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Thread: Michael`s October swap hunt-Part I-

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Michael`s October swap hunt-Part I-

    Hi All!

    I thought I would use my time on the plane, flying back home from Ireland (read Part II) to start the first episode about my fantastic october hunting trip....

    After a hard going and very busy spring time and summer, filled with business and work on the now fulfilled house extension, it was time for joining another swap hunt!

    Occassionally I was offered the incredible chances for a red stag in the Norfolk area, and some stalks for a fallow buck, an hybrid stag in Ireland, plus a second try (hopefully as successful as the last years one) on the whisteling Sika stags in the Wicklow mountains!

    As you know, this all happens by swap hunts, which is for me the way to join some fantastic hunts and make new friends by sharing our passion, and most of it through friends made on here...

    So, on Thursday afternoon I arrived in Stansted, got picked up by my host Andy and after a quick settle in into his nice house, we were already out for the first stalk on his ground nearby.

    A nice evening, an interesting and different ground welcomes us, and as soon as we left the truck, we got a hearty welcome by roaring stags. For me that was pretty different to Germany, to hear all these impressive voices around us at this time of the day, in a flat terrain like there, surrounded by heath, scrub and just some small patches of forest land.

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    When approaching our lookout for the evening, there were at least to good voices close by, hidden in the unbelievable dense scrub cover...

    Andy started some calling, got some response, but the stags were staying in the cover for now...

    We spotted some hinds, some youngsters cruising around, just enough to see and hear to got my heart pounding already.

    Back home, a nice pasta dinner, a few beer and gone to bed, dreaming about what to expect the next couple of
    Out the next morning first light, a location close by and a deep voice roaring constantly already.
    While stalking along a lake site, a nice 12pointer showed up but kept going before I was having a chance to put the crosshairs on him.
    A little misty, a clear sky and beautiful sunrise, loads of geese and ducks on the lake and then a hind and her calf crossing the obviously flat and smooth shore... A pitty, it was just too dark to take a picture of this lovely scenery....

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    The stag was still roaring constantly, so we followed one of the heavy travelled deer trails and got closer and closer.
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    Andy kept calling several times, got some response, but the stag was holding his hinds and not willing to check us out.
    Closer we got, another call and a nice 12 pointer came out of the bracken, checking out, what we were about.
    I was on the sticks already and after a short „Take him“, I dropped him with a front chest shot on about 60 meters. Man, that happened almost too quick!
    The big boy kept roaring, and when approaching my stag, we got him in sight, just right over the boundary, but the light was good by now so some pictures and videoclips were taken:

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    What should I say, I was already over the moon, first morning, my so far biggest stag down and a big boy in sight, roaring like hell!

    After another photo session it was time to figure out, how to retrieve the beast (116 kilos, without legs and head, gutted) out of this jungle...

    What should I say, another 2.5 sweatty hours later, we got him in the truck and went home, for the final cleaning, a nice breakfast and a bit of celebration.

    The afternoon found us back on the left hand patch of the ground, the same mixture of dense scrubs and open areas, some of them with high grass and reed on it. We stalked straight onto another roaring voice, spotted some hinds and calves, plus a very promising yearling, but the old boy stood safe...

    When sneaking around the scrubs, there was another small stag chasing some hinds, after all, a lot of rutting activity!

    I was more than pleased for the day and for the whole trip already, but Andy was pretty sure to get me onto another big boy, so after a family dinner in the local pub with his lovely wife, we went to bed, just to be prepared for another outing the next morning....

    Next morning, a bit more wind, but still pretty mild and at least dry, we back on the lookout from the first evening...
    The big boy was already "on duty", his impressive roaring, only a couple of hundred meters away in the dense willow scrubs, got the hearts pounding again.
    We soon realised, he was not moving our direction, obviously holding his hinds in the safe cover, so we had to give it a try and sneak up on him...
    We left and reached a fenceline along the tall and dense reed surrounding the schrubby willow forests...
    When looking back, there was another youngster chasing a couple of hinds our direction and finally jumping the fence to enter the scrubs only a couple of meters away from us.
    When crawling over the fence, we heard some crushing noise, obviously we pushed some deer out of the bracken and reed, but the big boy kept roaring nearby....
    We followed a little river, tried to move as quiet as possible, and finally got onto a little opening. Soon a young stag checked us out, only 40 meters away and kept following an heavy travelled deer track.
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    Andy gave it a couple of tries, got some raoring response, but the big boy didnt move our way. We continued along the deer track, fresh tracks, fresh deer signs and wallows everywhere, you could smell and hear the rut, amazing and thrilling!
    Another small opening, almost on the edge of the scrubs, another youngster passing by and still the big boy, roaring right in front of us, only a couple of meters away...
    We moved slowly forward, some calls, good response, but no stag in sight, too dense scrubs kept him safe.
    Right under a couple of some taller popular trees, sure enough with even more willow scrubs, we then get a glimpse of him, at least at some parts of his antlers. One side of his crown seem to have at last 6 points!
    No chance to get any closer, too many hinds around and the stag following them into the thickest cover we could think of....
    We called it the morning, sneaked out and left for breakfast and a break and a nice nap, flavoured with some roaring stag dreams.

