Friday afternoon saw myself and Bandit Country heading down to the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border to stay with WG for the weekend.
After a fairly swift turn around( thanks Pippa for tea ). We picked up Anthony who was going to be guiding BC for the weekend..
we were going to be stalking to separate beats that evening so we dropped off BC and Anthony and a pickup point was arranged.
Myself and WG park up and got kitted out, a plan was hatched and we stalked along a wheat field bordering a strip of Douglas fir wood. Nothing showing along the margins, so we ducked into the wood and got set up with our backs against a tree.
WG started calling and saw a doe moving 75m in front of us, a few minuets past and I glanced to my left and a small munty buck was looking back 20m away. So the staring game started, I nudged WG to let him know. A few more calls and a munty doe moved behind the buck. As he was clean we could take him if we wanted. Then he looked left as a bigger buck moved into view. This was enough to get the buck to move and I could re position slowly. Then he was broadside WG called, buck paused and he was down. Not the best shot placement, a little low and taking both front legs.
Buck gralloched and we headed back to the car to drop him off. We then stalked a few more field margins, plenty more deer showing and very healthy cover strips for the game season. We were now loosing the light so headed back to meet the other two..back to the larder where the boss was sorting one out from a client that he was out with that evening.
Back to WG's for a little suppa and the vast amount of sleep(3hrs)!
Up early and off far a longer drive down to ground in Hampshire. Once again we split up with myself and WG taking one half of the farm, we stalked up to a vantage point to spy as the first bit of dawn was breaking. Nothing moving until we spotted a doe in a maize strip, then a buck appeared as they do in the headland out of nowhere. We watched him for a while and then a young buck came out of a hedge to our left and walked left to right some 65m in front of us in the open. I was up on the sticks as the buck paused broadside. Good sound and he made a 40m arc downhill. It was still only 5.15am. Gralloch done and back to the motor. So we then decided to head back along our original route to glass a replanted area which over the last 4 years since I've been visiting has got taller and more overgrown. It's heaven for hiding roe deer in!!!!
No matter how hard you glass they always seam to pop out of nowhere, today was no exception. A doe and a buck appeared but never offered a shot. Still great to see them about. The boy that we had seen for the last 4 years didn't put in an appearance. A fantastic Hampshire buck.
Time to pick the other two up and see whether they had had any luck..........that's another story;-)
Back to the larder to sort out the beasts. Then back to WG's for a shower and breakfast.
A fantastic lunch, good food and company.
A short afternoon kip before heading out to another beat, we split up after an exciting 10 mins after we got out of the truck......another story for the other half of the gang.
We headed of into the woods, glassing and looking. We paused against a tree to call for a while but only a doe showing. Back out of the woods, along a track to glass some fields which half had been cut for silage and the other left with a lot of herbage which the roe love. We bumped a doe and kid on the track but luckily they went into the wood. We came to the centre hedge and glassed the uncut field and spied a doe, then another and then a buck at the far corner. Game on.
With a plan hatched we made our way down the centre hedge to get around the deer and come up from another angle. Half way down the hedge a doe came crashing through the bottom of the hedge following 30m behind her the buck that was in the other filed.
Up on the sticks and WG gave a few calls that made him stop. Then he turned and headed our way. Bingo. Or so we thought. He was still coming and then all of a sudden he jumped through the hedge we were up against. Luckily there was a gap in the hedge 5m in front so I peered over the wire and he was there, now bedded down in the herbage. Sticks over the wire, I managed to get over. The buck got up and heading left to right. A squeak from WG and paused braodside on. A good hit and he wheeled around to come to rest in the long greenery. Heart and lungs smashed.
Beast sorted out and back to a point we could collect later.
Light was now starting to reduce. Anthony and BC had spied a pair of munty out on our beat as they were heading back to the meeting point. So we stalked into them but the just merged back into the wood like ghosts to be left for another day.
Back to the larder,beast sorted and back for a bite to eat ready for our extended sleep of 3 1/2 hrs tonight.
Back out on another patch of the estate, we covered a fair bit of ground from meadows to beach woodland. With only a doe spotted and the fleeting glimpses of muntjac but still great to be out in our countryside.
Breakfast was soon approaching so we headed back.
Dom once again thanks for another great trip down. thank Pippa for looking after us so well and putting up with us descending on you for the weekend.
Anthony. Thank you very much for the weekend and look forward to you return trip.
To to sum it up, great stalking, great company and loads of p**s taking makes for a great weekend!!!!!
and remember. It's not a competition!!!!!!!!!!