Took my first roe buck a couple of days ago on Thursday 2 October. I run a game syndicate on a smallish shoot in North Yorkshire which has some decent cover and a fair bit of mixed woodland where no one has shot the deer for many years. Every year while game shooting we are always pushing deer out of the cover and deer stalking was always something I wanted to get into and so in January this year I bought a .243 tikka T3 light. I had managed to get out with john robson from yorkshire deer stalking who kindly took me out twice completely free of charge during the rut but we were unlucky both times and never got onto a buck. However those two trips got the juices flowing and having seen plenty of signs of deer around my Pheasent feeders I thought it was time to have a go myself.
I got to the shoot for about 4.30pm and decided to stalk into a larch wood with the wind in my face to reduce the chance of any deer scenting or hearing me. The larch wood is quite thick and even after a very careful stalk I bumped 2 deer which had obviously been at one of the feeders. Undeterred i decided my best chance was to sit and wait for the late evening and I took up a position beside a new pine plantation which gave me field of view covering about 70yds of open bracken cover between a very large established fir wood and the newer larch and pine wood where the feeders are situated. I waited patiently listening and enjoying nature going about its business, buzzards soaring on high, pheasents moving in the wood beside me, squirrels foraging for food and then later pigeons starting to go to roost followed by the crows and rooks. The light was fading fast and I thought my chance had gone. I had heard deer moving near me in the wood and in the gutter below an old stone wall but none had crossed the ground in front of me. I was about to pack up when the buck came out of the pines about 60yds up the hill, coming from the direction of the feeders, I used my quad sticks as a single stick rest and could just make out the buck who was facing me. As I watched through the scope he turned slightly to his right giving me a shot. I knew I had hit him but he ran full pelt towards me down the hill then swerved into a gap in the trees about 20 feet in front of me and crashed through the wood. I heard him crashing through the wood for only a few seconds, I waited a little while but there was no more crashing about so I donned my petzl headlight and entered the wood at the same place that the buck had and found him within 5 yds stone dead. He was a nice 4 pointer.
I pulled him out of the wood and set about performing the gralloch in the fast fading light. The gralloch went okay, there was a fair amount of blood and when I recoverd the heart half of it was shot away so a half decent shot which was pleasing.
By the time I had finished, the light had gone but the car wasn't far and it was a downhill walk and when your head is buzzing with the euphoria of taking your first deer you hardly notice the weight of the bag.
Even though this was my first roe deer I had picked up a great deal of knowledge from the posts and videos on SD and from talking to my friends Willie and John Robson to learn as much as possible so although the adrenaline was going I didn't panic and managed a reasonably successful outcome.
Have definitely got the bug now and I am planning to get out for another buck before the end of the month and I think stalking will be something I will enjoy for many years to come.