Well today was my birthday.
It was a fairly usual start. Get up, cup of coffee and a fag (I really need to give up the weed) and quick look at SD to see what arguments had started, as an early morning laugh is always good for the soul.
After a fairly normal day of doing bits and pieces, my wife (who had cooked me a breakfast of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup) said she and the kids were going next door for a cuppa. No sooner had she gone when the phone went off and my best friend Jason of Thornhill Deer Management phoned and said that one of the landowners had seen a few fallow around that 'needed sorting' and was I busy. "Can't remember if I've ever shot anything on my birthday" I replied I'll see you in 20mins. A hasty change of clothes and a quick phone call to the wife and I was out the door.
We arrived at the stalking ground and within a few minutes spotted a fallow pricket and a roe doe out feeding. A plan was hatched and off I went in pursuit. Whilst on the final approach the fallow lay down next a hedgerow and started napping so making the most of this I closed the distance to 80m. Up on the sticks. The only problem was it had its backside to me and its head down flat with the grass. I waited. Finally it put its head up and looked straight at me. I have a rule that I will only head shoot when deer are looking straight at me. That way you cannot jaw them. And I didn't jaw it, I bloody missed. I was cussing, fuming at my stupidity for not waiting until it stood up. It was gone. I followed up at the shot site and nothing, a clean miss. Turning round, I half expected Jason to be laughing but instead was greeted by 5x fallow bucks running out of the wood. I immediately was up on the sticks and had to wait as they ran past where I had expected Jason to be standing. They momentarily stopped and looked back. Then they started to run again but I was still on them. Then they stopped for another look and I needed no further invitation. I stopped on the buck that was standing sideways and let the .308 fly. A resounding 'thack' came back as the bullet hit. I looked up but there was no reaction to shot. They ran a for a short distance and rounded a corner and I lost them.
Jason was looking at me some 70m away and we met in the middle of the field. He had heard the strike so we set off to look for the deer. The buck was dead just round the corner, it had made it 80m.
So a big thanks to my friend, stalking colleague and generally bloody good chap Jason. I don't get to shoot that many nowadays as most deer are reserved for clients so thanks.
And the picture with a big cheesy grin is here