Just thought I would post an account of my first successful muntjac trip, which took place yesterday.
I had been invited out on the first day of a three day cull hunt for muntjac in Oxfordshire. The particular group of woods that we were in, were part of a large pheasant shoot, and the deer play havoc by bursting out of the pheasant drives and ruining the planned flushes etc, so the owner decided it was time to thin a few out.
There was myself and four other rifles out on this occasion, all in high seats.
The seats were set out in a long line so that shots could be taken forward and back but not to the side, and the seats were overlooking a larel thicket belt within the beech woods - where the muntjac apparently spend most of the day.
There is also Roe and Fallow in these woods, and my host said that both Roe and Fallow bucks were also allowed if they came into view. Safety was the main concern and we got into position well before first light so as not to disturb the place too much as the deer emerged.
The morning wait was spoilt a by heavy wind and rain, although one munjac doe was shot, and several other munjac and fallow seen, it was very quiet in my seat. I did manage to spot a munjac first thing,however it was just still too dark to shoot, and that scuttled into cover fairly sharpish.
During the day I was allowed to stalk solo, in a second wood,as the other guys were putting up a couple of new high seats, and they wanted to give me the best possible chance of taking my first muntie that day. I saw several muntjac running tail up through the low bramble scrub layer but none hung around long enough for a shot.I also heard barking so the 'bush telegraph' was alive and well telling all the deer of my unwelome intrusion into their domain. Net result about 5 munties seen - but still none in the roesack!
We recommenced up the high seats at around 1.30pm and almost immediately saw muntjac close to my seat. A lone doe came out and proceededo walk to the feed ride and start feeding on the grain left on a straw bail for the pheasants. Sadly at around 80 metres it didnt make a shot as it would have been to the side, and straight towards the guy stationed on my left.
Here is the views from that second seat
(to the quarter angle right )
And to the left - showing the straw bail at about 85 metres
In front of the seat, there was a bank dropping down from the high ground we were on, with Laurel bushes where the munjac emerged from. I saw a lot of animals in these bushes and also walking along the top of the bank however shots were not permitted at these, due to no background, and a road running underneath the bank.
The woods were alive with pheasants and eventually I noticed what I thought was yet another pheasant stood amongst the brambles off to my front right. I was almost fit to let it go, when a doubt crept into my mind sufficient to double check with the bino's. Glad I did, as there was a muntjac doe licking her flanks having just emerged from her couch amongst the thick bramble. She scampered forwards towards the feed ride and stopped to make sure there was no danger. I fired my moderated .30-06 and she collapsed, then picked herself up and ran about 15 feet before crashing down again. I could believe it - shot with a .30-06 and still picked herself up I guess the range was about 50 metres and I was sure of my heart shot. the light was failing fast and there were a couple of other shots which echoed out from the other high seats.
We were definitely into the magical 1/2 hour before dusk, and I watched a lot of movement along the top of the bank in front, definitely muntjac city with about 8 animals seen. I glassed it again on seeing a movement to reveal a nice mature muntjac buck with about 2.5 inch+ horns feeding on a bush along the top of the bank again. I was wishing him to come out so much, I guess he heard me and promptly turned tail and disappeared into the laurels again. I was peering through the bino's so hard my eyes were hurting and had just taken my eyes away when I suddenly became aware of a movement just behind me in the scrub. I slowly turned my head and saw a young roebuck standing in front of some mature beeches about fifty metres behind the seat. Well I'm not the smallest of blokes, and trying to turn around noislessly in a single high seat is not the easiest thing in the world, however the young animal stayed put, and allowed me to manouver the rifle round for the shot. The animal fell as if pollaxed, at the shot and made it my second of the evening.
Two other shots rang out in the closing five minutes of the day, and the total tally was six animals taken that day four muntjac - all does and two young roebuck. I was delighted to have achieved my first muntjac and was very glad that both my animals were well shot and produced to clean carcasses. It was truey an education to go after these diminutive deer and now realise they are not half as easy to get to grips with as I had previously thought.
Here is a couple of pictures of yours truely with my first muntjac
Finally,in case you are thinking that .30-06 is a bit big for muntjac? I was going to take my .243 for this outing however as a moderated rifle was needed( so as not to disturb the pheasants at roost time) I had to take the .30-06 instead, as the .243 is un-moderated.