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Thread: Part 2 of the big thankyou

  1. #1

    Part 2 of the big thankyou

    Part Two of the BIG THANKYOU.
    After another excellent days stalking on the Wednesday and last day stalking with Dave we all made our way back to the B&B for a few drinks and dinner and a good old chat.
    We had arranged to meet up with some friends who also have ground in the Wiklow mountains and yes you can say we are both glutton for punishment as after a few phone calls we had arranged three more days stalking on the hill.
    Dom and Jim turned up at the B&B Thursday morning we all sat down to a full english or do i mean a full irish breakfast and discussed the plans for the next three days, as the weather was giving winds gusting at 50mph it looked like we were in for a rough time we kitted up and headed out to the hill Adam went off with Dom and i went with Jim, the reason i paired up with Jim is that he is 67yrs old and told us he likes to stalk slow and i have stalked with Dom before and it is like trying to keep up with a rolling stone.
    This was a mistake if i am half as fit as Jim at 67 i would be a very proud man he spent Monday and Tuesday stalking the hill had Wednesday off and planned on stalking the next 3 days with us.
    We arrived at the place we were going to start from and by this time the wind was blowing strong we set off and stalked along a deep byrne glassing the side of the hill that was protected from the wind luck was again on my side a sika hind and calf stood up out of the heather we managed to get into them set the crosshairs and away it was a clean miss Jim said reload the deer had not moved i reloaded and let another one fly hit dropped the hind on the spot reloaded set crosshairs on the follower and straight down after watching for a few minutes we made our way over to the deer two nice clean shots hind was shot in the shoulder and the follower was heart and lungs just behind the shoulder after retreving them which was not as easy as it sounds as we had a stream that was in full flood to cross ,all done and left them to be retreived on the way back we moved on up the byrne no more than a hundred metres it was like dejavu on the same bank another hind and calf was glassed they could not have heared the last shots as the wind was in our favour that is the only explanation for them still being there Adam says it wasnt that its because i am such a lucky BASKET. anyway back behind the rifle it was almost an exact replay of the last two beasts but without the miss, Two clean shots and two more deer to drag back we had not been away from the car for more than an hour at this point, so we went over gralloched the two deer dragged them back to the first two, picked them up and headed back to the car we gave Adam a ring to see how he was getting on he had spent the last two hours on his stomach stalking into a medal sika stag but to no avail as under no circumstances could they get the beast to stand up for a clean shot as they let their presence known the stag just dropped into the byrne went 400 metres and reappeared looking at them better luck next time. We all met up headed back to the glenmalure for a shower , food and as Dom likes a drink or two we had a feeling it was going to be a late night as we met up with a few more lads in the pub who were also stalking( i think one of the lads is on this site) and as i am sure you are all familiar with these sessions you know what the outcome was.. Early start Friday morning on the ground and ready to go by 6:30am i sat and worked my way through a few cups of tea waiting for dawn to break 7:30 soon came round and i was out of the car and glassing the open hill as luck would have it i glassed four beasts about 800 metres from where we were, two good sika stags and two very big hybrid stags one was only showing very little signs of sika in him so we decided to stalk into them for a better look with the wind right and an hour later we were within 200 metres we glassed the animals again and decided to have ago at one of the sika stags as the hybrids were a better stamp than we thought they were so we left them for another day we continued on with the stalk up the byrne and within 50 meters the wind nipped in behind us and gave us up, they were up and running and did not stop untill they were skylined so that was the end of that. We reglassed the hill and we were spoilt for choice, there were groups of animals, we glassed a group of young hybrid stags and a stag holding hinds. Jim decided if we could get into the hybrid that was holding the hinds we could try and take him out and hope one of the bigger stags we just stalked would move in with the hinds so at this point we know we have a marathon stalk ahead of us we doubled back to keep the wind in our favour and got into a deep byrne and followed it up for about 2 km i crawled up to the top of the byrne knowing we were not too far away at this point, how we had not bumped any hinds on the way up i do not know as the ground was fantastic,(i put it down to great stalking) i glassed and found the stag lay down in the heather just showing off his head gear at this point Jim stayed where he was and i moved in for the last 100yds. i am now 150 metres away looking down the scope on the bipod at a set of antlers dispite all my shouting and whistling this stag would not move i knew the only way to get him to show himself was to alarm the hinds so i quickly sat up and waved my arm and the hinds were up and whistling at which point he sat up to see what the comotion was about i placed the crosshairs on the base of his neck and that was it he did not even move i reloaded and watched him for a few minutes to see if there was any movement but all was still. Jim moved up to congratulate me as he had watched the whole thing unfold and found the way i got his attention quite amusing, we approached the animal a few pictures and then gralloched him. On looking back to where the car was Dom and Adam had arrived the only reason we could make them out at that distance is Dom flashed the lights of the car at which point we now knew the pull back was going to be a long one we set off and with a few breaks and two hours passed we were back to the car by 3:30pm a few more pics at the car and a quick chat revealed that Adam had also managed a nice hybrid stag so a good day had been had by all. Me and Adam now had a "long drive to tipperery" to meet up for some fallow stalking in the morning, That will be in part three as my head is now hurting and spell check is about to fail on me.

