Sorry for the long read.
I want to say a very big thank you to a couple of great guys from this site, Pheasant Sniper and Rick O Shea. A couple of months ago I was fortunate to have my name drawn as one of the winners of the prize draw that Pheasant Sniper organised to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation to say thank you to them for all they have done for his niece Amelia.
Anyway, after a couple of attempts to meet up which were scuppered by bad weather and illness, we finally set a date for the 1st November the first day of the hinds for my stalk. Pheasant Sniper had arranged with Rick O Shea for us to join him and 22.250 for an evening on some of Rick O Shea's land hopefully on some Fallow and maybe Sika. I met up with Rick for a coffee and a chat on all things deer whilst waiting for 22.250 and then it was off to The Sportsman Centre in Crewekerne to meet up with Pheasant Sniper and onto the permission.
As I do not yet have my own rifle Pheasant Sniper was kindly allowing me to use his Sako A7 .308 which was a lovely rifle to shoot, and far more gentle than the old Lee Enfield no4 .308 that I used as a 15 year old some 30+ years ago at Bisley. I also tried Rick O Shea's 30-06 [my first go with this calibre] and 22.250's .270. Lastly we all tried a humane dispatch firearm which was very loud and great fun Thanks everyone!
After the sighting was done Pheasant Sniper and I were taken to our area and dropped off to walk in to the highseat in a corn field we were going to use. Whilst Rick O Shea and 22.250 went to their area. At this point I should say how generous Rick O Shea was as he said any Fallow or Sika bucks or hinds seen were fair game as well as Roe Does with no limit as the Farmer needed the numbers down due to crop damage. We went in and settled into the Highseat by 3pm and waited for the deer. The wind was swirling in all directions which was of some concern and also someone was driving a tractor up and down a road half a mile away hedge trimming which was a real pain in the A***. Anyway Finally at 5.20 when the light was almost totally gone, Pheasant Sniper spotted a group of three deer with a larger one following 20 yards behind. It was difficult to know the exact distance but somewhere around 130/150yards away. We decided to go for the larger deer first as it was nearest the fence and then the 3 smaller ones if they had not run. It was a challenging shot for me due to the light but I was relieved that the larger deer went down, however the 3 others ran and would not stop despite whistles and a shout.
As the light had gone we approached the deer and it was a very nice Fallow doe when we looked in its mouth it still had green corn shoot in it so 'caught in the act'. This was my first Fallow so I was really pleased to add it to the Roe doe and buck I had taken in previous years. After a struggle we got the deer back to a hole in the hedge which had a road along it and Rick O Shea came with the pickup and we loaded it in and took it to another field where we performed the gralloch. I say we as it was a bit of a group effort. It was my first attempt at a gralloch so Pheasant Sniper instructed and I attempted and then Rick O Shea took pity on me and finished it off . Next time I will do it solo.
Anyway, to finish, all I can say is a big thank you to Pheasant Sniper for firstly organising the draw and raising all the money for the BHF and also to Rick O Shea for being such a generous host for the stalk. I had a great time, got my first Fallow, stalked for the first time on the first day of the Hind season and attempted my first Gralloch. A photo and larder weight will follow.
A memorable day with great guys!!