Mercy killing/meat harvest

Yesterday saw me partake on my first morning stalk with @crowe for a fallow buck.

03:30 comes round and I hop out of bed quiet as a mouse so as not to wake up the Mrs or the baby. Meet up with @crowe at c.04:30 so we can start to look at the ground and understand where to set up.

We get to the first bit of ground and quickly see only does and fawns so we push off onto the next bit. When we arrive things are quite sparse and turns out some other stalkers have been given permission as well and this hasn't been communicated wider so after a chat with them we push off yet again heading towards a tree that is commonly used to clean the velvet off. We see a number of fallow heading towards it and we set up and wait but as if like magic they disappear never to be seen again.

We stalk into the next field and wait, a muntjac appears but being the amateur I am, just wasn't quick enough to get on the sticks to get a shot.

We carry on and have one last look in another field before calling it a day, and we see what looks to be a good sized buck, judging by the body mass, but it's head is down and doesn't come up.

We watch, talking through how we would approach for a few minutes and this whole time the head doesn't come up and it doesn't move. Noting this as odd behaviour Tony decides to check on him and I hang back to guide him in, and just as he's about to wander over the buck drops.

Assuming he has been shot and just hasn't died yet Tony approached with caution. As he gets close he calls me over and I quickly see 2 heads in the crop....confused I look more closely and can now see 2 bodies and as one head thrashed the other flopped.

Quickly we see they have somehow become entangled in a rope and the stronger buck has thrashed the other into a pretty bad situation. Unfortunately for the stronger buck he was just going a bit to crazy for us to get close and free them, so we make the decision to shoot him. He drops and we approach ensuring he is dead, then we free the 2nd buck, we try and scare him away and when he gets up his neck is like jelly and we could see one antler missing and the 2nd appeared snapped off from the skull meaning likely brain damage and a broken neck. So a despatch shot was taken and he was dead.

A long drag later and I got to perform my first gralloch which was very timely after recently doing my DSC1.

Back home a friend who wants to get into stalking helped me butcher etc and got a nice amount of meat for the help.

Safe to say this wasn't how I envisioned taking my first fallow but I'm extremely grateful we were there as without a doubt both would have starved to death.

Thanks Tony for taking me out and teaching me some very useful skills!

Again SD at its finest


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Well-Known Member
Never nice to see; but the best outcome for the beasts.
Definitely, was strange and surreal but also very confusing as to how they got so tangled but both in very good condition all that aside, so plenty of meat in the freezer and a lifelong memory to boot, also got one of the heads (the one that wasn't smashed to bits) so will pop that on the wall rope and all as a reminder