Just In Time For The Sika Rut PART 2

New Avon Arms
Back out tomorrow afternoon for a couple of sessions. Looks like the weather is cooling off a bit, which is good, maybe a bit more autumnal. Expecting the stags to be going full on and although I should take a couple of the bigger 6 pointers that will not get any better, it's not so easy to move on stags which will be loosing condition as time goes by. I think they will be lucky as I'm on my own, so they'll have to wait until my proposed larder and processing is up an running.

Birthday tomorrow as well, and if you are not spending the whole day with family, what better way than spending it in the Dorset countryside with associated wildlife. I do miss having Mrs D with me, not just for the camerawork she does, but to also share the sights and sounds.

Anyway, I'm hoping I don't have to work too hard and get to see plenty of smaller stags and prickets to help with the numbers. Carbon Wolf cleaned and ready to go 👍
 

Deermanagement

Well-Known Member
Late getting away as normal, got to the ground for 4pm. A quick chat with the farmers and before long I had parked the quad half way through the wood. It was eerily quiet, no wind in the wood, no noise except for the stag that was probably the aggressive one I found last weekend.

Decided I'd get to the high seat overlooking his area but when 40 yds away passing wallows that look as if worked by a D9 bulldozer, decided I'd leave the area until the morning, I'm sure he'll be there with a following. Back to the bike, I went to the top of the hill which overlooks 2 leases. From there I could see a couple of dozen roe but didn't see any Sika until a lone stag cut across the corner of one field some 600 yds away.

I stayed there to hopefully get an idea of where the animals may holding, ready for the morning. As the light dropped, I picked up the thermal and watched some 30 odd Sika, including stags emerge from both areas. The one side is quite open and relatively easy to get onto them, but this will have to wait a couple of days as I would prefer to take a couple more from the large woodland block.

No filming to interfere with shooting this time....... I forgot the camera
 

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Deermanagement

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Deep in the wood early this morning. Plenty of animals were I saw them last night and I hoped to catch one unaware as they came back to the wood. Kept getting clocked before I could see them properly in the gloom so left the immediate area undisturbed for later, and made my way to the high seat overlooking the wallows I looked at the evening before.

All quiet for half hour until a few calls had this one come into 59 yds.
 

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Deermanagement

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Having run around delivering carcasses, having a kip and setting up a Napier ratchet thingy above a rail as I’m getting to old to be lifting stags on my own, I managed to set off just gone 4pm. I’d already seen one stag, about 1/2 mile from my place. In the distance I saw something cross the road and thought stag. I slowed to a stop about 10 yds from him, got my phone, took some pictures after clicking my tongue to get his attention. He didn’t move and I drove off.

A quick walk in the wood and I found d at one hinds but as time was pushing on, I thought I’d get to a high seat. A quick drive up the hill for a view at some corn coming up, I found 4 large animals out grazing. Cows. Was just going to call the farmer and I notice there was a 5th, a stag with one antler. It was too far away with the wind all wrong but I watched head to the field edge where it joined a second stag. The downland above them was a good place for a shot so off I went. 5 mins later I was above them but they were obscured by trees.

As I sat, a yearling roe made its way across in my direction. I need a roe so laid down with an old ant hill for a rest, dialled up 150 although he was 200 downhill. As I lined up, I noticed a 3rd point and he was quite tall for a yearling, So safety went back on.

A quick dash back down the hill and it wasn’t long before I was in the high seat. Although facing one direction, it’s comfortable shooting into the field behind, which was where I expected to see animals.

A couple of roe appeared but as it was getting late, I tried a call. On the second series of calls, a young stag came running out from the wood to my front, and it wasn’t long before he was directly downwind. I didn’t have much time, I knew he would sense me even though he was around 140. With him looking directly in my direction, with an excellent rest from the seat, the crosshairs settled just under his chin. I like this rifle 😎
 

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Deermanagement

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Not much to say this morning. Out a bit later, sat in a high seat to view the area the noisiest stag in the area seems to prefer. Did get sight of him and another but nothing shootable so left to look for a pricket.

Found one held up in some thickish scrub in an oak plantation but couldn’t find a way through so pulled out to call from a seat not too far away. Did an awful job of whisking so no wonder I didn’t see anything.

Went back to the pricket in the scrub and worked my way as close as so could get. Whilst doing that, a second pricket was stalking me and came up behind me to 10 yds before bounding off with an alarm call.

Original pricket on hearing the commotion moved a little for a better view, meaning a slight gap between the Sako and the Sika’s.neck presented itself.

Another one for the records and just the animal for a colleagues own use.
 

