Back in January I booked a day Roe Buck stalk with Malcolm (Sikamalc). The 1st June suited us both and so in the diary it went. After booking my day I read a few write ups on here from other stalkers who had been out with Malcolm and the feed back was very good so I knew I was in good hands.
I headed down the night before after work and Malcolm kindly picked me up from the station. I had recently bought a nice S&B scope from Tikka 260 and fitted it to my Tikka 308 the week before. I wasn't entirely happy with my zeroing and I asked Malcolm if it would be possible to run a couple of rounds through a target to check the scope hadn't slipped. Malcolm happy drove me to his range where I put a couple of rounds through a target which put my mind at ease. We then headed off for a bite to eat at a pleasant pub not far from the B&B I was staying. After a good steak washed down with a couple of beers, Malcolm dropped me off at the B&B and told me to be outside and ready at 4am. As we had a good drive to his ground the next morning.
As planned Malcolm picked me up at 4am and off we headed. We had a good chat and exchanged some funny stories to kill the journey. At 4.45 we arrived at a small coppice where we were to start the stalk. As we drove in through the gate a young fox trotted across the track in front of us and disappeared into some brambles.
We hopped out of Malcolm's truck and started to unload our gear. A couple of minutes later we were both ready and Malcolm explained that we were going to cross the two fields in front of us and then stalk through the far field and hope to spy some bucks. Before entering the first field we had a quick spy through the glass. I ran my eye along the hedge of the second field where I was expecting to see some movement but I drew a blank. Suddenly Malcolm's voice softly broke the silence. He had spotted a buck 15m in from the hedge in the second field fraying on some thistles. Malcolm quickly explained that our plan of action was to cross the first field and set up at the gate leading into the second field which would give me an 80m shot. Getting as low to the ground as we could we raced across the first field. Malcolm reached the gateway and slowly peered around the corner through the gateway to check on the buck. "Dam he's moved" I could hear Malcolm mutter under his breath. A quick scan of the field and Malcolm picked him up, "he's going through the gateway into the next field, I'm not sure if he saw us or if he is heading back to the wood, we need to get across this field quickly because if he reaches the wood before we get into the third field then we won't see him again". Now this is where the fun started, as I stepped into the second field I discovered that the entire ground was covered in broken clay pigeons. Every step we took resulted in a crunching, cracking and snapping noise. Birds in the hedgerow started to exit their homes and dart across the field ahead of us. Again Malcolm reached the gateway first and peered around. "he's 25m down the hedge feeding, get your sticks up and slowly move out with your rifle ready". I slowly moved into position and peered around the corner of the hedge. I could clearly see the Buck feeding but almost his entire front was stuck in a hedge and all I could see what his back end. After a few seconds the buck started to back himself out of the hedge. I was expecting him to turn and continue walking along the hedge line away from me but to my surprise he turned and started to walk back towards me. After a couple of paces he again turned into the hedge to feed and giving me a side on view I squeezed off a round and down he went. We gave him a few moments before approaching. With a shake of Malcolm's hand I had taken my first Sussex Buck, a nice 6 pointer. From exiting the truck in the coppice to squeezing the trigger had been less than 5 minutes. "they don't come much quicker than that explained Malcolm".
Once we had dealt with the Buck we moved off along the hedge row in the hope of finding another Buck. We spotted a couple of Does wandered in and out of the wood but after an hour or so we call it a morning and heading off to Malcolm's Stalking Den. After a fry up and some more story telling we headed out for a pub lunch and to discuss the afternoons stalk. Just before heading off for our evening stalk I popped out of the Den for a quick pee. Whilst standing against a hedge I looked up the ride in front of me to be confronted by 9 Fallow Does walking 20m from me walking across the ride. After telling Malcolm about my encounter and a few jokes between us about having the wrong gun in my hand we decided to head off.
It was lovely evening and it just felt like an ideal roe evening. Unfortunately the roe had other ideas and although we did see a doe and a young cull buck they didn't hang around and before long it was time to catch my train back to London.
Malcolm was a great host and as a novice I certainly learnt a lot from him over the day.
I had planned to post this thread sooner but I was planning on attaching a photo of the buck mounted. Unfortunately I discovered at the weekend by friends sheep dog has a liking for roe heads and munched its way through most of the head before it was mounted. I am now trying to work out whether to turn the antlers into bottle openers.