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Thread: Make like an Icecube and FREEZE!!!

  1. #1

    Make like an Icecube and FREEZE!!!

    Well I thought it was a catchy title, and let’s face it, catchy titles sell. I mean, I suppose I could have titled it “topless ladies in sexy poses”, but would that have had anything to do with the following story? Well maybe not but I bet everybody would have come in for a look and I’m sure I could have fitted something to make it relevant. Maybe get my missus to pose, with her clothes on? Trust me that’s the better option.
    That reminds me. Years ago I were doing security at a bike rally. Somebody put a call out over the radio about a naked person on the bucking bronco. Every security man with a radio rushed to the scene to be confronted with some naked bloke going “yeehar” as he was twirled round and round. Muttering curses we left him to it and made a note to have a word with the radio man who sent the call out only to do it again if it was female.
    So what’s with the superb title that caught your eye, amongst all the boring “Went out for a nice evening” titles. Gotta sex it up that's why. Deerstalking the tabloid press way. What do these people know? They have no stage presence, no story telling abilities, where as I. I am a master. No I am THE master. Notice I didn’t say what I was a master of. Well my wife tells me I am a master debater; I think that is the word she used.
    So as Kitty O Hare (anybody remember her?) used to say, come along my loves and draw your chairs closer to the fire and we will tell you a tale to warm the winter blues away. Ok so it’s June now but never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
    Now if you are a follower of my posts I can only say, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU, SOME KIND OF STALKER OR SOMETHING? Oh of course you are, it’s the site, annnnnnyways, you will also notice that I frequently bemoan the fact that the land I have to shoot over is a bit compact and bijou, so much so that the deer management plan is simply, OMG YOU ACTUALLY SAW A DEER? Notice, not shot the deer, but actually SAW one. I did see a muntjac a few weeks ago; he was about 400 yards away and heading across the border into the next field which I definitely do not have permission to go into. More surprising it was daytime as well.
    Of course the best time to come across the deer is at night when I am out rabbiting or foxing. Then you can guarantee to see something usually a muntie. Infact I have shot bunnies under the noses of the munties and they just seem to look and go, “Whatever” then gently stroll off into the nearest hedge. (Now this leads me into my first Ronnie Corbett digression! Is it just me or do people think there is some sort of time/space dimensional portal in hedges that deer use? I mean, how many times have you come across a deer and watched it disappear into the hedge? You search up and down and nothing. Look out the other side and it is ploughed field as far as the eye can see. I mean a few months ago we had finished zeroing down a track and as we were putting the rifles away 3 roe hopped across the track just where we had the target. They climbed out the other side. I grabbed my rifle and chased off down the track and came out into the vast expanse of field to find they had magically disappeared, and they didn’t look like they were exactly running scared if you know what I mean.)
    Where was I?
    Ah. The deer plan, yes we operate a shoot on site policy, and it works very well because we never see the buggers during the day therefore ………. I was wondering if I could operate a variation of the Father Ted sketch; DOUGAL! The cows in the field are far away, and the one in my hand is near.
    My variation would be to claim that the deer at night, far away looked like a rabbit close at hand. Think it would work? I could get some deelie boppers made with some rabbit ears to disguise them. Not buying it? Oh well, worth a try.
    By the way I have nothing to do at work at the moment so I am typing this from there, so there are plenty of distractions, therefore I keep losing my thread, but we will get the show on the road at some point and might even get to tell a story.
    Right. Again, small land, not many deer, sit out, never see the little darlings, bloody waste of time. ......With me? Good!
    Get about one deer per year if we are really, really lucky. That sets the background. By the way, I’m not complaining. Much. It keeps me out of the pub and gets me out for a walk over the weekend.
    So anyways last Friday, I decide that I will go up, take my chair and settle myself in with a good book (Reading the Lord of the rings. Again. See I am edumicated) and as I will not see anything it is more to show my face to the farmer to show willing and then when it gets dark it will be out with the NV and off popping rabbits. (RC digression no 2. Anybody near me got a sausage making machine? I am having a BBQ in the middle of June. Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!! And I want to make some bunny and bambi sausages. {Change of plan, I mentioned it to herself last night and she huffed in that way that she does and said you don’t need a bloody sausage making machine, you've got enough crap filling up the house and I’ve already bought spicy pork and beef. When she huffs in that tone of huff I find it better to keep schtumm for a short period of time, then come home one week with a “look what I got for the bargain price”lol}).
    So I arrive at the farm, get my kit. My bambi shooting .22LR over my shoulder. WHAT? OMG, you are shooting bambi with………….GOTCHA!!! I did think about saying my high powered air rifle but I didn’t think even you would fall for that. .
    So the 243 over one shoulder, the sticks in one hand, chair in the other, LOTRs in back pocket. I just stopped short of whistling a happy tune. That was how much I was expecting not to see bambi. It was a lovely evening, the sun was shining, the rabbits would have been smiling but it was a bit early for them. The chair is a cheap version of that expensive one that you see often advertised and is really good. But I couldn’t afford/justify the expensive version for the amount of use it would get, so the cheap cackie version it is. Use it mainly for ratting because you can make yourself comfortable and just wait for them to come out. But moving on, because I can see you are getting distracted. It was a lovely evening, sun was still shining though starting to get low down, what wind there was, was in the direction I would like it to be. Oh, I think I said some of that already.
    I walked down the track with the intention of coming out at the end where it opens out over a couple of fields left and right and it had been rumoured that roe had been seen there. I had prior to this evening done a number of mornings and watched the dawn arise. Really pretty, should have brought my camera as the damn deer were never about. So I was not really making much attempt to be quiet. Now this track has a hedge of sorts running either side although the farmer has hacked a lot of it out and is in the process of replanting, but there is still enough for it to be clearly seen that it is a track and there is a level of cover to be afforded to the Elmer Fudd types. I’m hunting wabbit. Well I’m hunting Bwambi just doesn’t sound right does it?