    All the Best Trevor and Adam
    Last edited by gadget; 23-11-2010 at 23:17.

  2. #2
    Nicely done, can't wait for part 3


  3. #3
    I can summarise part 3 as follows:

    1. Our mapless two heroes attempt using sat' nav' in Ireland, and then find it utterly pointless as most of the motorways don't exist and the Irish appear to think it's funny to randomly close main roads without warning or diversions. Result - an even longer bloody drive to Tipperary. By the way Trev' - don't forget the 'Milky Moos'

    2. We meet another Irish hunter, John, and spend the night in hut in a wood

    3. Adam completely misses a Fallow doe thats standing right in front of him at 100 yards, practically shouting 'shoot me, yoo hoo, shoot me' - Trevor manages to hide his disgust while Adam sulks his way back to the truck.

    4. Adam finally shoots a deer and we are force-marched through an Irish wood by John, who apparently learned stalking in the Foreign Legion. We then head for the ferry with a truckload of possibly contraband deer carcasses and some very contraband bottles of 'Holy Water'

    5. Adam is so knackered he spends most of the week at work falling asleep at his desk

  4. #4
    sounds like one hell of a crack ,did trevor manage to fall asleep at the wheel or has he developed the rope tied to the wheel to keep him on the straight.all the best and hope to catch up soon,wayne

  5. #5
    Nice write up, glad you had the Craic too!

    I always think an Irish breakfast is designed so you don't need lunch you can concentrate on the drink

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  6. #6
    No, I've bought a new truck with cruise-control, so now we can both have a nice nap so long as the road is straight (that is what cruise control's for, isn't it?).

    The Irish roads are so narrow, with such bad surfaces, combined with the Wicklow version of the kamikaze van driver, meant that is was impossible to fall asleep on the road - every journey involved dicing with death, particularly the 5 a.m 30km dash across the Sally Gap on single track roads covered in sheet ice and dozing Sika deer.

    Wayne - I'll drop you an email later to confirm all of the details for the gun safe.


  7. #7
    Just to fill in the gaps in Trevors account, here's what I was up to whilst he was hoovering up every Sika hind on the hill with Jim the bionic pensioner.

    Dom and I drove around to the other side of the hill and drove out onto the bog to a point where a) the truck was well out of the sight of the road, because they are regularly burnt out or broken into that close to Dublin, and b) we could glass a good stretch of hillside at a point where the drains allowed us a chance to stalk in unseen. After a few minutes, Dom picked up a group of four hybrid stags and we were working out a route in when he spluttered and pointed to another point further out on the hill. This turned out to be the biggest set of white Sika antlers I have ever seen, poking out of the heather about 1200 metres out. Dom reckoned this was a gold medal animal he'd seen on several occasions but failed to get on to - kindly, he decided this was the beast we were going to try for, with the proviso that if I shot it, I had to promise to have it shoulder mounted as nothing less would be good enough!

    Remember that at this point, the rain is coming in horizontally, it's about 3 degrees Celsius and the wind is howling across the hill at about 30mph! We snuck out of the truck and belly crawled 40 yards along the flooded track and dropped into a deep peat drain. Great - 1 minute into a 1200 metre stalk and my outer layer of clothing is soaked... . Next time, sod the expensive Scandinavian Goretex, I'm packing a drysuit! We crawl down the drain - essentially a deep gully in the peat, with 12" of black sludge in the bottom, slippery as hell and a bit like bog snorkelling - for about 400 yards, making for some dead ground at the bottom of the steep valley. At various points the drain opens up, leaving us in plain view of the stags on the other side of the valley, so we are trying to keep as low and inconspicuous as possible. This is no mean feat, because at this point I look like the creature from the black lagoon!

