I decided I'd go out the other morning to try for a second buck off one of my shoots. I was driving down the lane to my parking spot and as I passed a gap in the hedge I saw the head of a roe buck above the crop. I pulled up in the gate way to the next field, quickly got my rifle out and made my way to the hedge row that separated me from the field he was in. I'd have to stalk 50m up the hedge to a point that would let me take a shot. I got to the gap and peeped through, but I'd been rumbled. He'd matched my progress up the hedge row and was ready and waiting for me to appear. As soon as he saw me he took a dislike to the situation, ducked his head below the crop and beat a retreat without offering a shot until he dashed out of the field through the gate way at the far end. I tipped my hat to him and quietly said, "next time mate". Just then there was a noise behind me that had me puzzled. I turned round and didn't see anything at first, but then I heard a sort of panicky squawk/squeak and could see and hear that something was running through the bean crop towards me. A roe doe then burst through the edge of the beans, saw me and executed a smart about turn back the way she'd come, in the process she almost collided with the buck that was chasing her as he broke cover and repeated her about turn manoeuver. A hectic couple of minutes, but no shot offered. Still, the morning was off to a positive start with 2 bucks seen already.
I made my way back to the car and drove the 100 or so yards to my proper parking spot, got all my gear together, fastened the dog to my belt and set off on the stalk I'd originally planned.
I made steady progress, but saw nothing else. To be honest I didn't hold out much hope because the beans that are filling so many of the fields on this farm are up to about 5' high in most places by now, so I'd only really be able to get a shot on or near one of the tracks, or in one of the few wheat fields.
After a couple of hours fruitless mooching around I spied a mound of earth over looking a strip of beans at the edge of one field that haven't quite "taken" properly and the stalks are only about 18" high, I sat on top of that and decided I'd chill for a bit and wait to see if anything decided to use one of the many crossing points through the hedge between the fields. I set up shop on top of the mound with my rifle over the sticks and started my vigil.
I was quite chilled at this point, but the dog just wouldn't settle, he was clearly agitated and his attention was firmly fixed on the bean crop in the adjacent field. Now, Sinbad's never been trained on deer and if he gets a whiff of anything he gets just as excited about a hare or a pheasant as he does over the smell of a deer; still, with the crop being so high it might be worth a try with the Cherry Wood call. I got the call out and tried my best to imitate the sound I'd heard the doe making earlier as she was being chased. I must have made a pretty good job of it too, as the response was immediate. From the next field there was a burst of movement and a roe buck came rushing through the beanstalks and collided with the hedge that separated my field from his. He then started to make his way down the hedge towards a small gap. I gave it another go on the call to sweeten the pot for him and he burst through the gap and stood stiff legged amid the stunted beanstalks. He looked ready for a fight! My rifle was already on the sticks and I quickly lined up on him and took the shot. There was a loud smack as the bullet hit him and he took off at a low run into the taller beans (not a good indication). I gave it the obligatory ten minutes and then made my way to the shot site. I let Sinbad sniff around until he caught the scent and we set off into the beans. We'd not gone far before he found the buck and I pulled the carcass out into the open to do the gralloch. I then got a chance to have a proper look at his antlers and I saw that he was a murder buck. It also then became apparent why he'd not given the shot reaction I'd hoped for. The shot had gone in exactly where I'd aimed and creased the heart before hitting the far side ribs and turning to break the last four ribs and come out of the gut wall. Needless to say, the inside of the carcass was messy and full of rumen. Not one for the game dealer then!
I completed the gralloch and then covered the carcasse with my jacket to keep the flies off him and went to fetch the car.
The buck's new home is now my freezer and yesterday's tea was roe steak and chips. The front end of the deer was a bit of a mess and I did lose one complete shoulder to contamination from the rumen, but most of him was still useable.