    So halfway down the track I look off to my left where I can see out into one of the fields and HOLY COW there is a deer. It is about 150 yards out in the field possibly more but I am not hanging around because the cover is sparse and if it looks up it may see me. Reverse gear quickly to get out of sight. Now I’m not sure what I’ve seen, It is either a roe doe or a muntie, yes I know they look different and I should be able to tell the difference and usually I can because I have plenty of time and the wrong rifle and it is night, but I haven’t shot 3 million squillion deer like half you lot who can be shown a hair and could tell me the identity, the species, sex, age and what it last had for dinner. That, and I wasn’t taking the chance of it spotting me, plenty of time to identify what it is later when I am within range. (Now, and this might start boring you but here is RC digression no 3. I get really fed up with the shooting show and fieldsports britian with the “Today day we are out wandering the XXXX countryside with Tommo the super duper stalker, we have just driven to area xyz and searched for deer. Today there is no show, so we decided to try another spot just down the road and 20 minutes later we see blah blah”. Good for you and your 20,000 ******g acres, if bambi doesn’t show the only other area I can go spot is the local pub!!!! But the problem with my local is that they are all old dears.
    So, as I am now out of sight of the grazing deer, it is time for my plan of action. Folding chair down. Won’t be needing that, backtrack chop chop to a gap in the hedge, that will take me to an adjacent field. Thick hedge line runs along here, through into the next field turn right through the gap and then I will be able to positively ID the deer down the right hand side and if ok get a shot as it should be no more than 50 yards away. So I should be able to get close without the deer having a clue that I am in the area. I like that plan, simples, time to put it into action. Actually I think it was a Roe doe but what the hell, it will be good experience anyway to stalk in close.
    So please feel free to start humming the theme tune to mission impossible. Let’s build up the suspense a bit here. DA Da DADA DAH DAH DADDADAHHHH, DADAHDAHHHHHHHH DADAdahhhhhhhhh. You hum and I'll get on with the story.
    So I go through the first gap. So far so good. I get halfway to the second gap, when MAKE LIKE AN ICECUBE AND FREEZE!!! There is a real live roe buck in the gap about 30 yards from me looking in my direction, he has just wandered across the gap and paused looking in my direction. I am walking along a track with no cover, nowhere to go, can’t drop, nothing. My hat is on my head with the integral scrim net sticking out the back. My gloves are in my pocket. The only thing I can do is freeze. (Now RC digression No 4? I had got the BASC magazine last week and had read the article about deer vision, how their eyes work etc etc. If you read it you know what I’m on about. It made good reading to a numpty like me and as well as being interesting I thought it was informative) So the deer bobbed his head trying to decide if I was a threat or a tree. Decided that I might be a tree and moved off to the left of the gap out of view. I presumed that he was going to continue walking off to the left as the fields is about 180 yards long to the end. WRONG!!! I started to move forward, more cautiously this time with the intention of getting through to see if I could get on him. 5 yards on and MAKE LIKE AN ICECUBE AND FREEZE!!! FFS he has turned around, come back across the gap, giving me the once over again, gets to the right hand side of the gap turns around and does his “Walk like an Egyptian” head movement thing at me. Again I am frozen to the spot. I am not moving or even blinking my eye for love nor money. He gives a little bark and hops away, straight down the hedgeline. I lose sight of him in the grass as the hedge curves slightly. But this wasn’t a “holy crap batman, look at that bloke with a rifle, RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!” bark. This was more like a “What a silly looking tree” bark.
    No more messing. Sticks open, rifle up and on them. I use quad sticks. Pick the lot up and walk another 5/10 meters forward. Good gosh (or words of a similar nature) There is the buck, he had hopped off 10 yards and made himself comfortable in the long grass. He must have decided that I was a tree after all. Well the missus tells me I have wood in my brain cos I can never remember anything important like her birthday or our anniversary.
    So now he is 30, maybe 40 yards tops away from me, um, bullet rising, zeroed at inch high at 100, ok I know where the bullet is going to go, now would you like to stand up and present a clear shot? No, you wouldn’t. Damn. This can’t go on; he is bound to get a whiff of me at some point soon. Or the other deer will come round and make me and he will be off like a rocket. What to do? I am feeling the pressure as I think I have a limited time. I know it is contentious but I decide if he offers me a clear head then I will take it. Minute or so later up came the head, job done. High neck, straight over. Reloaded immediately and waited, because if he moved I was going to ensure he didn’t move far. Nothing. All good. I waited another minute or so then moved forward and did the eye test. All good.
    I have now shot my very first buck and my very first unaccompanied kill. So there was a certain sense of elation. Oh what the hell, I was just stopping short of hopping from foot to foot and going whoop whoop. Big grin from ear to ear, Then reality kicks in, “Oh cack”, that means I need to go the gralloch on my own. Now how do I do that again? Remember the videos, remember the videos!! Well I can honestly say I was glad there were no cameras about to watch me do the gralloch. It took ages and was, um, not as neat as it should have been.
    I have to say mixed feelings afterwards. Very happy as I have restocked up my venison levels, there was no buck fever and everything was controlled and considered with no screw-ups, but I felt a twinge of sorrow to shoot such a magnificent animal. I feel the same about foxing to be fair. I do the job because it needs to be done and get satisfaction that it all goes correct and to plan but do feel a sense of regret that I had to do it.
    I had a look at the head and everything seems very symmetrical so I am taking the head down to the taxidermist later this week for his opinion on what to do with it and to see if he thinks it might make it as a medal. Let you all know what he says and will post a picture of the finished result. I think I cut it a hit high so it might not make a very good head. May be better as a mounted skull.
    After completing the gralloch, let’s not go into that, that was………………difficult. I cleaned up, dug the HMR out and set up to go out after the bunnies. Had a quick look round and went, sod it. I mean how can I go shooting bunnies after that? Put the rifle away and decided it was time to go home.
    A couple of things of note.
    *I’m gonna need a bigger fridge. I could just squeeze him into mine, deheaded and dehooved. There was no room for error. And I don't think he was that big of a Roe. Now if that had been the Fallow that I have been invited out to shoot I would have been knackered. So if anybody locally has a full length fridge or drinks chiller they want to sell me….. At a reasonable price of course.
    *When you go out even though you know you won’t shoot anything don’t get lax and make sure you have brought the right kit, sharp knives and surgical gloves. Luckily I had enough kit, just. 1 pair of gloves, that was it.
    * When you watch the videos of them gralloching and butchering, they make it seem effortless and easy. It isn’t, it took me ages. Speed and experience come with practice. I did get some really good tips from the videos, so if you are new to this watch them over and over again. Then once you do it yourself go watch the videos again to see what you did wrong.
    *I carry a box to put bunnies and the occasional deer in. It has a grill to keep the animal above the floor by about 1 cm so if there is any blood it will drip down through and keep the carcass cleaner. Really useful.
    * I have a hanger so the deer can swing around when suspended from the roof. Next time I think I would hang it so it cannot twist. I think that might be easier. I don’t really have room for a table to do it on the flat.

