Early clock off on Friday afternoon and a quick shower before Mo arrived at mine, we make some room in the already packed car for all his clobber (he was supposed to be travelling light) then off we go, picking up Gareth on the way.
Four and a half hours is a long way to drive without stopping, trying to get there before sunset.... but it only seems like half that when you're asleep in the back.
We arrive at our destination and pop in to see the landowner who insists on a chat and sends his daughter to the fridge to get beers. Then he gives us a Chinese takeaway menu and says "write down what you want". He was even going to pay but we wouldn't let him.
Not the usual way to start a weekend stalking but you can't stalk on an empty stomach can you?
Anyway, we ended up missing last light and were supposed to be putting a tent up but they insisted that we made camp in their games room which was actually bigger than my living room at home.
Mo set his alarm for 4am and we were out first light after a quick brew and after an hour or so of looking for fresh signs that deer had been on the move we spotted a fallow doe, closely followed by another. They jumped the fence and joined up with a group on the adjacent land which we spent some time watching.
Our reccy complete, we returned to the house to get money for breakfast... Maccys sausage and egg muffin and hash brown. Then the most surreal bit of the weekend came when Katie Price pulled up along side us in her pink RangeRover and like a scene from Fast and Furious left us for dead at the lights.... Crikey that thing can shift.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... (that's what it's like Southfork in Dallas) with it's electric gates and half mile long driveway, we set off in pursuit of rabbits to pass the time before our evening stalk and Mo got a daylight shot on a fox that was after one of the dead rabbits.
But first we needed to eat, so we found a quiet little spot and got a fire going and 3 disposable bbq's... Burgers, sausages, chicken,
haloumi cheese and quail on the menu, washed down with diet coke.
Stomachs full, plates washed and ready for stalk no2 we set off down the lane. I was convinced I saw a roe in one of the fields but it dissapeared out of sight and I think the others must have thought I was seeing things. I hung back while Mo and Gareth went on ahead, our plan was to split up to maximize our chances so that's what we did.
No sooner had Mo got out of sight my phone vibrated in my pocket, it was Mo saying "you were'nt seeing things, you're roe is here in this field and it's a buck" I slowly made my way over to where Mo had taken up position, fully expecting to hear a shot before I got to him but he waited until I got there and said "get your sticks up"
I raised my rifle onto the 'V' on top of my tripod sticks, pushed the safety catch forward, watched through my scope as the buck lifted it's head from feeding, took a step forward and turned to look towards our position 150yds or so away, all the time my crosshairs locked on the vitals.
Squeeze, bang... my buck drops where it stood, I reload out of habbit but I'm pretty sure no follow up shot will be needed so I unload.
I needed to know why Mo didn't shoot this buck, he said "because you saw it first and that's the sort of mate I am" What a guy!!!... then we go to retrieve it... he even carried it back to the car for me
So I'd got the buck I came for, Mo got his first daylight fox and Gareth was just happy to be there.... Happy days.
We did another stalk Sunday morning but without much enthusiasm as the thought of the drive home coupled with the general lack of sleep and the fact that if we did get another we would have to carry it home on the roofrack. So we packed up around lunchtime and hit the road back oop norf
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