so i had been working on this estate for around 10 months at the time of this, this was back in january 2011 we were most of the way through our hind cull, and just taking the last few hinds from here and there, the days of going hard and getting the big numbers in where gone now, so i asked my younger brother if he fancyed a hind for his xmas-cheap gift on my part... lol, naturally he accepted and a date was set.
He turned up around the start of january and we had just had a heavy dump of snow, personally i try not to much culling in snow if dont have to, so we set to some pest control, loading up the bike with all the gear for a day at the foxes we headed out to the far reaches of my beat to a gully where i knew a fox had been working.
After half an hour or so riding we parked the bike up and headed on foot for the last few hundred yards, we reached the gully and got into a good spot and started glassing, after an hour or so with nothing seen we moved position and did so a few times, until we were almost going to call it a day then i spotted the fox working his way through a peat hag it was going to be a fast stalk and a quick shot so i left my brother where he was with a radio so he could guide me in, after dropping out of sight i cut around the top of the hags and radioed back to ask where the fox was '' hes working his way up out of the top of the hags downwind from you''... f*#k... so i grabbed the rifle an made a quick move further up the hill and across so he would be upwind of me, this worked and the brother came over the radio hes 300 yards and making ground on you, i chambered the 243 and got ready, scanning with the binos showed he was below and left of me and nearly in range, i let come another 50 yards and let a squeak he ignored it so i whistled, again nothing, i shouted ''here min'' that stopped him
i found his chest through the scope and let rip with the light thump of the silenced rifle he flipped around for a couple of seconds before coming to a stop.
I got my gear, unloaded the rifle and put it back in the slip, walking up on him i loaded the shotgun to be ready, i didnt need it as the shot had gone right through his chest and killed him clean, i removed the tail and headed back at a quick pace to my brother who was getting stuck into the flask of coffee! we made our way home and got home in the dark. that night was mild and most of the snow had melted off only leaving patches of well established snow.
So we did a quick run around the trap line (2 stoats) before heading home and getting our stalking gear ready, we where on the hill by 9.30am and quickly spotted a group of 15 hinds and a dozen calfs through the binos i could see there was a couple who had not fared so well over the winter, so a plan was hatched it was going to be a long hard stalk probably taking most of the morning and early afternoon. it was going to be a long walk up and over the hill they where on to get the angle right, so we set off after a couple of hours we came to a huge snow slip about 200 yards across and the whole length of the hill so we started to cross it slowly, until we noticed a hind had walked up onto the ridge and was looking at us we dropped out of sight and donned the white painters overalls, we carryed on making ground but had to cut up a couple hundred yards to get round the hind on the ridge, we did so and where in position by 1pm we watched the deer for half an hour making sure the brother knew which one to try for he was to shoot a yeld hind in bad shape after he had i was going to knobble a couple of old looking hinds feeding along the tail end of the group, so he got set up on the rifle and chambered a round the deer where oblivious of our presence.
He took the shot and the hind lunged forward and out of sight, i figured he had been a bit back but still i fatal blow so i grabbed the shooter and in the panicked confusion of the deer picked off the two hinds i wanted to take. we let the deer make there own way off and slid down from the shooting position giving them time to get out of sight i rolled a smoke and we slowly made our way over where the beasts where, and first i went and grabbed my two and dragged them over to where the brother hind was, or was not... we searched for the hind and could not find her so i sent him back to the shooting position and i stayed where the hinds where and got him to guide me to where he thought the hind was and i found the hoof prints of where the hind was standing no blood, no hair... so i followed the prints until i found the herd again they had not gone too far and there she was the hind he had shot at standing bold as brass not a thing wrong with it, and to this day is till do not know why she reacted as she did, i would have swore he had hit it!!!
Ohwell we gralloched the two hinds and headed back down towards the bike on the way we came across a roe doe feeding along the a fence, so i set him up and we were close no more than 40 yards away i gave the instruction ''base of the ear'' as the gun thumped the doe dropped we got to it was a perfect shot severing the spine and destroying the brain. we gralloched that doe and loaded them all onto the trailer and headed for the larder, all three where cleaned weighed tagged and chilling within the hour we had a few hours of daylight left so we carryed on for another look, this time we went to one of the easyer spots on my beat to find deer and sure enough within 200 yards of getting off the bike there was a puckle of hinds and a calf, so same thing got him on the bipod ''take the calf them roll over il take the hinds'' the instruction was followed as the calf dropped at the 100 gr sako round thumped into the base of the neck i quickly followed this by taking the calfs mother, the other hind started to move towards us the sound in the tight gully must have confused her so i waited until she got to 30 yards and aimed just below the chin for a shot in the top of the neck she was soon down they where gralloched loaded and lardered quickly, on the way home he asked if he could come again! get them started young ae!
The total for the day was 5 reds and 1 roe not a bad day considering the novice shooter managed to bag his first red and a nice little roe for the freezer, all in all it was good day, and good fun! and a little bit of pest control thrown in for good measure!