Hopefully I won't ramble on too much about my recent stalking weekend with Willie_Gunn.
Friday afternoon saw me driving the hour and a half down to Dom's place. Arrived in plenty of time to pop into my old work place and have a catch up. Then off to Dom's for something to eat and for the drive to the ground.
We were to stalk an area that I have stalked before with Dom but still the anticipation was as great as ever. Parked up and got kitted up. We had spotted a doe in the field below where we had parked but no buck to be seen. The evening was going to be a hot one. Off we went with Fallow (Dom's black lab close to heal).
We covered a fare bit of ground that evening and we were to meet up with the boss who was guiding somebody else that evening.
Heading towards are meeting point we were coming up out of a dip when Dom spotted a nice buck along the hedge we were going too. We had a few tense minutes while the buck just browsed his way along the hedge. No save shot as he was against a hedge with no backstop.
He then made his way through the hedge so we decided to move, up the hedge next to the field he was in. Then the bugger came running through the corner of the hedge intom our field but he din't stop.
Then we dropped down into a little valley with small spinneys on either side. We spotted a doe with twins at the far end but again no buck was with them. All of a sudden we heard a roe crashing through the trees in the spinney to our side. So we set up and called. He thought about coming out but he just kept moving up and down the spinney in the gloom of the trees. Then as quick as he appeared he ran down the spinney and was gone.
By now the light was going so we stalked down to where we were meeting the boss as we made our way along the top ridge and through the maize cover strips we heard a shot from the valley below.
Success the client had a nice 4 point buck down on a set aside filed. So down to meet them, gralloched the beast and off to the vehicles.
Back to Dom's, cold drink and of to bed for the 3 1/2 hrs sleep.
Alarm went off, coffee and vehicle packed up. This morning we were heading down south a bit more and to a farm I stalked last year with Dom to see if we could catch up with a cracking buck that had done us for 2 years!!!!
We got there and got into position overlocking a large area of wheat, grass fields and over the boundary a livery set up.
Spotted a doe with twins staight away. she moved off . Then a single doe in some clearfell. A muntjac started barking acroos the far boundary and then we spotted another. The first sighting on this patch.
The big boy was keeping his head down this morning. Then we went to a patch of set aside that was a cover crop but has been left but has had trees planted in it as well. We glassed on glassed but nothing.
Then I spotted a buck coming down the far headland about 300m away. He came right into the set aside. Up on the sticks ready fro him to come into a shootable position. But as all deer do he vaniched in the long cover as quick as he had appeared. As much as we tried we could not find him.
So off to check the far boundary to see if anything was around, slowly we skirted the headland of an oat field hoping to catch a buck up the tram lines or in the hedges. Nothing. As we looked back to the set aside. Bugger me, the buck in the set aside had appeared on the top edge. We looked at him for a while before moving off. As we came to a crest Dom froze as a buck had jumped out into the headland. So I got down and Dom said to move forward and take him off the bipod down the headland. As he got to the corner he paused enough for the shot. The oats where a fair bit up and I aimed to high. DOH. Down he went to the shot.
As we got to him I could see that The shot placement was not the best I had made. It had spinned him.The shot was measured at 167m.Gralloch performed under the supvision of Dom( level 2 practice for me as Dom is an AW)back to the truck and off to Dom's for breakfast prepared by Pippa.
A great relaxing day at Dom's(and a quick kip)
Then off again to a patch of ground that I hadn't stalked before. Parked up and off up a track to a large field which had half been cut for forage. Now this evening was a complete contrast from the last two stalks. it was raining on and off but we thought they've got to be somewhere.
We spotted a doe and twins at the lower far end of the field so we made our way down the hedge towards them and waited to see if any bucks were about. Nothing showing for ages and we were just about to make our way back when I spotted a head pop up in the uncut half of the field. A glass confermed a buck. he made is way towards the hedge above the doe so we then decided to stalk down towards him after he went over a crest in the field. Up the far hedge to his last position. Then we spotted 2 more kids out in the uncut crop no buck. By now it was raining pretty hard. I turned round to clear my bins of rain. Sods law as I did this Dom said buck. He had crashed out of the hedge we were up no more than 20m away. Into the field, paused, and then off again and didn't stop!!!!!
So we stalked back down the track next to a wood towards the motor. Dom spotted a Munty cross the track so we set up and Dom called with the Buttaloo. A minute later a munty buck came back from the hedge and made his way up the track towards us. one clean antler and the other still in velvet. Dom said I could take him when I was happy. A noise got his attention and was off back into the wood. Still nice to see these little deer that we don't have to many of with us as of yet. Why people call them vermin is beyond me.
Back to the car and we decided to check out the fields behind where we were parked.
So we made our way through some cover and over a style. As we were getting sorted Dom said buck. Up on the sticks and I had him in the scope. He was slowly moving through the set aside, pausing right behind a massive thistle. Aghhh. Not to worry we had plenty of time for him to move. He duely obliged and paused with a clear view. The 30-06 cracked again. He dropped to the shot again. Dom thought it was a little high again. Bloody hell I thought, I had aimed in the engine room and the shot felt good. Gave him a while and made our way over to him.
This time the shot was good. Right on the money. We concluded the shot looked high due to the spray off the buck's coat because of the rain. Gralloched again with Dom overseeing. The shot was good, top of the heart gone and lungs both damaged. Another nice buck in the larder.
Back to Dom's for a brew and this time a lie in as we were meeting the boss at 04-15 the next morning.
I was going to be guided by the boss this morning through a wood with a series of different areas. Pheasant pens, mature wood, clearings and copice areas.
We made progress through the woods, spotted a doe coming onto the ride we were on but she didn't have a buck in tow. Just a priverlage seeing her at so close range without her knowing we were there.
On through the wood, a munty barking at us as he went about his bussiness but not our way though.
Time was now ticking by and the roe bucks were being as elusive this morning. Back to the truck. Dom had spotted a cracking munty buck but he was still in velvet and a few roe does.
back to Dom's for a cracking breakfast, this time we were joined by the boss and his wife.
Once again Dom thank you for a cracking weekend stalking with you. Always a pleasure to be out with you and on the ground you guys have. Plenty of deer seen, 2 in the larder, the various types of weather we had( boiling hot and then p*****g down with rain!!!!
Please thank Pippa once again for feeding me so well (diet all the next week). Please thank the 'Boss' also.
Hopefully see you in September or October for the fallow mate, plenty about at the moment.
See you soon mate