November High Seat
I have finally made time to write up the November evening high seat experience I have again through Jelen Deer Management.
As usual it started not quite according to plan. I was taking a leak before trekking off up the hill to the high seat, more like stillhunting my way up to the high seat. I noticed something funny and suspiciously deer-like in right there ten metres away from my stream. It was moving about and was bigger than a rabbit and did not have the same quite cadence. SO I really started stillhunting, very slowly up the hill, and it moved ahead of me like just ahead of me, cat and mouse like. When I finally got into the woods I could still sense something, but then over to the right there was another deer-like noise 60-70 metres away, so this took my attention for the next ten steps. On the tenth step he bolted, he was only twenty feet away and on my left. By the time I turned he was already 50 metres away and flying and then gone gone gone, the white flag and the two clearly discernible spikey antlers told me is was a good muntjac buck. Well if I had not taken a leak I probably would have over walked him at the start. Thinking that that was my luck for the day I got up to the high seat.
It was seriously autumnal, I loved it. The wood pigeons that had had the same effect as putting cowbells on me coming up the hill were starting to quiet down, excepting for one goshawk down the hill that I could just make out enjoying woodpigeon tartar causing a localised stir. You could hear, more like feel, the distant base thump of some much bigger rounds at some military firing range or exercise going off. Then more quiet. Eventually a fox, that I could not see, became active in the woods back where I had been, this was scattering the pheasants about that had been previously sauntering about looking for grub. I kept zooming in and zooming out with the new Swarovskis, new not actually, just new to me their new owner, but they seemed great compared to my now relegated binos. Nothing, then a little movement, no a hare. Sometimes, I think under a hundred metres, I have better luck looking with open eyes watching for movement, then sense something to clock with the binos. This seemed about right before it got too dark.
Then it happened, a woodpigeon startled up from the other direction, then another, but they were not that startled. I immediately thought this is real good, not just a sign, but a soft sign. I sensed movement 30 to 40 seconds later, up went the glasses, yes there was a deer of some form picking its way up the hill with its head down but on a definite walk. The question was would it go right and into and behind a thick batch of brush or come left. If it came left there would not be much time to watch it as this was only twenty some metres away, actually too damn close. The excitement at first got me in the wrong position that was good for the right but would have been disastrous for the left, I used my head and got into position for the left- if the deer went to the right I might not get a shot anyway. Low and behold he did come out just where anticipated. My rifle was all set up, scoped caps flipped, turned right down to low power 3. I did a half second double check, yes it was a fallow(on the cull list), yes it was a pricket(in season) sh—ould--er BANG! He went right over trying to rear up a bit on his hind legs but never really moved from the spot. I had thought if I could pin the shoulders it would be a good idea. He took the full force of it and reacted like just that. Last time I tried this, the deer(another fallow) still ran 40+ metres before succumbing. This time though it worked. There was the odd twitch but it was over quickly the bullet having broken both shoulders and taken out a chunk of lung. I let him settle down for the last time before approaching. I tried to do the text book gralloch as I want to do my DSC2 soon. All worked out more or less as planned, only I cocked up pulling the foodpipe out and it snapped, but there was nothing in there to speak of anyway.
Okay back to the high seat, I might as well, and I am told I can claim my free evening, if I nick two of those crafty fallow! It was not going to happen, that was enough commotion in that corner of the woods for that evening.
*One small footnote to the evening was that I was supposed to get the deer into a field, but this was later determined not a good idea on account of sheep running in there. Anyway I did get the deer 50kg+ there over the electrified fencing getting zapped in the process, yes, through the dead deer! Just as I was pondering if that could happen, I got the juice! Another stalker and a big dead stick kindly helped me get it back over without getting zapped twice.
Good fun, hard work. I slept well that night.