A few months ago I posted a thread about Roe Deer. Being an Irish boy, I have had a very deprived childhood when it comes to Capreolus capreolous. I have worked across the UK in the forestry industry and I have seen many and I have seen loads on trips to the Continent, but I have never shot one. My post was enquiring where in the UK was a good place to go. I received several great replies. One scottish gentleman even sent me a lovely Roe head for the wall. Cheers Bigscott270!
One reply I received was from a chap called Wildboar1973, offering me the prospect of a swap stalk for Roe and possibly wildboar. Now it took me all of 0.5 seconds to jump at this offer! All I had to do was get it passed by high command!! Once my lovely wife had endorsed my travel permit, it was time to book flights...
The morning of Thursday the 22nd May found me boarding an Aer Lingus flight for Dusseldorf. Arriving in Dusseldorf, I was met by Michael and whisked off to Cologne. There I was introduced to the delights of Frankonia!(should of brought wife's credit card!). Great spot, like a kid in a proverbial sweet shop! However no money was spent (kept a catalogue for some long distance shopping). After visiting Cologne's beautiful cathedral, we were on our way to the beautiful Sauerland.
Arriving in Michael's home village, I was introduced to his family, who could not have been more welcoming to this stranger. Soon we were out after Roe.
That evening we went to an area that Michael knew had a good buck that the landowner had seen a couple of times. Michael himself had seen it and sent me a video of it a few weeks previously! Soon we were safely tucked into an extremely comfy highseat, that even had cushions! Alas though it was fantastic to see the vibrant wildlife of the superbly managed German forests, so different from sterile Irish monoculture, no Roe appeared.
Calling it a night, Michael dropped me back to the B&B, saying that we would head out again at 3.45am. Now, as an Irishman, time has a certain fluidity. 3.45am to an Irishman means early in the morning sometime... but no, he meant 3.45am. We tried the same spot again. As we stalked in towards the highseat, Michael spotted a doe in the edge of the wood. She moved off and we continued to the same seat as the previous evening. As it got brighter, a young Roe spiker appeared through the woods to the left of the seat. Michael gave me the nod. I lowered my Swarovski EL 8.5x42 binos, and raised the Blaser R93 professional in .308, with the swarovski Z6i scope. I clenched my Marks and Spencer underpants that he would continue his path to the left and give me a clear shot but alas as I prepared to take the shot, he slipped to the right behind a tree stump and vanished. Damn, Roe vanish quickly!
We called it a morning and I headed back to the B&B for some breakie and a snooze. Later that morning Michael brought me to the shooting cinema- best fun ever! Loads of rounds of 8x57JS later, I was told I wasn't too bad on running game!
That evening we went out again. We headed to a different area and were met by the local gamekeeper. As we headed towards another highseat over looking an uncut hay meadow, we found a dead female yearling Roe. No obvious sign of trauma, Michael notified the game keeper. Tucked into another luxurious highseat, we waited as the beautiful Summer's evening passed. I saw what i thought was a hare rise in the meadow. Michael said no, it was a female yearling Roe with her back to us. She fed a little then dropped back into the grass. As the light faded, we heard a barking Roe to our left. Suddenly a lovely 6 point Roe Buck burst out of the wood, barking away. This barking was reciprocated by another buck right behind the seat in the now pretty dark wood! Michael signaled that I should take this second buck. He was about 20 yards behind the seat. Alas I was too slow with the rifle. Just as the scope came onto him he was gone back into the wood. Both bucks vanished as quickly as they had arrived. All we saw for the rest of the evening was the little female yearling again. She looked quite sick, skin and bone. Even though female yearlings were in season, Michael held off shooting her until we could check her out properly in better light.
Next morning, Saturday, another 3.45am start, we headed back to the first location but pulled a blank. That evening we headed back to the seat with the sick looking female yearling and the two bucks. The female yearling stood up out of the meadow in the same spot. She looked in a poor state. Michael reckoned it was best to shoot her. I took the shot, but I must admit that with such a small unfamiliar shape in the long grass, my shot was further behind the shoulder than I would of liked. However the .308 did its job and she dropped on the spot. On inspection she was pure skin and bone. We saw another doe as light fell and the 6 point buck came out again, though he was too good an animal to take at this stage. Next morning we tried again but saw nothing.
Please excuse my ramblings. It was a fantastic trip and I would like to thank Michael and his family for their warm hospitality. I greatly look forward to Michael trying for some Irish Fallow and Sika in October. My darling daughter has smashed the screen on my phone so I have no photos I'm afraid!
Vielen dank Micheal!