I had a wander to a fairly new highseat we erected last night in the hope of bagging a Muntjac for the freezer. A steady stalk to the seat showed nothing so I got sat and settled about 4.45pm waiting for the 'witching hour' to do its thing.
The seat is positioned overlooking a plantation which is not looked after and is a haven for wildlife, including many deer, and from the seat we can also shoot halfway along a grass ride with a safe backstop about 80 yards away. Any further than this and it gets a bit too flat and iffy so no shot can be taken.
Around 5.30ish a Doe popped out of the plantation around 200 yards away mooching across the ride and down into a ditch, closely followed by a Buck. He looked to be following her intently and also marking the grass himself laying down his scent. My first thought was that she has recently given birth and is ready to be covered again. This I'm sure was to be confirmed just a few minutes later! The Doe re-appeared from the ditch and went back into the plantation, followed closely again by her suitor! I wasn't expecting what happened next!
She came out of the plantation again, walked across the ride and into the ditch, closely followed by the 1st Buck, then another followed him, then another followed him!! The 1st one was the largest and I'm pretty sure the master, then the next was slightly smaller and the next smaller still. All had clean antlers and the 1st chap had quite a nice head from what I could see! Unfortunately that was the last I saw of these but it wasn't the end of the deer! I could only assume that the Doe has a young un laid up somewhere as I know they are randy little buggers and she will be pregnant again pretty soon!!
At 6pm on the dot I finally gave up as I could not see well enough to ID a deer ot see the crosshairs, although I could still see through the Meopta quite clearly when I looked at a lighter background, which I ws impressed with. I unloaded the rifle and climbed down, making a bit of a noise obviously, and when I hit the deck I looked down the ride and did a double take! There, not 50 yards away, a Doe, Buck and youngster had appeared from the plantation and where happily grazing oblivious to my prescence. I crept to within 30 yards, shone my torch on them and watched through the bins for about 5 minutes before they finally skipped into the scrub!
So, a nice chance to observe these elusive little characters and also food for thought for the farmer when we meet up to chat about a management plan for his farm!! He's certainly got a few deer knocking about!!
Just before all the activity of the deer I also had the pleasure of watching a barn owl fly in about 20 yards away and it sat on a branch of a bush we had trimmed to get a good field of view. Unfortunately it didn't hang around long enough for me to get a picture as my movement scared him away!