Thought I'd share with you a memorable stalk from yesterday morning. I usally stalk alone, but had a friend with me yesterday who was witnessing the stalk for me. I really enjoyed his company and also the advice and tips he was able to share.
The stalk was the start of a small winter doe cull on the shoot that I keeper in my spare time. The farmer has little tollerance for the deer, which number around 20 on about 350 acres.
We started at first light and the first plan was to target a small spinney that borders the farmhouse - the field it encompasses is a haven for about 5 of the population and they can be seen most days from the farm - adding to the farmers frustration. A fruitless stalk through the woods bought us out into a maize stubble field, still no deer to be seen - most unusual. On we went, nothing in the next field and I was begining to wonder where these usually conspicous deer were. We had nearly completed the top boundary of the farm when my mate wispered to stop - up ahead was a deer on a banl in the long grass. We froze and I set up the sticks, it gradually became apparent it wasnt just 1 deer but 5.
The shot wasnt a long way - about 80 yards, but I wasnt happy head shooting which was all I could see clearly, and I didnt want to send a bullet semi-blind into the grass at one. Eventually they moved off the bank down into the field.
Attempt number 2 was a 30yd belly crawl across muddy stubble, alas when I arrived at my vantage point they were on the limits of what I will comfortably shoot at, and to make it worse I had forgotten to attach my bipod, so this approach was abandoned.
My 3rd and final attempt invloved a creep around the bank through some cover to ambush them in the field corner. After about 10 mins of repositioning, I popped up to see where they were - my heart sank, they had vanished! But all was not lost, they had simply slipped under the tree canopy and were silently browsing about 60/70 yds away - perfect!
I left my mate and my dog back in the cover and crept forward, I had shortened my sticks to kneeling height and had the perfect platform - on a slight bank shooting down, masked by some whispy cover. I had 5 deer in front of me - a 6 point buck, a mature doe, a 2/3 yr old doe and 2 yearlings. Ideally I wanted a yearling but they were out of view and it was the 2/3yr old doe that presented the best oppertunity. I made the adjustment for her slightly quartering and she dropped at the shot - very happy with that. Reload and the rest of the pack bolted only to stop as Roe do about 30 yds away - this was a cull after all, and a yearling presented another safe shot - bang, no.2 in the bag.
Both deer gralloched, the first having been shot through all the vital organs, and the 2nd straight through the heart. Nice to get both of those witnessed!
We were back home mid morning and I cooked up my mate a Stalkers Breakfast - he'd never eaten Roe Liver before and the young doe had a perfect one for breakfast, so Devilled Roe Liver on toast and a mug of tea. Perfect!