My first roe buck (and why the police gave me a .308 in the first place!)

spandit

Well-Known Member
I've lost quite a few of my young trees to a roe buck recently. I've seen him on the trail camera and in person. Not too bothered about the naturally seeded trees coming up but the ones I've paid for really annoyed me.

Decided to go out this afternoon for some target shooting. Before I went into my top field I shot an old solidified bag of cement from 100 yards. Shattered satisfyingly but obviously made a big noise. Not to worry, I wasn't really planning on doing much but plinking. I knew the .308 was pretty well zeroed anyway.

Climbed up into my high seat, which isn't an elegant manoeuvre, and settled down with the rifle held securely in the rowlocks I've installed for that purpose. Imagine my surprise to see the offending roe (or at least, a roe buck) sitting quite happily at the other end of the field, about 150 yards away. Wasn't in a suitable position to shoot as it was very close to the fence between us and one of the neighbours and lying down it wasn't presenting a huge target.

Watched it for quite some time and eventually he got up and strolled away behind a clump of young trees (because some are making it!) and I lost sight of him. A couple of rabbits gambolling in the sunshine made for a beautifully pastoral scene. I decided to wait to see if he'd move to a more convenient spot.

Not sure how they do it, but they seem to teleport from one place to another and he presented side on in a fairly safe spot, albeit about 135 yards away. I hesitated and missed my opportunity. He appeared further over and although I had him in the sights with the safety catch off, I wasn't 100% happy that he wouldn't move and as keen as I was to grass him and end the carnage in my prototype woodland, I was very cautious of injuring him.

After an hour or so, he finally started walking up the other side of the field. Although the house/barn was in the background, I was shooting well downhill and eventually plucked up the courage to take the shot at almost exactly 100 yards.

It was a good hit to the shoulder and he dropped on the spot (150gr Hornady SST reload). I was shaking like anything but so glad that he hadn't run off and he didn't twitch for long. By the time I got there he was well dead and after I'd poked his eye with the muzzle I unloaded the rifle and set to work:



Exit wound was large enough and the flies didn't hang around:



With some help over the 'phone from nunhunter and thinking back to a recent YouTube video tutorial, I gralloched him on the ground (I'd left my gambrel in the house and the wife doesn't want me to shoot deer here... :D). Don't think I did too bad a job and having a cold meant that I didn't smell anything. Grass looked like there'd been a massacre and what I could see of the innards, he looked pretty healthy:



Didn't have a bone saw so had to improvise with a Leatherman serrated blade - was hard work and I had to lift it by the hind legs to drop the pluck out. I'd recently bought a Mora Roe knife and it was superb. Razor sharp and tiny blade made it really controllable. The ball on the point meant that the gut contents remained where they should. I was using the disposable gloves you get from a petrol station when filling with diesel - they're useless (although fine on rabbits), I'll be putting my surgical gloves back in the bag for next time.

Managed to sneak the corpse back to the barn where there is a beer fridge. Beer emptied into my workshop (I'll reward myself with one later!) and deer chucked in - don't have somewhere to hang it at the moment. Will see if I can knock something up tomorrow as wife is out most of the day, assuming I survive the dentist in the morning:



Considering my last deer cost about £250 (stalking cost plus carcass cost), this one cost about 60p! Wife texted me to see if I'd stopped target shooting so she could bring the dogs out. I was on my way in by then fortunately so took the dogs out once I'd put the rifle back in the cabinet. Emptied the bin bag full of guts over the fence so it's the neighbour's problem now (joke). Dog wasn't terribly interested in the murder scene funnily enough.
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
Well done mate. It's certainly an experience shooting and dealing with your first deer on your own but definitely one to remember. Eating him will make all the hard work worthwhile!
 

spandit

Well-Known Member
Well done mate. It's certainly an experience shooting and dealing with your first deer on your own but definitely one to remember. Eating him will make all the hard work worthwhile!
Thanks! Was tempted to get a wing man but nice to prove to myself I can do it and looking forward to comparing jerky soon
 

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
Well done fella, sounds like you took your time and did all the right things. Especially the bit where you squeeze the trigger and send the lead. Many people struggle to decide to get on with it and wait for that picture perfect shot. Hope you and the missus enjoy eating it.
 

norma 308

Well-Known Member
well done fella ,a small tip ! a little cough or grunt will stop 99% of deer enough time for you to drop the safety and bang should they be in a safe position .
Norma
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Well done on getting your first Roe.

Just one comment if I may please. And this is not trying to take anything away from your achievement. Next time you approach a dead deer and check for signs of life, don't poke it in the eye with a loaded rifle. Always use sticks. Over the years you will be surprised how many dead deer are not dead. I know the well placed shot shows that its highly unlikely but always expect the unexpected with deer stalking.