    The afternoon, relaxing with some good talk, outside quite heavy rain...
    Just when about getting ready to leave, it cleared up again, temperatures dropped a bit and the evening sun welcomed us when arriving on the ground.

    We stalked the left handed forest and scrub edge first, a nice deep voice, no, minimum 2 voices are roaring already, but they obviously are not tempted to come into our direction...
    We stalked then over to the right handed side, the place we had been in the morning, but according to the changed wind, there is no way to get into a similar position as in the morning.
    The big boy also seemed to have moved a couple of meters...
    Andy told me, it would probably the best way, to go to our little watchpoint from the morning to see and hear, which way he would move hopefully.
    OK, my host knows the ground and its deer behaviour, so up on that little hill again and a few roarings later, the big boy seemed to move our direction!
    This time it really sounded as if the big stag got really upset about his "concurrence" and moved to check us out. We heard him roaring, he sounded really more and more pissed and his crushing antlers in the dense scrubs got us excited!
    Then the first hinds appeared on the edge of the scrubs, the stag obviously straight behind them...
    Then another hind moved out of the cover, straight followed by him!
    Crosshairs already on his shoulder, he followed the hind, broadside and already on his way back into the scrubs.
    No or never!!
    The shot, placed high on the shoulder dropped him on the spot.

    Now I figured, what just happened, and my body started to shake.
    On my last evening, my last outing before leaving to Ireland, I was able to bag the red stag of my lifetime!
    We watched the tall grass where he dropped, I was totally over the moon and almost unable to move, the incoming fog and mist on the heath let us stay for a moment and a couple of pictures.
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    We then walked slowly to the downed stags, always concerned to spot another movement of this huge beast, filled up with Adrenalin and Testosteron, and, bad enough, we saw his head still moving....
    Up on the sticks, and as soon as he got up again, another shot was needed to stop him instantly.

    Now the shaking took over, when approaching him, I was shaking like a leave, there he was, the stag of my lifetime!

    Maybe some pictures tell the whole story....
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    After gralloching and this time an easy recovery, we got him into the larder, can you imagine, what the taste of the first beer right there was about?
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    We got showered and went out for another nice dinner with Andy`s wife, time for a kind of celebration!!

    My night was interrupted by and filled with dreams about these fantastic couple of days and the incredible hunts we had.

    The next morning Andy, my perfect host and very experienced stalker, knowing his ground and deer in a truely passioned matter, took me back to the airport, where I left to Ireland.

    I would like to say a heartful "Thank you my friend" to Andy for another great experience made through our little swapping around world and the SD.

    Now it is up to me to try my best to host you on a couple of days of driven hunts in November, here in Germany....
    Last edited by Wildboar1973; 13-10-2014 at 15:08.
    People's hobbies are more their measure's than are their jobs.

  2. #2
    Sorry, more pictures will follow tomorrow...

    Pictures and clips posted on the 13th...
    Last edited by Wildboar1973; 13-10-2014 at 15:10.
    People's hobbies are more their measure's than are their jobs.

  3. #3
    great write up WB, sounds like you had an awesome experience, well done Andy as well.
    I wish I was half the hunter my dog thinks I am

  4. #4
    Waidmannsheil my friend.

    They both still look f*****g big!!

    more construction work needed for those big boys ;-) ;-)

    catch up soon mate.

    Last edited by 243varmint; 12-10-2014 at 21:54.

  5. #5
    Two stunning animals and obviously taken by someone with a true appreciation for the experience.



  6. #6
    Congratulations, what lovely stags, your smile says it all.

  7. #7
    Well done WB. A brilliant write up and a couple of days you wont forget.......scott

  8. #8
    Sounds amazing to be in such close proximity to your quarry. I could feel my own heart beat reading the story. So can imagine your excitement being so close.
    They truly are impressive animals and what a great way to achieve the animals of a life time. It does show that true hunters get so much more from being along side other such men an taking part in a hunt than money could buy.
    Good luck with the rest of the quest.

  9. #9
    Waidmannsheil my friend.


  10. #10
    Jammy b******d

    Well done guys, you look like Bob the builder with those braces

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