Just back from my first couple of days stalking and thought I would share my story as it is the breaking of my deer virginity!
Booked a couple of days stalking (one evening and one morning) for my father and I with Jim of DGVM. I cannot recommend the guys and their set up highly enough - two of the nicest guys I have met in the sport of shooting with a natural passion, enthusiasm and huge knowledge to pass on to newbies.
We arrived on Monday and spent a couple of hours on their woodland range as I wanted to zero a rifle and practise as I am limited in areas with that distance. Picked up some useful tips and after both proving we can shoot straight(ish) we were back to the office for a brew and get gear sorted.
Dad went to one highseat with Malc and me to another with Jim, I saw nothing but a muntie was seen by Jim fleetingly, Dad saw a fair few Roe and Munties but all out of range or the ones in range were bucks. So monday drew a blank for both of us and we retired to a most excellent B&B recommended by Jim and a meal in the local pub.
This morning started early, with a meeting at 0600 and straight to highseats. I went to where Dad was the night before and he went elsewhere. We broadened our desires as originally we wanted a muntie each for the pot, and happily set out for a muntie or a roe doe whichever presented an opportunity.
About half 6, Jim sighted 4 roe working a field margin about 285m away and for an hour they meticulously headed towards a wood, travelling parallel to us, which still put them at 250m. It was an agonising wait to see which way they turned, and they headed towards us, albeit very slowly. We expected them to head to the wood anytime soon, but they slowly began working their way towards us, a 6 point buck rubbing his antlers to rid the velvet, another young buck and 2 does. Jim marked a tree at 150m which would be my cue to set up should they get there, and to mine and Jims amazement after an hour of watching I was cleared to take down the leading doe, now about 140m away. A clean shot and she dropped straight away and my first deer was in the bag! A new rifle christened and a future stalker made right there and then!
I was then showed the gralloch and bloodied my new knife my missus got me for my 30th and learnt even more of the steep learning curve you guys probably take for granted!
So the first rung taken on a very, very long ladder, the learning curve is steep - but I have my DSC1 booked and hopefully a trip or 2 out with a friend off here and I can start learning some of the vast amounts I need to get in!
If you have read this far, fair play, but thank you to all those who have helped with advise so far, and especially to Jim and his excellent team - I cannot recommend them enough. I'll be back as that Muntie still needs to be accounted for and as a keen chef the doe won't last me very long!
Oh, and if Zeiss or Father Christmas are reading this, please could I borrow one of your excellent range finding binos - I found my cheap pair to be wholly inadequate for this game! Thats the problem with starting something new, the shopping list soon mounts up!