I regularly visit a small estate near Newbury, paying per stalk, and on Friday I managed to arrange a trip out for Saturday evening as its been a while!
The 100 mile drive (with the mrs for company) was fine. Spotting a few deer along the m4 and enjoying the decent weather. As we got near the clouds rolled in and it looked like being a short wet outing.
We arrived at the farm at 1745 to meet John. He suggested that with the way the weather looked a quick drive around to see what was about would be the best plan. So by 1750 we were off.
Drove through my favourite small wood first which always seems to hod a few munty and often fallow too. Spotted a group of fallow that we knew we could come back to later so carried on. As we made the edge of the wood John spotted 2 munty in the next open field and as I was looking to fill the freezer a quick jump out of the landrover and I squeezed off a shot dropping the buck on the spot. Old boy with a good set of teeth but pretty stumpy headgear. We were less than 15 minutes in!
We carried on, happy that I had done what I set out to and not too bothered about shooting anything else although I had been asked for a carcass if possible.
10 minutes later a group of 4 roe were in sight. John stopped on the track and I made my way (a little too noisily) to a position where I was able to see clearly. A little extra manouvering got me to a safe shooting position and the second deer was in the bag, dropped on the spot.
At this point I was more than happy and with the light fading fast could easily have called it a night but the mrs now decided that she would like to try for only her second deer ever, her first being a nice little roe buck off the same ground last year.
She had had a few shots earlier in the day so I was happy that she was shooting well and decided that it was a good idea. John as more than happy to oblige as the game dealer would be glad of the carcass.
John got us quickly to the other side of the estate where it is a little more open meaning that we had some extra light. We spotted a couple of roe and some muntjac but nothing stopping for a shot.
As we got to what was to be the last but one field John stopped the landrover having spotted movement in the treeline below us.
The mrs jumped out and rested the rifle on the door waiting for a chance. I was looking through a very dirty windscreen at this point and could just about make out 2 deer as they passed an opening. Looking from the position that I was and seeing the second deer pause I am sure that I would have managed a shot there but as I have told the mrs not to consider a shot until she is 100% comfortable and confident she left the pair to move on as she was not happy with the position.
We waited a few minutes and the two fallow came out of the tree line to cross the field, she raised the rifle and I whistled stopping the second deer long enough for a shot but again she was not comfortable so left it.
John mentioned that the carcass would have been useful so I swapped places and got myself comfortable, John gave a whistle and the .243 again did its job. The fallow managed a short run up the hill and disappeared over the brow towards another wood where, considering the fading light and lack of dog, we would have been in all sorts of trouble. We ran to the brow in time to see one dead deer, 10 yards from the wood.
Carcass retrieved and breath caught we sat back down and on checking the time I was amazed that it was 1850!!
One hour and 5 minutes, one munty, one roe and one fallow!
Now before all the comments I know this isnt proper stalking (pirelli stalking!) But nonetheless it meant that 3 peoples freezers were full as required and on this occasion thats what was needed.
Despite the outing being so short I thoroughly enjoyed it as always and it proved the John really does know his ground. As the weather continues to improve I am sure the mrs will get her next few deer and we will have plenty for the bbq.
Sadly I forgot to take any photos but I will make sure for next time.