    From the bottom of the valley, we have to work our way back up the other side via a stream. Infortunately it's in full spate and the sides of the bank are so steep and uneven, it's impossible to keep out of the water - full marks to my high-top Jahti boots and Harkila gaiters for keeping my feet dry even when wading up to mid thigh is a rushing stream. At this point we've been going for about 30 minutes and have made about 600 metres on our stag. Another 50 metres or so and we're able to glass him again - he's still tucked up tight in the heather, showing no signs of going anywhere, so we crawl up out of the stream and try to gain the higher ground by belly crawling up through the heather. Using the slight cover offered by the stag's low position, Dom and I make another 300 or so metres, bringing us to the brow of a hill and within a 230 metre shot of the Sika stag. No problems with the distance - I'm familiar with Dom's Blaser and it's in my usual flavour of .270W, running a 130gn / 3100fps load that's almost identical to my own home loads.

    Unfortunately, my stag isn't doing anything to help his planned demise - he's tacked down in a little hollow and all we can see are these big TV aerial antlers moving as he occasionally tests the air. There's a slight possibility of a head shot if he shows, but Dom has already told me I'd be committing a cardinal sin if I head shoot a deer this good (damned guilt ridden catholics!). After a quick glass around for early-warning Sika hinds, we back up a bit and keep on crawling for the next rise, hoping to get high enough to see out boy's head and neck. Dom' is now clear that this is his medal stag, so the tension and excitement has racked up several notches. After another tough crawl, keeping as low as possible and mindful of the fact that, if he puts his head up, we're in clear sight of the stag, we get to a point 89 metres from my target - I'm on a slight rise, shooting about 10 degrees downwards and the wind is almost fully in my face. On the downside, I can still only see the antlers and the sika whistle is 1100 metres away in the truck...

    After a bit of whistling, calling, barking and arm waving, we're still in a stalemate, so Dom decides he'll try moving 100 metres to the left and standing up, with the thought that our boy will most likely stand up, look for a second and then run. I'm ready for the shot, rock solid on the bipod. The following sequence is now engraved on my eyelids - Dom slides off, a few seconds later I see the stags antlers rear up and my finger is tightening on the trigger in readiness, whereupon the stag completely disappears, only to erupt moments later some 50 yards further down the gully and take off at full tilt showing nothing more than his white arse... At no point dis he offer me a shot that I was capable of - no doubt there are some that could have shot him on the run in the back of the neck, but it was more than I was able to do. No wonder that I was slumped face down in the heather when Dom returned.

    Still, I can say without any doubt, it was the best, most challenging and exciting stalk I have ever done, shot or no shot - one I'll remember for years to come.

    After a few minutes calming down, I glass another beast picking in and out of the heather some 400 metres further up the hill. Dom confirmed that this was a large Red/Sika hybrid stag - large in body but with an odd twisted set of Sika antlers. Off we go again, crawling back into the dead ground and aiming for the next little bank about 150 metres further on.

    When weget to the next rise, it's raing hard and the wind has picked up again - the stag is tucked into a slight turf bank, broadside to me but with only his head and neck showing. As I said, I've put some time in with Dom's rifle out to 300 metres plus, so taking a long shot was no problem. I had also checked the effect of the strong wind earlier in the day with a couple of practice shots, so I knew that this wasn't an issue either. So, firm on the bipod at 253 metres and using a point on the Swaro' TDS reticule midway between the 200 metre zeroed centre and 296 metre first stadia, I aimed directly between the stag's eye and ear. For those of you that dislike headshots, this was a big head and therefore good target - it was also shwing no signs of movement as the stag tried to ignore the driving rain. Almost imperceptible pressure on the trigger and a perfect hit; the stag dropped and rolled, dead on the spot.

    On inspection, the stag was in poor condition and had taken a previous bullet to his lower right hind leg. The head was interestingly twisted - thise spindly Sika antlers look very odd on that donkey-like Red stag's head.


  8. #8
    Isn't that just the essence of why we love stalking, great account, I was with you every metre of the way.

  9. #9
    great account mate just need to get some pic,s up now

  10. #10
    Hi Trevor,

    Reading up on this trip you had in the Emerald Isle should have been made in to a TV programme.. A comedy perhaps.

    Look forward to seeing this pics when next in Scotland

    Ara best


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