Some of you may have remember but last spring I asked for recommendation on a calibre for my first deer rifle, following lots of advice I settled on a 7mm 08, due to the lead in times of a Sako in the calibre, I went to visit Dave at Valkyrie rifles who had a donor tikka action following a long wait for the McMillan stock I collected the rifle mid December. Straight over to Bobs and he Zero'ed it in for me, and showed me how to go on, with 140 grain federals, it really seemed to like them.
Due to work and other commitments, I did not get chance to try the rifle on anything but a target until early February. A keeper mate had been having trouble with fallow knocking over and raiding his feeders. So asked me to come down to Hampshire to see if I could get one with the new rifle, the morning arrived, and found us sat in a high seat overlooking a clearing in the wood. As it got light I spotted a fox coming across the clearing, as it trotted across the ride I said I would shoot it, it had to take priority over a deer, cross hairs on it and the first shot in anger and a fox in the bag, my mate turned road and said well that's buggered the deer, let's go and see if we can stalk something.
We we stalked down the ride and up through the side of the wood, when he suddenly stopped, and pointed out a buck and a doe, they spotted us and were off, so we went on a bit further when he stopped again and whispered 3 does, pointed them out, but my novice eyes couldn't see them in the woods, to which he responded over there you blind bugger. Finally I spotted them after what seemed an age, up on the sticks which I had from remi, just behind the front shoulder, safety off, bang and the deer walked in circles and then dropped, we gave it a few minutes and went over to it, it had not been far away, probably only 60 yards, but my first deer with the new rifle, up until now all the deer I've shot have been gralloched by my host, but knowing I wanted to gave a go, I was told to get on with it, but supervised. I was told next time I would be better to go a little higher. Probably not the tidiest gralloch in the world but job done, my host said we will put it out of the way and come back later and collect it.
We then continued to stalk through the woods, bumping another pair of roe, so pushing on, the we came across a group of approximately 30 fallow, my host had been hoping to get me a nice buck, but the only shot which presented itself was a doe so up on the sticks, remembering to aim a little higher, remember breathe, gentle squeeze, again, bang watch the deer, walks in circles, falls over, watch, leave a couple of minutes, head over to my first fallow, I was surprised by how big it was, again told to get on with the gralloch. Better this time more confident, but what surprised me was the size of the thing. Gralloch complete we dragged it to a road way and went to get the Polaris, picking up the roe and the fallow and back to the cold store, I later learned my doe went 89lb head and hoofs off.
Last week I was invited on a cull where another mate is trying to get the numbers of Munties down, sat in my high seat after a particularly difficult week at work it was nice to wind down. Part of the brief for the evening was any fallow, muntie does but no muntie bucks if you can help it. Just before dark a munty appeared up on it with the scope for it to turn into a buck lovely looking beast, antlers about 2" above its ears, so just sat and watched it, Really interesting time observing it. But no shot fired.
Today day I was out again trying to get a fallow, we stalked up through the woods, and a muntie was spotted, it was a young buck with very small antlers, so I was told to take it, up onto it remember everything I've been told, squeeze and muntie buck in the bag, that's another one I'm told to gralloch, seemed a lot easier than the fallow.
So 4 shots for 4 different species.
we the stalked on though the woods when my host spied a muntie doe and told me to take it if I could, cross hairs just behind the shoulder pull, crack, and no deer, only to be told you'll pulled off that one, remember to squeeze. We talked about it and it was a great leveller.
There re were another two fallow bought back to the larder today which I gralloched under supervision, I would say I'm far from confident when doing the gralloch, but thanks to two great friends I have 5 supervised grallochs under my belt, so would feel ok about doing it by myself if I took my time. Which is good as I have been very lucky because I have been asked to reduce the number of roe on some ground where they are damaging the flowers they grow.
So shot number 5 let me down. But it was probably no bad thing as it bought me back down with a bang.
As I was told today, and it's really sunk in now, the easy thing is pulling the trigger, then the work really starts.