Fish in 1987? 'it'll be windy but nothing to worry about'? How wrong he was and yet again the weathermen had fecked up....dense fog greeted me at 04.20 and remained throughout the day at anything over 600ft. I did stalk up to the clearing Sunday morning in the hope of it lifting but all I did was feed the Ayrshire midge population for a couple of hours. I descended the ground dejected and looking like the elephant man..... Id been eaten alive.
Reaching the car I gave a gentleman from here a call and discussed the vagaries of the weather and did he have any ideas where I could go on lower ground below the fog line?
Make your way further up and towards the coast, says he and he gave me directions to a spot of ground that gave the chance of at least seeing a deer.
I travelled the 30miles north and entered the ground with the GWP at my side.
After only 200 yards the dog went on point and gave me that 'oi, thicko, cant you smell that?'look.
Glassing ahead I could see two roe does, mother and yearling feeding in amongst the new plantation trees. I waited for about 15 minutes while they slowly made their way up a ride in the trees away from me then continued stalking in to a high seat further up the ground.
Reaching the high seat I settled the dog and began watching/glassing all around.
After about 20 minutes another doe made her way from left to right immediately in front of me only 48yds away.
A cuckoo took up residence at the top of a tree to the left and began that eerie call that only they can make.
Minutes passed by and at least I was seeing deer albeit the wrong sex!
Suddenly the dog was up and on point again directly towards the back of me. Looking over my shoulder there were two yearling bucks knocking several colours out of each other in the long grass behind. They made their way to my left then jumped into the next plantation and disappeared chasing each other as they went.
Things settled down again then another small buck showed ahead but only to walk straight back into the trees, he was only 120yds away but didnt linger long enough to present a shot.
Once again the dog was up and on point to my left. Glassing the area I spotted a buck making its way down a fence line. It was about 90 yards away and making its way towards me. At 30yds I decided even I couldnt miss from here so I coughed which made him stand nicely for the shot through the base of the neck.
So, 6pointer, I doff my hat to you sir and thank you for turning what was rapidly becoming a disappointing weekend into very enjoyable one.