I brought myself a new rifle in August and for various reasons she has yet to make her mark in seven outings. I'm part of syndicate and we only take a few roe each year. So initial outings targeted the resident munty and as always, all I could find was roe buck after roe buck. In fact the only munty I saw was a tiny doe at 170 yards and I just wasn't happy to take it. The fallow have been equally awkward although I shared a magical half hour with my nephew aged 11 at last light where our master buck stood 40yards in front of us for 5 mins.
So to this morning. The kids were awake before me and as I rolled out of bed to howling gales and rain I wondered what the hell I was up to. Parked up half an hour later and as I climbed the gate bumped three fallow, typical. In the gloom I made my way to a low box we have cited near a pheasant feed ride.
As I settled down to a banana the light ebbed into the sky and the rain gave way. Over the next half hour the wood slow brightened and pheasants made their way past me to the feeder just behind. Then a flick of something caught my eye, squirrels four of them over the next half hour the scampered around making a row and generally being squirrels(rim fire outing shortly). Then at 150 yards a roe doe jumped across the ride. Hmm number two I thought! bang on cue a roe buck walked across slowly.Then turned to face me and made his way down the ride. A few mins later the doe re-appeared and followed him down the ride. 125, 100, 75, 50. Not a shooter nice looking middle age doe and not part of the cull plan. Then they were gone into some thick scrub which is to be thinned shortly.
15 mins past and I thought that was it 8.45 and the wind was back up. Then at 50 yards a doe and her kids appeared. Worry free they stood on the ride eating beech mast meandering from spot to spot. The wind dropped off and with a roe doe fawn looking rather shabby and thin and the roe doe and roe buck fawn in very nice order, easy choice. Problem now was the doe was at 20 yards and directly in front of the twins. Then as the doe moved the doe fawn decided enough was enough and was off into the scrub.
Mum and brother contentedly scoffed on and as the wind dropped further you could hear a pin drop. In fact you could here the doe chomping the beech mast, it was one of those moments with her odd thick white fleck on her shoulder and her intent monitoring of the twins that will stick in the memory banks for a while. As I was contentedly watching the world go by the doe fawn reappeared. Broadside safe and at 40 yards. The rifle barked and as it re settled I watched the fawn charge off at break neck speed and out of sight back into the scrub.
Reload. 5 mins later I walked to the mark a big lump of hair and a pool of blood calmed the nerves. Then a chunk of lung and another and another. Perfect there she was 30 yards along a well run rack. Quick check and placement was good heart lung.
Rifle off the mark. Now to catch up with fallow does.