After a battle against the Good Friday traffic on the A1, I met Tam at the B&B on a very warm sunny afternoon. We were soon on his ground and whilst driving in Tam spotted several deer out on the plantings in the sun. We parked up and it was only about 5.30 and tried to stalk into a buck we had spotted. He wandered off into the furrows and plantings before I could get a clear view. We stayed a while and watched a couple of doe's browse for a while, one in front and one behind us.
Moving on further into the forest we saw more deer either crossing the road or out on the plantings, i think about 18 in total before we had properly started. We parked up and went for a walk checking various spots and from a low seat we watched another doe browse (spotted by Tam). Whilst we were sat on the low seat Tam spotted (yes again) a couple of deer way off (3/4 of a mile just measured it on the map) in a ravine, one appeared to be pushing the other around, Tam thought it was two bucks by their antics. Tam suggested we walk over and have a look, well we would have had to go down into the burn up the other side and along the other ravine and bit too far for me to get there before dark, so we decided to drive around to the closest access point. On arrival we quietly stalked up the ravine to were we thought the deer were only to find nothing. We decided to wait and see what happens, after a little while two deer appeared into the impending twilight. One was a buck so we crawled a bit further and on the bi pod prone, but i could not get a clear view, so we stalked slowly and quietly (relatively speaking for me) up the ravine. The deer continued to feed as we approached and when we got to about 30-40 m they must have heard me. The buck paused for a moment on the bank and gave me a chance of a shot but I could not make out the cross hairs on his dark torso, so off he went. (wishing i had an illuminated reticle, vari x 56 instead of my 6x42 swaro). Game over, it was a great stalk and i did not think we would get as close but using the cover of the terrain and noise of the burn in the ravine Tam got me in real close. Great stalk.
Next morning we spotted a buck and doe from the road driving in. Continued on, went for a walk and whilst overlooking another ravine we saw another doe and then a few minutes later, again Tam spotted a buck and doe, onto the bi pod prone and the buck presented broadside and i felled him on the spot at about 120 m. Whilst Tam was gralloching he spotted another buck further along the ravine, eventually after recovering the buck and putting him in the truck we went to the spot where Tam had seen him but he had made his escape, sensible chap.
In the evening a return to see if the buck from yesterday would put in another appearance, so getting into position early sat overlooking were we had seen the buck last night. After a wait a deer appeared on the opposite bank and browsed in front of me, at first i thought it was a doe but on closer inspection it was a buck with knobs, then a few minutes later the buck appeared and pushed the younger one down the ravine a little way. The mature buck browsed in and out of the trees on the ridge offering no clear shot, i decided to take the knobber, squeezed the trigger and click, WTF I had forgot to chamber the round from under the bolt (for safety in the truck) so off they went into the trees. My dementia is getting worse.
Next morning several more deer seen but I did not get a shot. All in all a great weekend with Tam who is very knowledgeable and knows his ground intimately and can spot deer all over, great weather, great ground and loads of deer.
Thanks to Tam for a great Easter weekend.