I was down in Herefordshire with Wayne Davies and Andy yesterday having a final attempt to shoot a fallow before the end of 2009.
I stalked with Andy in the morning and we set off before first light so we could get into position as the sun came up.
I have never had great sucsess with morning stalks and this always makes me a bit sceptical but as the sun came up Andy tapped me on the shoulder and gestured me to turn around, 2 deer had walked out of the wood above us and were standing 50m away, unfortunately it was still too dark for me to be able to tell what they were (Andy told me afterwards that it was a doe and a calf, apparently Leica bins are the biz in poor light).
Chuffed to bits to have seen deer, we pressed on with Andy leading the way with me following behind trying not to sound like an asthmatic pit pony. The sheer amount of slots and spoor on the ground was unbelievable.
The next Deer we saw was a beutifull buck he stood not 40m away and started walking towards us, all of a sudden a group of deer jumped out of the wood and trotted into the field then obligingly stood nicely for me to be able to take a shot off the side of the oak tree i was hiding behind. My first fallow was on the ground and Andy congratulated me. I thought that this would be the end of the mornings stalking as it was getting late but Andy took care of the deer and we pressed on towards Wayne and another Guest (off this site i'm sure he'll tell you about it) whilst waiting for Wayne, Andy spotted another group of Fallow (23) and Andy and wayne tried to get us into position for a shot at them but they were persuaded otherwise buy a nice Buck that was standing just inside the wood calling them away from us.
After a really well deserved breakfast (sorry 'Brunch') courtesy of Tescos we set of for our evening stalk this time me with Wayne and Max, the other Guest with Andy.
We saw deer almost immediatley and Max was sniffing the air so my hopes were high, after getting settled in the highseat i joked to Wayne that i would like my deer to stand just to the left of the oak tree please, I wasn't dissapointed as shortly after Wayne tapped my shoulder and pointed out a lovely Doe trotting across the field then standing 10ft to the left of the spot I had requested, deer number 2 taken care of Wayne suggested we stay put as it was still early and the wind was good.
As the light began to fail Wayne told me there was a group of deer just inside the wood and if one came out into the field and i was comfortable i could take the shot. as if by magic a calf appeared just in front of the highseat and Wayne gave me the nod. At the shot the deer took of and jumped the fence back into the wood, I was sure the shot was good but it's still a horrible feeling. I needn't have worried, 2 minutes later and Max had found it stone dead just inside the wood.
The end of a great days Stalking left me shaking with adrenaline.
I can't thank Wayne and Andy enough for a great days stalking, not only did I get my first fallow i got number 2 and 3 as well. I got some great memories to take away as well, I got to see a great deer dog in action and i learnt a lot from two truely profesional stalkers. in return Wayne got to see me hop around on a cattle grid trying to change my trousers whilst not getting my white trainers covered in mud.
Thanks lads, I really appreciate all the hard work you put in for us and I hope one day I can return the favour.