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Thread: Finally some success!

  1. #1

    Finally some success!

    Thought I would do a bit of a write up for my first two deer,

    I was lucky enough to pick up a bit of land from a friend in Essex a few years ago and have been down a lot for walked up and pigeon.
    I only recently managed to get myself a stalking rifle and the time/money to get down on the deer. and i think it took me a good 5/6 stalks to realize crashing round covering all the land probably wasn't helping me , plus not liking shooting off sticks was probably limiting my shots, not that any presented themselves anyway!

    Anyway, god knows how many hours of you tube tutorials later and lots of reading on here, teamed with a lot of practice off sticks with the .22, about 50 rounds with the .243 and I was happy , off down to Essex I went for the first day of the roe bucks.

    Arrived about 10am and looked where I had seen deer activity before, I found a nice cut through by a pond with lots of slots along side a wood, went off for a wonder and saw nothing had some lunch etc and went back out for the evening. Back to the spot i had picked earlier looking down into a depression with the wind in my face i set up in the optimum place, (happend to be in a puddle about 3" deep but oh well) saw a few deer the wrong side of the boundary and thought to look round the other side of the spinney, nothing. as i come back round i see a roe buck just dissapearing into the woods. thinking i had missed my only chance i crawled back in to my puddle and waited and saw nothing, it was starting to get dark and cold etc so i thought best head to the car, just start to get my stuff together and in the middle of the field catch a glimpse of a deer. anyway hes coming charging towards me , im in the open and upwind of him , so i thought he would spook before he got to me , but i get set up on the sticks and stand still waiting he got to about 100 yards and looked like he was going to go up to the ridge so I shout at him he stops and i pull the trigger, he looks shocked for a second, i reload, an have and oh crap moment as he starts running but hapily he only made it 5 yards and drops. hes now out of sight in the crop but i was Farley happy with the shot. then the hardest bit, trying to wait the customary few mins before going charging in to have a look.

    anyway the shot was good and he hadnt moved an inch. i made safe did the eye thing and got my knife out, nice little 4 pointer in the bag , now in almost total darkness with my phone for a light had a few mins to think what to do , as id never gralloched anything this big before , luckily it turns out its a lot easier to do big stuff than small game so had it done in a few mins. and then skipped back to the car with the buck over my shoulder, hotter work than i thought it would be , but then again it is the definition of dead weight!

    crammed him in the boot of mums CLK ( not the right car for the job ) and went to the girlfriends to butcher it (in central london, on a main road, got some very strange looks carrying a deer in to a pub dressed in breeches shirt and flatcap, with a liberal application of blood!)


    Lessons learnt: use appropriate car, take baby wipes, have a headtorch and dont go to the girlfriends to butcher stuff ( her mum was suprisingly calm to be fair)

    the next chance i got to go down was for the fallow bucks, went down in my car, still not the right tool for the job, no babywipes, but i did bring a head torch, 1/3 isnt bad!

    anyway i drew a blank on the evening stalk and decided to kip in the car and stalk the morning, off to dominoes , park up , pizza and a pint in the motor.

    woke up at about 4 30 and checked the wind, it was s-n now , so up to the other end of my perm and start stalking back down to where i had spent the night , hadn't seen a thing but thought id do the tiny bit that was left even though i thought i could see it all anyway i stalk up the hedge , and see 5 fallow bucks, heart starts pounding and i now know what buck fever is!

    i tuck back in to prepare myself and slowly get on the sticks , i was tight to the hedge but had to step out about 4ft to make sure i got a clean shot with no twigs in the way, select my beast and squeese, he goes down instantly and the rest bump on 80 yards textbook i get back on the sticks but decide one is enough due to limited boot space. i make safe and graloch, and carry it back to the car, there bloody heavy , and the antlers get in the way , and i had no idea they were that big! back home to butcher this one as i think i was on wafer thin ice with the girlfriends mum aha!

    shoe horning it into the car was a right job defo bringing the right car next time! , and a concerned woman stopped to ask if i was ok or needed help wich was a tad awkward!

    i now officialy am hooked !

  2. #2
    on second thoughts im better doing the butchering somwhere else as my mum wasnt happy atall , served her up some roe fillet to smooth things over though !

  3. #3
    Classic! the joys of finding some where to butcher a deer! Well done on your first two, hopefully many more to come.
    I remember butchering a roe buck on the dining room table of a house share (6 housemates). All good, Taped bin bags over the table and did the butchering, keeping everything nice and clean. Put all the waste in 2 stout white polythene bags and chucked them in the massive outdoor bin. Shortly after left for the Isle of Lewis for a months work. Got home to a pretty pissed off housemate and a seriously stinking bin (It was his own bin). Turns out only black bags are removed any other colour is left to cook/rot till you deal with it. Took me a while to get rid of the stench.

  4. #4
    Well done and great write up. Its nice to hear from another stalker who had to go it alone with a LOT of theory and very little practical experience for their first deer. Unlike you I had the right car first time round but the 4wd system broke and I got stuck in a field with no means of help. Luckily I managed to flag down a neighbouring farmer (also a stalker) who kindly towed me out so the extraction and 10 minute drive home actually took about 3 hours but I was buzzing the whole time.

  5. #5
    aha i managed to successfully get rid of all the waste , i have 2 heads and capes in the freezer though but im keeping that hush hush !

    yes its a steep learning curve but after the 1st one it felt routine.

    im promising to myself i will take the 4x4 next time, im never that far from a track so will make the drag far easier!

  6. #6

    Thank you for sharing your first succeses - long may they continue.

    You do know that 'stalking' does become an obsession.......


  7. #7
    well done very nice write up I remember was I was that keen sleeping in cars before going shooting love it

  8. #8
    Nice write up, change of wagon is defiantly high on your list....

    Went diving for a weekend down the south coast many years ago and kipped in the car. Never again lol

    Stalking is very much like going to the night club

    You can always tell an Essex Boy, just you cant tell him much...

    An hour in the field is worth a week of typing trash.....

  9. #9
    Thanks very much for sharing that and well done! If you need any tips on the particular challenges of London-based deer extraction and butchery, let me know, I've become something of an expert. I was going to say that you don't even need a car, but as you're shooting great big fallow bucks, actually you do! I a roebuck is about as much as you can handle discretely on the Tube.

    It looks like your mother has a garden: I think that a couple of s-hooks or a gambrel and a folding picnic or camping table could help make the whole process less antisocial. You need to tell us a bit about your girlfriend's house or flat though, and about walking into a pub with a deer on your shoulder. Very Errol Flynn, I like it!

    Here's where I store deer overnight, then skin them, hanging on the front of the shed.
    IMAG0828 by pinemarten, on Flickr
    They hang in the shed from a length of curtain rail I fixed under the roof and a couple of S-hooks. Then I do the rest of the butchery in the kitchen. I did do it on a table outside initially but gradually shifted operations inside as this gained domestic acceptance...
    Last edited by Pine Marten; 16-05-2016 at 09:37.

  10. #10
    Well done m8 ,its a struggle with no larder that,s for sure.The missus hides when i butcher in the kitchen <8ftx6ft> ,be it Deer ,Pheasant or bunny loves the end result just doesn,t like the bit in the middle .Seems like your hooked now so thats it no more money and a cupboard full of must have shiny toys that are no use or ornament
    she buys shoes i buy ,shooting,she stops buying shoes,il be amazed

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