Once again I ventured out into the small fields next to work at about 3pm today as it turned into a glorious afternoon, and the slight North wind is perfect for this area as there is only one ideal way to stalk it from the South.
I very slowly skirted around the outside and headed for a little area of bushes with a view to nestling in and trying the buttolo for a bit. It is really difficult stalking as the ground is covered in dead thistles so I have to pick my way through carefully without crunching them. I got to the chosen spot which is about 120 yards from a dry ditch crossing between two fields which is lined with hawthorn and sloe bushes. I've seen plenty of muntjac in this area and last week also bumped 3 roe as I was mooching around in my lunch break, which is the 1st time I've seen them here.
After settling onto the quad sticks I gave a series of about 12 peeps and waited. Around 15 mins had passed when a woodpecker suddenly took flight squawking away and seeing as I hadn't moved I thought something must be about. Sure enough right where it lifted from out came a Munty buck who was feeding on the bushes on the ditch edge, but was obscured by some longer grass and thistles. I was able to watch him for a good while reaching up, munching on the sloe leaves and seeing as he had no idea I was there, I was in no rush to take a shot. I tried the call again just to see what reaction I would get and it must have be coincidence that he appeared, because he took no notice whatsoever!! I could see that he was a nice buck though and just as I was contemplating moving into a better position, he mooched back into the ditch out of sight!
I had plenty of light left so decided to wait it out and sure enough about 10mins later he re-appeared, this time followed by 2 does further along the ditch but in a worse position than before with more cover and no backstop. I decided to get into a better position and crouched as low as possible, but still being able to pick my way through the thistles. By the time I had got closer the buck & smaller doe had helped me out and came about 15 yards in from the ditch, but the larger (and I think pregnant) doe had moved further on and disappeared.
I got set on the sticks again and the buck had moved into a good position for me to take a shot and he dropped to the .308 on the spot. The shot made the doe jump and bob into cover, but she didn't scarper and so I thought I'd give it a few minutes to see if she would come out. Sure enough, she came out a bit further on and seemed to be looking for the buck. I re-adjusted on the sticks and took the second shot, but I was a bit rushed, never steadied myself properly and as you can see from the photo the shot was a bit low. She stumbled forward then turned and hobbled forward a few steps before dropping. I wasn't convinced that she was dead so I waited about 10 mins, constantly glassing where she dropped and cursing the thistles as I couldn't see her down! I carefully approached and actually thought I may have had to carry out my 1st follow up shot, but my fears were put to rest as I could see where she lay and she wasn't getting up again.
So all in all a very enjoyable, fairly short stalk with 2 munties in the chiller, one of which is to be traded for our xmas turkey crown! I also think the buck may be worth a measure as although not the longest, the antlers are a good size and thickness so he may turn out to be my 1st medal,