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Deermanagement

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Over the hill this evening. There’s a stubble field that’s drawing a lot of deer including Sika with a stag or two. I hoped to find a small buck out early as I could do with one. There were 2 laid up at the top of the field, the one an obvious buck, the second looked like a small spiker. I took the quad to within 250 yds, parked up and stalked to pick them up. A 6 pointer and a doe….

So, where would the Sika come from? Betting that it would be a small conifer plantation some 300 yds away, I positioned myself to intercept any heading to the stubble. A couple of roe appeared, a couple of foxes, but no Sika. With maybe 15 mins light left, I decided to move, but no sooner had I broke cover, a movement just beyond the conifers, gave away Sika on the move.

I quickly positioned myself to intercept what I though was a pricket, but as it moved into my scope and stood for a minute or so, it turned into a nice stag, albeit, 6 points. If it had been smaller, broadside at 80 yds it was dead, if it had been bigger, it may have been dead. So I let it go, off in the direction of the stubble, whistling 3 times as it entered the field, where it joined the deer already there.

So in the morning I’ll be back there nice and early. Small stags or prickets are the target and this time I’m going to try and intercept them on their way back to woodland, assuming they don’t do it under cover of darkness.
 

Deermanagement

Well-Known Member
Good luck in the morning mate I’m enjoying reading ur write ups 👍
I’ve been very lucky this last 15 years or so in so much as my wife has stalked with me, spotter, camerawoman etc. This year it hasn’t been possible which means I don’t get to share the sights and sounds, like a large female goshawk hugging the downland contours yesterday evening, sending the pheasants out feeding in a field panicking to cover.

So when I’ve chance, I’ll share here and on this occasion, I may as well share first till last.

Btw…, thanks for the comment
 

Deermanagement

Well-Known Member
So last morning…., I had my plan, head for the top of the hill, hopefully spot something suitable from there and “cut it or them off at the pass”

Well that was the plan…. I was early but so was the mist rolling in and out, making it impossible to spot from the hill. I thought about dropping down into the main woodland block but instead thought I’d just skirt the inside of a long conifer plantation. There had been a lot of clearing on the woodland edge and although I haven’t seen that many Sika using the area, I did see the couple of stags the other evening, one of which had the one antler.

I only saw a couple of roe for the first 400 yds and thought about heading back down through the wood for home, fairly resigned to a blank morning.

Just before I did, a stag gave one call some 150 yds ahead of me. Although this woodland is very thick, it sounded that he was in the vicinity of a bit of a clearing, so off I headed, painfully slowly, as although I didn’t necessarily want to shoot the stag, there may have been something else suitable close by.

I got to the area, spooked a couple of roe, but drew a blank on the Sika. Abandoning any hope, I left the wood and cut up through a field, which was still covered in a layer of mist. At the top of this field, a short walk down a track and I’d be back at the yard.

2/3 way across, another wail from a stag. As I’d stalked through, he’d obviously moved on. There’s an area of bracken which is the only open area, so I edged forward, as I would be skylined to the area, and picked up the top of his antlers. From there, I could make out a decent stag, but again a 6 pointer. He disappeared into the conifers and with nothing else in sight, I headed for the track and home.

I still walked the relatively muddy track as quiet as possible, and when about 140 yds from the yard, a movement below the track, only 20 yds down a slope, a movement caught my eye. I thought hare as there didn’t seem enough cover for a deer unless it was a laid up roe. Straining with the binos, I picked up antler tips.

The antler tips turned into a decent 6 pointer for which I had a good view as he moved parallel to me at about 30 yds, whining quietly as he walked. I worked out that it was the wide 6 pointer that I had seen a couple of times, last time was a week ago when I spent a couple of hours, just moving 40 yds or so back and forth on a track in the main woodland block, trying to get sight of his entarage. I eventually shot a small stag not too far from him and I guess I thought it was time to relocate.

So off he wandered and I was about to do the same, when he turned and headed back to where I first spotted him. Not only that, he turned again and came in my direction, stopping some 15 yds in front and below me.

So there I stood, for maybe 2 minutes, Swarovski’s at that distance meant that I could nearly make out each eyelash 😁

He had broken his left brow tine since last time I had a good view. My only regret is that I didn’t have my camera, leaving it at home.

A slight breeze from behind, and he lifted his head, starred straight at me, and only after another minute, slowly walked away. Once he was nearly out of sigh, he then had the audacity to scream some warning calls…… as if 🙄

So that was it minutes later, I was back in the yard, loafing up some animals, my Sika rut finished for this year, unless I manage to get out in a fortnight and they are still going

Hope sharing this has given you a bit of a read. Not quite like having company whilst stalking, but a small amount of time writing shares my couple of days memories.
 
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