I have just started hunting Roe on my nearly wife's parents land here in sunny Sweden. My first time out was in August for the start of the buck season and I managed to get a beauty then much to the amusement and amazement of the outlaws. So, the plan was to come here for a couple of weeks over Christmas to enjoy the picture postcard snowy landscape and hopefully put another couple of Roe in the freezer. So farů. not even close.
The weather since we got here has been like England, but more depressing. I get into Scandinavia for six to eight weeks every year for non-hunting activities. The last couple of winters have been just what you would expect and have been largely taken for granted, but because I want the novelty of hunting in the snow and seeing little hoof tracks and deer poo sitting frozen on the surface, I have been blessed with howling wind and rain.
Anyway, the reason for posting was that this afternooon I stalked into an area that I have only visited once before in summer. I planned to take a circuitous route to a high seat that is used by the hunting team for the moose hunt. As I trudged through the spongy wet undergrowth, I started to get hopeful as I saw signs that deer had been around, but then I started to notice that something larger had been in residence. Creeping round a particularly dense collection of trees, I nearly missed a huge, dark shape looming about 60 metres away. The outline was broken up by a couple of trees (they really aren't short of the damn things over here), but it was unmistakably a good size moose.
Just for the hell of it, I crept in close and got to about 40 metres before the huge animal either noticed me or began to care. I was both elated and gutted. Elated because apart from a farm up near Abisko about 5 years ago, this was the closest I had got to a moose. Gutted because I couldn't shoot it. Moose hunting here is tightly controlled and the land owners in this area club together to gain a quota which is fulfilled by the hunting team.
Anyway, moosey just moved off from its spot and disappeared incredibly quietly into the forest leaving me to blunder about, get soaked and not spy a single Roe.