    Happy Days. I don't care if I don't shoot another deer for months because I am still happy with how it went. Still waiting for it to wear off. But might change my mind when I start to run low again.


    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  2. #2
    What a epic read but very good well done.

    “Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”
    ― Criss Jami

  3. #3
    An outstanding post, well done on the deer!

  4. #4
    Cheers, I am currently studying for a degree in "send your audience to sleep in 60 seconds".
    Whilst sitting on my stool and waiting for Bambi not to appear
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  5. #5
    I loved it, great story TSS. Just what is needed as a hunt story. There's far too much of this "saw a deer this evening, propped the rifle on the sticks squeezed the trigger, lead flew out the end and the thing fell over, cleaned him up and went home happy"
    Don't hide from your mates in the bush!

  6. #6
    Well done! I really enjoy your write ups, cant wait for next one!

  7. #7
    Being of the view that fishing and shooting aren't about killing things, but mostly about telling the story, I really enjoyed that, thanks! I'm pretty new to stalking too so it's interesting to me to see your account of the practicalities of the aftermath. However, much as I recognise the need to jazz up the raw reality in order to craft a proper story worth telling, I question your bit about the Lord of the Rings. There is now way you can fit a copy of that into a back pocket, unless you have a really massive pocket...

  8. #8
    Nicely done, I enjoyed that


  9. #9
    Glad I have four hours in an airport lounge ahead of me, it will take me that long to read the post

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=I carry a box to put bunnies and the occasional deer in. It has a grill to keep the animal above the floor by about 1 cm so if there is any blood it will drip down through and keep the carcass cleaner. Really useful. TSS.[/QUOTE]

    Top tip.

    Great write up too.



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