Twas me and my shooting buddies usual Tuesday night shooting evening last night and on the way up the drive to the farm I spotted the regular Roe buck mooching along a hedgeline in his usual territory. Even at a fair distance, when I stopped the car to have a gander through the bins he stopped put and stared straight at me, then dibbed through the hedge out of sight. I parked up where my mate was waiting and a plan was hatched to stalk the hedgeline towards a moat where this fella resides to see if I could get a pic or two. At the moment I have no intention of shooting him as he looks to be in his prime and will be keeping the youngsters at bay!
We did just that but I learnt a valuable lesson in so much as even though I knew where he was headed and likely to be, he's still a bugger to get close to!! We mooched along the hedge but as we rounded a corner, not taking as much care as we should, we got spotted and the last I saw was his flared arris bounding off round some tree cover!! Cursing myself, but also taking solice in the fact I had guessed his whereabouts correctly we moved onto the 2nd plan of the night, some targets from the highseat.
We've been meaning to put some out for a while and I finally got some boarding from work and erected 4 stations out along a ride at 100, 200, 300 & 400 yards. My mate is a bit of a long distance man and wanted to work out the drops at each stage to dial in his new Vortex scope. As you can see 400 yards looks a long way from a highseat!! This is a ride where I've shot a few munties now but it tends to get left to grow during the summer, hence putting the boards out here as we soon won't see well enough to shoot anything else!
I was happy to check zero at 100yds with my .243 & .308 and have a pop at 200yds to see the grouping, but forgot to take a pic!! All is well and it gave me the confidence to take a shot under 200yds should the opportunity arise from a stable position (which incidentally it soon would!!) After messing around for a while it was about 8 oclock and so we thought we'd see just how long it takes the wildlife to settle back to normal after all the cuffufle. Bearing in mind we had 2 motors parked near the seat just out of sight of the long ride, had been shooting CF rifles for about an hour and were chatting away merrily like a pair of old biddies, we weren't expecting much! HOW WRONG WE WERE!!
Within 5 minutes a badger was mooching around the 300yd board, quite animated and wasn't too sure what these new things were dotted about his patch! He was quite amusing to watch and I thought he was gonna push the board over!!
Then at around 8.30pm it all started as though we hadn't been there! There is a clear crossing point at 180yds and a small munty doe poked her head out into the ride at this point and slowly egded out. My mate hadn't seen it and in my hasty (still excitable newbie stalking style) hissed MUNTY and flicked the safety off too quickly and the click sent her back into cover!! Q the ribbing and cursing and the fingers crossed hoping she'd re-appear!! Shortly after we heard a noise to our left and there below us was another one that scarpered when it realised he was not alone, closely followed by another along the neigbouring field margin obscured by bushes!
Then within moments the 1st Doe re-appeared and this time (quietly) taking the safety off I waited until she was in the center of the ride and took the shot. This time she didn't drop on the spot and took off like a scolded cat into the plantation. We waited a minute or two but as the light was failing we needed to get to the shot site to begin the search, although I was confident the shot was good and she wouldn't be far. I felt like a tutor, getting to the area and talking my mate through the DSC stuff, but started to get a bit worried when we couldn't see any blood or signs on the ground. Instead we decided to look in the direction she set off and only 10 yards in, dead adjacent to the crossing she was laid expired in the plantation. The shot turned out to be a bit far back and caught the rumen along with a lung as she had frothy blood in her mouth, so the gralloch was going to be interesting!! Let's just say as a 1st gralloch for my mate to watch me do, it wasn't one for the DSC1 tutors to use, but they aint all gonna be perfect!!!
So there we have another installment in Stratts life as a recreational deerstalker and I'm loving every minute of it! Sorry for no customary pic of the deer but it was dark and I had to get stuck in!!