Well, I went to bed last night with the alarm set for 05.15hrs, but was like a kid trying to sleep on Christmas Eve, do you think I could get asleep. I obviously dropped off at some point as the alarm woke me, but the wife managed to sleep through it. I got dressed, grabbed a cup of tea & walked out the back door with it, to walk the dogs. It was dark & rainy, bloody great it was meant to be dry today. I got back grabbed my kit & hit the road.
Just after 08.00hrs I arrived, having stopped for a nice little full English at a petrol station, which was surprisingly nice.
I phone the Keeper & he was busy feeding, so he told me to carry on & he would catch up with me later.
I drove to one of the woods & got kitted up, it was now dry, although a little bit on the cool side.
The wind was quartering from behind, so I elected to stalk down the first ride which is quite close to the road running down the right hand side of the wood. This would mean my scent being blown over a small strip of the wood, but saying that there wouldn't be a safe shot towards the road.
I set of walking a few paces & then scanning with the binoculars, after about 150m's I saw a small movement to my left, it was a hare that appeared out of a hollow & hopped off slowly through the wood. It was unaware of my presence I watched it for about a minute until it disappeared from my view. I was just about to move off again, but for some reason, I looked behind me along the ride that I had just walked along. I couldn't believe it a muntjac doe stood in the middle of the ride about 80m's away.
Less than 5 minutes earlier I had just walked in that exact spot. I set up my sticks & settled my .243 RPA GP Hunter on top, I just got down to look through the scope as she walked off to the left towards the road. I lost sight of her behind a tree & despite creeping back towards her last location I didn't see her again. She just seemed to disappear.
I carried on along the ride, my intention was to get to the far end of the wood & stalk across & back down the next ride with the wind quartering into my face. About 20 m's from the end of the wood more movement to my left, I stopped & just saw a deer moving into cover about 50m's away, I was sure it wasn't a munty & my first impression was it maybe a Roe doe, but the keeper said he hadn't seen any Roe. Then another glimpse, it was a CWD doe, I quickly set up the sticks & waited for the shot. I couldn't see her, so switched back to my binoculars & caught movement slightly further back, a Buck. My only problem was the deer were in a dip, with a large pile of offcuts between them & myself & they were heading to thick cover. I waited for what seemed like ages, then realised that I needed to breath, breathing resumed. I watched the Doe reappear for a second, before she was lost from view again. The Buck then stared directly at me, then slowly started to move towards me. Now the problem was if he walked a few more paces towards me he would be hidden by the pile of off cuts,he stopped I got down behind the rifle & took the shot. A large plume of pins exploded & he dropped on the spot, it looked like someone had had a pillow fight. I reloaded and confirmed he was down, the doe appeared on the fringe of the wood about 30m's away, she stood for a brief moment before charging off across the fields. Well chuffed, my first ever CWD.Attachment 49988
Unfortunately his other tusk was snapped off about half way down.
I continued through the wood, seeing plenty of tracks, on the middle ride a Munty doe stepped out in front of me about 100m's away & then she moved into the trees, I lost sight of her behind a tree. Watching through the binoculars I waited for her to appear out the other side, but she never did, another one that just seemed to disappear??.
I had almost completed my loop of the wood & was nearly back at my car, when I saw a flash of white in front, a munty's tail, as she leapt through the cover onto the ride then she stopped about 100m's away & seemed to settle. Surprised I watched her for a while as she then walked away to the left, I was now directly upwind but she didn't seem that bothered. She walked out of sight & I slowly made my way towards her last position, I could see her slowly making her way through the trees, but now she was in company with a Buck.
Another larger white movement, slightly further than the Munty's but this time almost directly in front of me, a large fallow doe & another grey fallow. I'm not allowed to shoot the Fallow here, so ignored them & concentrated on the Munty's, but was conscious that I could spook the Fallow. I continued to slowly follow the Munty's with the wind behind me, but they were heading towards the road, I then remembered I had my Buttalo in my pocket. I had nothing to lose as the Buck was now nearly at the road, I gave a few squeaks & much too my surprise the doe stopped & started to come towards me to my left away from the road. I lost sight of her, then she appeared from the undergrowth on my left about 40m's away. The sticks & rifle were ready, I took the shot & she ran about 5 metres before disappearing into the undergrowth, but I could see & hear her kicking briefly. Number 2 in the bag Attachment 49989
All in all not a bad start.
Thought I was due a well earned cup of coffee, so out came the flask. Urgh, little tip if you use bicarbonate of soda to clean your flask, make sure you rinse it well.