What with work and dodgy weather we got off to a bit of a late start on the bucks this year. First outing with myself and EMcC last weekend in absolutely perfect weather conditions we saw two does and two bucks. First buck caught us out fair and square, standing broadside and silhouetted on the skyline while we were still parking the truck we had no hope! Second buck should have been a nice steady stalk behind the trees to 100 yards or so but as we lost sight of him to get into final position he disappeared from the middle of the field as only deer can do. In fact, with the grass over knee deep and due for the first cut in a couple of weeks, we were convinced he couldn't have known we were there and must have decided to lie down and had gone out of view. No such luck though. It felt like the deer weren't moving though and we had to cover all the ground to see what we did.
Cut to last night, weather had been sketchy but with a predicted short break in the rain and wind I arrived to find tika.308 aka "Senior Guide" making the farm look untidy
After a natter with the keeper between us we decided our beats and boundaries and headed off, me taking my truck up to the opposite side of the valley and parking up and Andy heading up the hill behind the farm and around the back of the woods. I was set to park up and go left to set me up with the wind but Andy mentioned he'd seen a small buck in some old dead cover crop earlier in the year to the right so I decided to check it out even if the wind wasn't ideal.
I'd not gone 150 yards from the truck before looking through the brown stalks I could make out a shape. It was so perfectly camouflaged in the dead stalks that at only 50 yards away it took a couple of minutes to definitely ID it as a deer... and another couple of minutes to ID it as a buck... He couldn't have been more than 10 or 15 degrees off being perfectly down wind of me so every second I was expecting his nostrils to flare and that would be that but he continued mooching about picking weeds and shoots and I continued to follow him, poised on sticks, before a shot finally presented itself, low neck, and the trusty .30-06 delivered the shot perfectly.
A skinny little buck, he turned out at just 27 lbs larder weight. Some sign of pneumonia but otherwise healthy yet obviously a good cull animal.
I texted Andy to let him know and within minutes got one back saying he'd just got one too! There still being plenty of light left we both decided to stalk on to see what was about and it was evident that unlike the previous weekend the deer were making the most of the break in the weather because I went onto see 5 deer in and around the 8 foot kale cover crop with two very pregnant (almost waddling!) does and meanwhile Andy had got onto a second buck and had seen 11 deer!
The light was going by the time I got back to the truck so it was time to go and find Senior Guide and follow his trail back and pick up his bucks and was dark by the time we got back to the first one!
So 16 deer seen and three bucks taken. Both of Andy's bucks were good cull animals too... one old timer well gone back and rounded stumpy head on him and one younger four pointer. Same ground not 6 days apart and we went from deer not moving in beautiful conditions to deer everywhere in the lull between two weather systems.
A good outing and was rewarding to see plenty moving last night after experiencing what a lot of people seem to have been reporting with the roe being reluctant to move lately.
Looking forward to more late nights and early mornings this summer!