And so it begins.....
After looking forwards to my R+R since the day I left ol' blighty I had to break it to the missus that I was planning on ditching her and going out with the rifle, well, a proper rifle this time. For some time I'd been planing this little outing in my head with a good mate and slowly it was approaching. After spending the first week with family I was already getting an itchy trigger finger... Nothing to do with the family, they're great....?!
So I gave Woody a call and typically the old git said work has got in the way. The one thing that had kept me going and it's gone... The plans of a 2 day trip into the wildest depths of southwest Scotland after a Roe Buck snatched away. Damn you work, damn yoooou!!
As a compromise he said he'd pick me up and we'd have a look out nearer to home tomorrow evening at 6ish. The smile reappeared.
From around 5 o'clock I had everything prepared that I could think of, I then cooked a rushed, sorry excuse of a tea for the missus got my boots ready by the door, sat back and waited.
By now it must have been 5 past six!!
Anyway, after waiting for even longer, I broke and rang him at gone 7. No answer. Well the missus knew better than to quiz me and kept herself quiet on the other side of the room. I was near to tears now... I tried again and again, but still now answer.
After what seemed a lifetime the phone rang at near on half seven and I answered in eager anticipation..... Bless him, He'd fallen asleep on the sofa. He then had the cheek to ask why I never rang at 6?! "WHAT"???!!!! I politely said down the phone line. I then proceeded to remind him of the conversation we had the previous evening.
Once again he managed to pull it out the bag and said he'd pick me up shortly haha...
Low and behold, 25mins later theres a knock at the door from Woody's lad. We both understood there was no time for greetings, so I dived in the car and we were off before the door was shut!
We pulled up to the farm and he handed me his rifle and mag as mine are all in storage still. Believe it or not, I was just so happy to be in a land of greeness that I wasn't fussed about shooting and handed him back the rifle!! He already know's I'm wierd haha!
Off we set. We got ourselves to the edge of the first field about 80 yards from the woodline, set up the sticks and started to call for a buck. This was no good. I was so excited I was shaking more than dog squezing one out! After a while with no sign of anything I hung my head and asked quietly if I could please have the rifle back. Woody mate, you're a star. Without a word, he handed it over. We crept round the outside of the wood, calling occasionally. We had gone about 600 yards when he says theres a fox in the gateway about 150ish yards away. There happened to be a convenient bald patch in the wheat so I laid myself down and got the crosshairs settled. "Mate, it's a munty!" says I. "Shoot it"says he. This is were we all thought we'd be having munty on the barbie Q before long but no, old Marvin the munty had other ideas and presented me with only a Texas heart shot! Grrr....
He slowly slid away into the hedgerow, and we followed.
I entered the gateway like an Afghan compound, minus the sweat, rifle in the shoulder waiting for the shot. Marvin was gone. We waited in silence. In the distance approaching us was a tractor over the ridge. As we both looked towards the noise we saw the tops of the wheat shifting with what appeared to be a Marvin sized animal haeding straight towards us! Game on! The rifle was gripped tight with the scope wound down to 3x power and my finger still on the safety. He was still coming, closer and closer, when all of a sudden he broke the cover and turned into a tractor drivers spaniel!!
We carried on through the next few fields thinking our chance had gone when all of a sudden a 6 pointer is casually eating away next to a hedge just shy of 200yds. Happy days, now don't screw this up...
I slid my way through a sea of stingers away from Woody to a bit of cover and opened up the sticks. I tried to settle the croshairs of the swarovski scope on his chest. He looked miles away on 3x magnification! (In all the excitement I forgot to wind it back up to 6x!) Right, breathe Andy, breathe..... Boom....Thud. Bugger, it's heading off with a limp, reload, quick! I had done it even befor I thought it and waited for the only oppertunity, the stop and look round. It came and I was ready. Aiming a little higher I squeezed of th second shot.
This one stuck home perfectly as I watched him arch his back and jump high in the air I knew he wasn't going far. I waded back through the stingers to Woody and his son and we walked round to where the beast was last seen.
We didn't have to go to specsavers to see this blood trail and within 15 yards, there he lay in the hedge. As usual, it's always the furthest point from the truck when you get one but good old Woody threw it over his broad, muscular shoulders and the three off us set off.