Again well done.
 

spandit

Well-Known Member
Just one comment if I may please. Next time you approach a dead deer and check for signs of life, don't poke it in the eye with a loaded rifle.
That's a good point, I'll use sticks next time. Thank you for the other compliments too.
 

spandit

Well-Known Member
Hope you and the missus enjoy eating it.
Missus doesn't know and doesn't like eating venison anyway. Still got a box of fallow in the freezer that was professionally butchered and debating whether to take this down or hack it apart myself...

well done fella ,a small tip ! a little cough or grunt will stop 99% of deer enough time for you to drop the safety and bang should they be in a safe position
I did contemplate this (and I have a cough at the moment!) but was cautious not to scare him away or out of a safe position. It's a slightly awkward bit of land to shoot, mine. Only 6 acres in the top field (4 in the lower) and I've planted a lot of trees. Houses quite nearby too and although I'd have to raise the rifle a lot to endanger any of them, the fact that they are still visible makes me want to be extra sure. This deer was shot in a place where nobody would have seen it due to the contours in the land (not that I was doing anything unsafe or illegal but we're all aware that not everyone shares our enthusiasm for killing).
 

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
Shame your wife doesn't like eating it. Perhaps if your much of a cook you could make a suitable dish that will make good use of the meat without anyone knowing it's venison. Or if that fails just eat it all yourself.
If I were you I'd just butcher it yourself. It's not hard at all. Even boning the haunches out, or the shoulders is fairly easy. If it's likely you are going to consume the most of it you will likely want to cut as much as possible into steaks, so back straps, haunches all go into small steaks bagged ready for one meal Dice the rest up to make casseroles or stew. I make a decent quantity of stew then freeze in them tubs from the chinese take away.
I enjoy the process of butchering up so it's not a chore. Good luck.
 

spandit

Well-Known Member
Got a mate coming round this evening to give me a hand. She has eaten it as cottage pie before but claims she could taste the difference. Not unduly worried, with my dehydrator and smoker I can keep myself in snacks for some time to come
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Well done - nothing wrong with using a leatherman and don't worry once you have done a few they get so much easier. Couple of points, following on from SikaMalc's comments. After the shot give it a good 15 to 20 minutes before going forward to the carcass. A blow to the central nervous system will drop a deer immediately and render it it unconscious for a period of time. But it will only die once CNS / Brain is completely destroyed - either physically cause its had a big lump of lead going through the brain, or it is deprived of oxygen from lack of blood flow. A shot high in the shoulder can damage the spine rendering it unconscious but may not cause a catastrophic loss of blood, like a shot lower down will when it pulverises the heart and lungs.

By leaving it a good fifteen or twenty minutes it has plenty of time to die peacefully (and humanely). If the original shot was not fatal, waiting will allow the adrenalin to fade and for it to stiffen up and start feeling pretty sick.

Also you will find that other deer in the locality are not spooked by the shot and if it all remains peaceful, chances are they will show themselves or come and have a look at what is happening. I have this last week. Shot a buck in amongst a few gorse bushes - he ran 20 yards into a bush and piled up. I remained still about 150 yds away. A doe came looking at what the matter was - she grazed for a few moments and then trotted off. I went towards the buck and another buck jumped from under a gorse bush half way there. He had been lying there all along. If I had been a bit more patient I would have had both - and I am protecting trees on that bit of ground!
 

spandit

Well-Known Member
Do you know, it did twitch a bit during the gralloch but I thought I was just pulling on stuff. I hope he didn't suffer unduly although there was an awful lot of blood so he can't have hung around for long.

Looking at pictures of bone saws I wish I'd tried the woodsaw on the Leatherman instead of the serrated blade.

Will keep an eye on the trees and the trailcam to see if there are any more about. Going to practice on targets a bit more at longer ranges to give me the confidence to take a shot sooner. Don't yet have the skill or space to deal with multiple carcasses anyway and I was buzzing so much from shooting that one that the chances of me taking a second safe shot was slim!
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I use the wood saw on my leatherman for opening up the H-Bone and the rib cage. But truth be told if its for my own consumption I don't often bother. If I am keeping the venison I skin it whilst its still warm. Haunches come off by carefully slice into the groin and then through the ball joint. Shoulders just slice off, and the the back straps, and neck strips can just be removed. I then let the meat age in the fridge.

All the bladder, back passage, heart, lungs etc can all just be left in place and disposed of with the bones.

But if I am going to to leave it hanging then out comes the back passage, bladder, heart lungs and etc.
 

kieran222

Well-Known Member
Nice write up. I would have a go at butchering it yourself if you have the time. Plenty of good videos on youtube on how to do it.
Kieran
 

spandit

Well-Known Member
It's done now. Hung it up in my workshop and with the help of widu13 we dismembered it. The back straps and large parts of the haunches are trimmed and bagged separately in 2 bags. I had 3 bags of dice for curries etc. and a large back of nasty bloody crap that will go through the mincer to make sausages. Skeleton and skin chucked over fence so it's neighbour's problem now :D
 

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