I had been in touch with Andrew Moseley (Moses) on here as he was offering cull stalks on Reds in Suffolk but he was booked up. But he put me onto Trevor in Essex who was able to offer me 2 evening stalks near Halstead in Essex.
I had arranged to meet Trevor at his place at 5:45 on the Friday and from there follow him up to the farm. The forecast for that day was pretty poor with heavy rain for most of the day and evening so I was expecting it to be a very wet stalk. But as usual the weather man had it all wrong with just some drizzly rain in the morning and although overcast was dry early eve. Got the rifle “Winchester model 70 in .270” loaded 4 rounds pushed the bolt forward safety on and we were ready to go. Trevor and I set off down hill towards some small woodland areas where he was confident deer would be about. After an hour or so still no sign of anything and the sun had come out making it a bright evening and quite warm. Well it must have been knocking on 8pm when we was stopped in our tracks by a Fallow barking in the woodland to our left. Slowly we edged forward trying to get an idea where this fallow was. A glimpse was all I got through the woods a young fallow pricket stood next to a old pheasant feeder but he had obviously seen us long before we had seen him, he looked me straight in the eyes turned his back and was gone. That was the last deer I saw that evening although Trevor saw a couple of Muntys on our way back to the farm but they were not waiting around for me to get a shot in. Back at the farm Trevor was apologetic on the lack of deer spotted and said that for Saturdays stalk that he would not available but his buddy Graham was going to take me out instead.
Saturday and I meet Graham at the farm as arranged a quick introduction and we set off to the other side of the estate in the search for a few Muntys in the woodland before we head up to an area where he hopes to find some Fallow for me. We entered the woodland from the top of the hill and slowly crept our way down. Within 10 minuets we had come across a Munty and a fox both of which had spotted us first as the ground cover was quite dense this time of the year. Still working our way through the woodland up hill on the far side Graham gestured me to stop and pointed out another Munty some 80 yards ahead. We were trying to decide our best way to get a shot when for no apparent reason it spooked and disappeared, we both looked at each other with that what happened look. Then the reason became obvious a couple walking their dog appeared at the top edge of the wood. Graham said a change of plan seeing how the dog walkers had just come through his planned route. We walked down a 5 meter wide grass verge which once was a railway line apparently, the sun was in our eyes but caught sight of a Roe doe and kid bounding towards us, We knelt down and watched the two reach the woodland we had just come from the Doe looked over her shoulder and they both slipped into the cover of the wood. Continuing on our way we reached the bottom of the field turned left and some 200 yards in front of us was a portaloo. “Bugger” says Graham bloody forgot they held the clay shooting championships here last week, he said we probably fined everything was a bit jumpy after 5 days of competition with clays. Any how we made our way round to complete our circuit of this side of the estate past the trap towers still piled high with boxes of clays. The ground was awash with broken clays and plastic wads a physical impossibility to walk quietly as the clays crunched under foot. We rounded a bend to come face to face with a Munty Buck who luckily was more interested in what he was grazing and hadn’t seen us. Graham glassed him and said he would be ok for me to take as a cull animal, shortly after my first deer of the weekend and my first Munty buck. Graham made arrangements for it to be extracted while we continued t a large stubble field which he thought would be my best bet of a fallow buck. Sure enough on the brow of the hill a nice sized Fallow Buck but still a cull and not a trophy beast. Being on the horizon there was no shot on and while we formed a plan it carried on moving away from us, by this time it was around 8-8:15 and the light was going fast. The wind wasn’t our best fiend either coming form our right and slightly behind us, and the Fallow was in font and slightly to our left. Graham decided it would be best if I tried to move forward hoping the buck kept his back to be and didn’t wind me as there was no cover and one person moving was less likely to spook him. It took me 10 minuets to slowly make my way to where he had been stood to find that he had company and had moved down to the bottom of the small valley. At least now I was on high ground shooting down to the valley with good backstops. I looked through the scope 3 Fallow bucks the biggest being the first we spotted so I knew none were medals, then to my surprise a Roe buck appeared with them and quite a nice head he was too. He started to walk straight towards me putting himself between me and the Fallow, and if I hadn’t had a nice buck last year I may have decided to grass him there and then but I wanted a Fallow buck. Still he kept coming at me and he was obviously aware of something by his posture. He got to within 60 yards and I am hopping he doesn’t decide to do a runner and spook the Fallow, so now I have two voices in my head. “Take the Roe Buck in case he spooks and you loose any chance of a shot as light now is almost gone” and “Wait you know you want a Fallow Buck, he will move soon” and after what seemed an eternity he gave me one last stair and trotted off and the fallow went on about their business. A couple of deep breaths settled myself squeezed and one fallow Buck was down chambered another round and looked at the grassed Fallow he was most defiantly dealt with. The other 2 had run up towards me and were now on my left some 80 yards into the stubble field, I turned 90 degrees got the second beast in the cross hairs and squeezed and the second Buck was also down chambered another round while watching for any sign I may have to do a follow up shot but all was good. At this point I could have taken the third beast as he had moved back again and was 90 or so yards behind me but thought that would be plain greedy and left him be. So day 2 made up for day 1, we called in the Landover to pick up my spoils and took 3 of us to lift them into the back. It was 2 minuets to the farm and we elected to grallock them there in the barn in the light. I took my Munty and one Fallow home for the freezer and left the second with Trevor and Graham to take to the game dealer, I would have struggled to take all the beasts home as the one I took weighed just shy of 100 kilos in the skin head and feet on but fully grallocked. As their chiller wasn't working at the present we loaded the beasts into my Astra van and I headed home a happy man. Not so happy was my mate who I had to get out to unlock his chiller at 10 past midnight to store my deer still what are mates for
So many thanks to Andrew for arranging things for me and thanks to Trevor and Graham for taking me out