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Thread: Bedfordshire muntjac

  1. #1

    Bedfordshire muntjac

    Over the Christmas week I have an invitation to Grafham Water to shoot muntjac this is a one-day invitation having never had the opportunity to stalk muntjac before what should I expect? Are they are actively moving through the day or is it next dawn and dusk opportunity any help would be invaluable to me.
    All the best ash

  2. #2
    it will quite often depend on how many deer are in the area, how much they hav been persecuted and how used to humans they are
    you are just as likely to bump into one out feeding midday as you are dawn or dusk
    just hav to hav a little idea of their habits and food source and be quick on recognition and setting up for a shot
    they don't often stand still for too long, even less if they are weary of you
    if you are woodland stalking go slow and look lots
    you are just as likely to get a shot if you sit and wait on the woodland edge than trying to stalk in the wood
    best of luck and hope all goes well

  3. #3
    Muntjac are a lot less tied to the hours immediately either side of dark than most species and as Stone says they can often be found feeding at midday depending on the level of disturbance locally.

    They browse the undergrowth and the best area to stalk is a mature deciduous woodland as the animals are often visible. Walk quietly and very slowly through looking along the edges of the rides or tracks. Remember that the muntjac is a small deer and will remain hidden in quite short undergrowth. You might think that nothing is there and then a head will pop up.

    They are not particularly social and will usually be found as singles or does with a fawn at foot. Densities can be quite high with plenty of deer present in some areas.

    One of the most important things with muntjac is that there is no clear breeding season and you need to be sure that a doe has not got a fawn hidden away before taking her. Sadly the one sure way of ensuring this is to shoot pregnant does or leave the does to someone more experienced.

    They are quite vocal and will bark at you as soon as your presence is suspected and when they run their tails are big white flags. They don't tend to run too far and don't stray very far from a quite small territory compared to other deer.

    From what I know of the Grafham area, although there are some reasonable woods, the deer are also frequently in open farmland, in which case you need to stalk along hedge lines and be aware that it doesn't take much of a ditch or gulley to completely hide a muntjac. My brother lives at Kimbolton and I often see them in the fields close to the village.

  4. #4

    Going to Grafham Water, You would be better off with Waders and a fishing rod

    I'll get my Coat!

  5. #5
    just about to set off tonight whats the snow report like for this area any members down that way could give me a heads up on the weather situation

    all the best ash

  6. #6
    dont go for a paddle ash as the water will be bl----y cold.

  7. #7
    The snow is melting quickly, some minor back roads are still very dodgy with melting ice.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    yes stone i did ok it is 2.30 am just got up ready to go off again for a couple of days on the fallow will do a full report when i get home

    all the best ash

  10. #10
    I started out at two o'clock in the morning from North Yorkshire and drove an hour to get to Peters transferred all the stuff into his truck. It was -4 and freezing rapidly with all the heavy snow we had up until the 27th was very worried about the state of the land them in at there and whether would be possible to stalk. On the three-hour drive down to the Bedford Cambs border we spoke about all the possibilities and outcomes of the day it was a day filled with expectation and some excitement as we both never had the chance to stalk Muntjac who don't seem to have made their way up the A1 corridor yet to North Yorkshire in vast numbers.

    There was pleasant conversation all the way there we stopped for coffee just north of Peter borough. The time was 6 AM then we had to be at a designated meeting point 7 AM so I grabbed a coffee and paid the usual visit to the toilet set off and 25 minutes later we will pulling off the A1.

    We stopped at under the last streetlight at the end of the village to put boots on and gators I have never seen such a busy road on a Sunday morning there were cars flying up and down at all bloody speeds.

    we set off to a prepared meeting point there we met Bill had been head keeper on the estate for more than 40 years of very nice man was swapped usual pleasantries and as this was a free stalk I don't like to go anywhere empty-handed we gave Bill a nice bottle of sloe gin and a leather bolt holder is newly acquired 30/06.
    During morning briefing we were told a number of things that all disappeared from my mind as soon as you said these fearful words now I don't want you to be scared but! “We do have some very big cats around this area well that we may well meet” we were told not shoot them as this will possibly only this PI double S them off.

    We were given a map with all the high seats and fox boxes marked and was told we could go anywhere on the estate as we were free to wander as his guests were the only caveat was whatever we shoot we would take home we drove on to the first big block of woodland and close the gate behind us and already it was at this point that Peter discovered he'd forgotten his magazine the 308 this caused a large amount of discussion and he decided that he would single load no problem.

    We set off down the track and the first fork in the road as Peter was my guest I gave him the choice of left or right and he went left and down on the main field down the ride to a high seats overlooking a large grassed area. I went right over a small hill down the main ride until I came upon a high seat as they approach the high seat from behind there was a small black shape next to an pheasant feeder moving towards the undergrowth this was my first sighting of alive Muntjac I glass the area and above that was another Muntjac around 75 yards moving right-to-left over the ride I put my sticks up put the crosshairs on it and watched it walk off into the undergrowth I then realised the bloody things just don't stand still. I stood for a couple minutes hoping that it would come back out and that was the same one or a different one cross arrived from right-to-left and about 110 yards again I put the crosshairs on this one and squeeze the trigger this was followed by the usual thwack and 95 grain SST connecting with its target the munty jumped about 2 foot in the air and landed on all fours and ran off a 45° angle back downhill into the cover. At this point was a little concerned and it was a good solid hit awaited five minutes’ walk to the point of impact sitting around and set off on the trail of the Muntjac the sun wasn't quite high enough in the sky to allow me to see too far into the undergrowth wills are concerned that Peter was on my left and didn't want to spook any potential shots he had thought of the decision to not go too far into the wood and wait until it was safer to retrieve the carcass. The rest of the morning stalk consisted of seeing a lot of Muntjac disappearing off they can move fast.

    Around 9 AM I met with Peter and we went back to the spot where the Muntjac was shot and left a mark on the ride and explain the distance and angle downhill towards a feeder and into the undergrowth we put about 15 yards between us and set off with about 25 to 30 yards into the wood and there she was laid at the base of tree dead. The carcase was retrieved and cleaned the shot was inch perfect just behind the shoulder. Peters into from the high street you use in the morning but couldn't get a shot off as he said the least seen some of the first time.

    We had some breakfast and moved across the road to stalk another two large block to woodland and i gave the Peter lead we had a couple of attempts at others that he did not manage to get a shot off. We went back to the car lunch after lunch gave Peter the choice of which area he wanted to be in a couldn't choose we decided to toss coin for it I lost the toss and he took the large wood which we distort in the morning and I took the other two blocks cross the road I sat somewhere in at Fox box watching the rides were I saw three during the course of the afternoon but did not manage a shot late in the evening a shot rang the cross the road unfortunately they connect with the target.
    All in all a truly good day with good company and my first Muntjac in the carcass tray. I'd like to thank Peter and Bill making a truly memorable day for me

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