Sika and snow

Deermanagement

Well-Known Member
Managed to get out last Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, was keen to get out in some fresh snow. As some parts of Dorset had a good covering, maybe a 4" covering that went to a foot or more where it drifted Friday night, I didn't expect to see too many beasts outside of the woodlands. There you go, you can never tell...... saw plenty of roe and a few sika out quite early, I guess looking to nibble the tops of what may have been showing above the snow before it froze.

After watching a few animals I decided a small 5 point stag on the edge of a block of woodland may offer a shot if I could cover the ground quick enough before some roe managed to get between me and my intended target. A field and a half later, all downhill, then a crawl through a gap in the hedge, I was under one of my new high seats. I had visions of taking my first Sika with the .270 finnlight and at the same time, get my first deer from my new seat. Not a chance though as the Stag decided he'd go walk about in the snow, directly adjacent to me. After setting up on the sticks, right elbow against the broad oak, I have him a shout to which he came to a halt. After selling my "go to" .243 a couple of weeks ago, this was only my second animal with the .270. Never though I'd like to use this calibre but with the moderator it's quite pleasant to shoot. He was only a 100 yards, rest was good so no excuses. The 130g was spot on, high heart/low lungs and he lunged forward and took off before doing a U turn to head back from whence he came. After about 30 yards he did a snow plough impression for about 10 yards and expired. Job done, a good one to take and a first, all in the snow and on film.

Rather than going straight to the stag I decided to go back up the hill to collect the quad and was greeted by the sight of 50 to 60 sika move out from some woodland on top of the hill to get the last bit of grass showing before the clear evening was set to freeze their evening meal. I though about but though better of it. To take an animal or two from such a large group would not only educate them but would have possibly sent them over the boundary so I left them in peace.

I left the stag hung over night to be picked up next day after stalking which I did. Didn't shoot any the next morning, saw a couple but just didn't get the right animal in front of me but when I went to collect the stag late morning, the same group was out along with a couple of other groups which I watched for a while before returning to the larder. A quick walk to the top of the hill and to where a small group had been laid up when I collected the stag proved fruitless, but looking at some fresh tracks it looks as if they had headed off in the direction of the larger group.

Poor weather this weekend so I'll leave it to next weekend and hopefully find some small groups. A bit of fresh snow would be nice :)
 

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