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Thread: Exmoor reds and good friends

  1. #1

    Exmoor reds and good friends

    A week or so a go I rang my friend Mark ( Cervushunter ) to see if he was coming up for his annual trip on the Muntjac, I ended up getting of the phone and have to explain to the missus that I was going away stalking again

    Mark had accepted my invite but said its about time we came down to him and he had a lot of deer showing at the moment grazing more grass than the sheep.

    So Saturday Andy and I were leaving snowy Herefordshire and flying down the M5 for a snowless but equally bitter cold Exmoor.

    We arrived and checked in to the travel lodge before being collected by Mark and Giles and out stalking.

    I headed off with Giles to a beautiful sheltered coombe and sat down at the top of the valley to see what moved and Andy headed off with Mark.

    After a while I was scanning the woodland on the opposite side of the valley and spotted five deer three hinds a calf and a spiker, unfortunately they were just off our ground and they wandered off away from us.

    Sat at the top of the valley we still caught a bit of the bitter East wind and after a while we were very cold despite the many layers, so thought we would check out some other areas where Mark said the reds had been feeding.
    Unfortunately I think the deer had more sense and had kept to the sheltered areas and we returned to meet up with Mark and Andy who had blanked and not even seen a deer despite the huge amount of freshly used racks heading onto the fields.

    Next morning we had an early start and as we headed up on to the higher ground we were greeted by freezing fog. Andy headed off with Giles to one area and Mark and I another.
    We abandoned the warmth of the truck and headed along the top edge of Marks ground where the deer had been coming off the moor to feed in the fields.
    After a few hundred yards Mark froze and spotted a stag looking our way over a wall obviously he had heard something but he hadn't seen us and relaxed walked away slowly followed by a spiker.
    As soon as they were out of sight we made up the ground using the very convenient wall and I crawled up the wall to look along the field. The two deer were slowly walking away looking like they were going to exit the field back on to the moor further down.
    I tracked the two deer in the scope and the first to turn was the stag and as soon as he did I sent the 150grn partition on its way, the stag ran back into the field about 30 yards and collapsed.

    What followed was something I had never seen before the spiker returned to the fallen stag pawing at him and pushing him with his head. We couldn't shoot as the stag had run into the mist and I was unable to see if it was a safe back stop.
    Again and again the spiker returned to the stag and tried to get him up. Eventually the mist cleared for a few second revealing a lot more backstop than we had thought and I brought the proceedings to and end dropping the spiker not many yards from the stag. Quite strange almost made me feel a bit guilty

    We had a photo session and cleaned the two beasts before dragging them up the field and over the wall onto a track to where we could load them into the truck. Mark showed me a great way for two of you to easily lift a large deer and although very effective I did check around to make sure no one had a camera while I was behind the deer in the "wheel barrow" position

    We met up with Andy and Giles and the had a successful stalk seeing a large group of animals and after a stalk Andy took a young stag.

    We even had a cheesiest grin competition

    So a fantastic trip to Exmoor as always many thanks Mark and Giles and I look forward to trying to repay the kindness when you visit us in a few weeks.


  2. #2
    Congratulations !

  3. #3

  4. #4
    good write up wayne well done to all concerned on another succesfull trip
    regards pete .

  5. #5
    Cant find the picture of you in the wheelbarrow position?

    Must be in the over 18's section.

    Looks like you had a great time, a lovely part of the world to stalk.


  6. #6
    Mark is a really genuine guy but i jinx him, we went after a red and only managed to bump a couple after walking through some of the worst mud i have ever walked in, and that is saying something after living in Devon all my life.
    Last year we went bass fishing, confidence was high until i cast a line, it quickly changed to despair!
    But it was very enjoyable all the same.

  7. #7
    A great write up and thank you for sharing - now come on! Let's have the "wheelbarrow" shot. We all want your top tip!

    Deer Diary

  8. #8
    And we here in cold, windy, freezing, even snowy Germany have to wait till May to go back out for hunting.... THAT is UNFAIR!!!
    People's hobbies are more their measure's than are their jobs.

  9. #9
    Nice going lads.

    I think Wayne will keep you in suspense for a while regarding the 'wheelbarrow' position


  10. #10
    As Wayne and I drove across Herefordshire the deep snow made it difficult to believe that April was only a week away. However, we soon left the snow behind and had a good drive down to Devon.
    On arrival the weather was pretty good and after booking in we were soon off out with Mark and Giles.
    I was stalking with Mark and we headed off to some farm land on the edge of the moor.
    We parked up and walked across several fields to get to our intended vantage point seeing much fresh deer mark on the way.
    We were overlooking several hundred meters of moorland/field boundry where the Reds regularly crossed.
    Unfortunately nothing showed so after meeting up with Wayne and Giles we headed back for a Big Mac and an early night ready for the 4am alarm.

    The following morning I was with Giles and we were off to some different ground also bordering the moor.
    The plan was to park on the moor and walk down to the farm land.
    The walk down to the lower farm land was most welcome because it the bl###y freezing.
    Although still quite windy and foggy it was much better in the valley.
    We slowly stalked the farmland edge scanning the fields and woodland seeing only pheasants and a fox.
    The plan was to find a good vantage point and wait to see if any deer emerged from the woodland or seemingly appear from nowhere as they often do.
    And thats exactly what happened because a nice herd of Reds was now visible in one of the first fields we scanned.
    Fortunately the many hedges and hilly terrain allowed us to stalk to a gateway which would hopefully allow us a good look at the deer.
    It was a herd of Hinds and Calves and a young Stag.
    They were about 150 yrds away but lack of backstop meant no shot was on.
    Fortunately they were moving into a dip in the field so I got onto the gatepost and lined up on where the shot would be safe.
    The first deer to appear were 2 calves followed closely by the stag.
    Giles had asked me to take a younger hind or the stag and please dont shoot the lead hind.
    With this in mind I tracked the stag and as soon as he was clear of the calves and broadside I took the shot.
    He exhibited a classic chest shot reaction, ran 10 yrds or so and collapsed.
    While I gralloched the stag, Giles went back to get his truck and we eventually met up with Wayne and Mark.
    After collecting the stag on Marks quad we took some photos, had a cuppa,thanked Mark and Giles and were on our way home by 9am

    Thanks again Mark and Giles. It was great to stalk with you again and see Red deer in a stunning part of the country.


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