A friend of mine has a big lease in East Sussex with a pretty high annual cull figure dictated by the estate.
Instead of picking off one or two deer each outing throughout the season and then getting to january with still another 20 or 30 deer to make up he has had to rethink the strategy.
So we now have a handfull of deer moves throughout the season. A couple early on and a one or two later in the new year.
We Started the buck season off at 4am on the 1st of August with a few of us in highseats and two guns slowly stalking on foot.
It was a successful morning taking the cull into double figures.
Once the hardwork at the larder was done we headed to the estate range for a BBQ breakfast and a few shoots at paper.
I wish I had a few photos as it was a beautiful hot day and a really nice way to start the season with a few mates.
We were out again this Saturday morning to get stuck into a big forestry block. A nicely laid out mixed woodland with all the rides on a grid system and a number of established highseats spread out.
The fallow were still rutting and we were under strict instruction to only take cull animals, leaving good prickets and descent mature bucks.
After taking a Fallow doe and a roe and her follower all within 50 yard of the seat I was ready to call it good. The plan was to wait in the seat until I got a call so I sat it out a little longer.
Towards the end of the morning I suddenly saw a big dirty white buck come crashing through the woods towards me. Just before he disappeared into some spruce I manage to bark at him and he stopped long enough to make a split second cull assessment and squeeze off a shot. He ran on into the spruce plantation behind my seat with very little reaction to shot leaving me slightly concerned. Firstly had I made a good call on the quality of the buck and secondly how good was the shot placement. I was itching to get down and get the dog for a follow up but knew better and sat tight. Less than 15min later I heard a noise right behind my seat and turned round to see a glimpse of grey and white through the spruce no more than 10ft behind me. I wound the mag on my scope right down and turned in my seat just as a pricket stepped into full view. I put the very blurred crosshair just behind his shoulder and squeezed.
By now my mag and my ammo wallet were empty partly due to me mistaking 3 empty cases in my wallet as loaded rounds the night before.
I called up my mate to tell him I was heading down from the seat to retrieve the deer and proceeded to follow up the pricket I had just shot. I found him 30 yards in and laid no more than 15 yards up the same tree row I could clearly see the white buck I had shot earlier. Two perfect cull bucks.
I was chuffed with the results of a good mornings work. By the time I come down from the seat at around 10.30/11am I had taken 3 fallow and 2 roe.
The rest of the guys had all seen deer and the total for the morning was 13.
Iíve never been one for going out to drop as many deer as possible but on some grounds with high densities of deer the job has to be done and you have to take your chances.
Helps if you take more than five rounds with you though.