Went down to see Ian and Jo over the weekend for a bit of stalking. It was meant to be out for the wild boar but as the boar hadn't been showing we switched over to trying to connect with some fallow.
Headed down for mid-afternoon Friday via a gunshop or 2 to break the journey from London (Kudos to William Evans for sourcing 7x64 and 9.3x62 ammo so quickly) and also needed some non-toxic bird shot. (Bismuth - I am now on pot noodle for a month)
Anyway, arrived at Ian's and after a chat we got kitted up and headed to Ian's range. I was very keen to check the zero as the previous weekend an airline had "care" of my rifle the previous weekend as I'd brought it back from Switzerland. The rifle was shooting a bit high but 6 rounds later it was nicely dialled in about 1.5" high at 100m.
So, after that it was out for some fallow. Saw some from the high seat but I wasn't comfortable taking such a long shot at low light. Home and bed for an early night for an early start the following morning.
Up at 445 the following morning and off. Arriving at a vantage point over-looking the area we spied some deer step onto the ground. A cunning plan was hatched consisting of "Let's leg it down there, come up the hedge and try and shoot one" (I do like Ian's succinct briefings)
So, piled back in the truck, round the edge of the valley, parked up and piled out. Along the hedge line in the up coming light, we spy the backs of the deer just at the toe of a slope. Hunkering down in the shadow of some dense bush, rifle up on sticks. Deer goes obligingly broadside and "Bang" (no mod on the 7x64). "Bugger" Says I. "Reload" comes from the side and I crank the bolt pivoting as the deer actually run a 180 degree arc around us. As the deer come around behind, Ian barks and the group stops. 1st pricket only fleetingly and jumps the hedge, second one however stood for just a little longer "Bang!" Solid shoulder hit at 70m and the deer leans over and piles into the base of the hedge.
"Well done" Says Ian, grinning and pumping my hand. "Well, better on the second attempt says I" Look of bemusement from Ian: "Why, you have 2 deer down very cleanly". Now I look confused "But I missed the first" says I. "No, you dropped the first cleanly". After some tooing and froing we walk over and do indeed have 2 cleanly shot deer. Not quite as smooth as I intended but sometimes it all works. (It turned out that I thought my first shot hadn't broken cleanly and I'd missed not seeing the deer fall as though pole-axed through a combination of muzzle flip and frantically cranking the bolt) - Occasionally it isn't as bad as you think.
So, off for a fry up, a nap, a visit to Sportsman and back out again in the evening. This time no obviously stalkable candidates but fallow were out grazing on various hillsides so it was decided to head for a couple of high seats and see what happened to wonder out. After hearing from Ian that he'd seen deer out but at longer range from his seat I was seeing nothing. Light was going and it was well after 8 when a fallow pricket came nodding out of the wood the seat backed onto. Lined up and "BANG!" and "FLASH!" Aimed for the shoulder and felt like a good shot but I can now see bugger all. And I'm now looking for a melanistic fallow and it is now rather dark. Ian has heard the shot an seen the flash so is on his way over with the truck. After winding me up and saying we might as well "leave it for tomorrow" he shows me where my deer is lying.
The following day we tried for another deer but 50yd viz in the fog put an end to that.
All in all, a very good weekend with Ian.