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Thread: First one of the year

  1. #1

    First one of the year

    I've been seeing a lot of deer activity on my most local permission recently, but hadn't managed to get myself into a position of being able to take a shot. There are a couple of roads running through it, so quite often a shot has to be left. However, Friday afternoon saw me out & about, and after a week of hard frost & some snow, it was good to be able to stretch the legs & get some air (especially after a pretty nasty cold had floored me for a good part of the week)

    One part of my ground runs alongside an old railway line that runs alongside the main road. The land slopes fairly steeply down towards this, & the deer seem to like the cover it affords them. A careful reconnoitre showed me 3 does feeding about 60 yards into the field, but unapproachable from the position I was in, and the prevailing wind direction. I had no option but to backtrack and come at them using the breast of the hill for cover for as long as possible. A bit tricky, given that if they lifted their heads at the wrong moment the game would be up as I'd be in full view..........

    A fifteen minute walk saw me in position to start my stalk. I needed a few moments to catch my breath though, as I hadn't appreciated just how much that cold had knocked out of me And of course, every moment I hesitated gave the deer an opportunity to move off.

    I slowly began to make my way to the crest, feeling pretty exposed. Luck was with me though, & as I began to clear the breast of the hill that shielded me from the deer I saw their backs as they had their heads down feeding. This gave me confidence that they hadn't been spooked or alerted at all, so I edged my way further until a better view presented itself. Out of a group of 3, all but one were unshootable as the backstops just weren't good enough (The angle was too shallow & I was concerned about possible ricochet from the ground towards the road)) The third doe was a little bit apart from the other two, & looked to be in great condition, as well as having solid earth behind her. I had no time to set up the sticks as the moment I stood I'd probably be seen & that would in all likelihood see my chances disappear, so the shot had to be off the shoulder from about 60 yards or luck would have it, the second I stood up she lifted her head & presented a great opportunity for a neck shot. 55grains of Gamehead found their mark & she dropped on the spot with barely a twitch. With a better position I might have had the chance of a second, but discretion was the better option in this case & the remaining two does were off.

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    As it was, I was extremely glad I only had one drag to make, as I hadn't fully-appreciated just how far down I'd come from the top of the hill during the stalk & it took it out of me getting back up there. All in all though, a grand start to the year

    Rifle: Abolt Medallion II 22-250 with Simmons WT Classic 3.5-10 x 50. Mod: ASE Utra Northstar. Load: Sako Gamehead 55gr
    Last edited by Woodsmoke; 21-01-2015 at 22:46.

  2. #2
    You're more confident of your aim off-hand than me!

  3. #3
    Great story, again better off the shoulder than i would be .
    "Eagles may soar, but, Weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines" Anon

  4. #4
    Thanks guys. Shooting off-hand's not a black art, to be honest. It becomes a lot easier with practice. I once dropped 3 raccoons with 2 shots in the US a year or so back using my .270 off the shoulder. It's just technique I don't mean that to sound as though I'm blasť about it, I've practiced a lot up to around 100 yards. I wouldn't want to risk it too far past that on live quarry though, but it's a damn useful skill to acquire for those unexpected opportunities

    The raccoons were shot when I was in the company of a very good friend of mine in Georgia. We'd barely set off after leaving one of our party in a tree stand, when I spotted the 'coons running up a tree about 80/90 yards away. As luck would have it, two of them were inline & the first shot killed them both, the third appeared to see where his mates had gone & I got him too. Apparently, the 'day-the-funny-talking-bald-guy-got-3-with-2-shots' is still spoken about with hushed tone in Nashville, Georgia

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    Last edited by Woodsmoke; 20-01-2015 at 00:14.

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