Stalk with Sikamalc.

Tom270

Well-Known Member
Stalk with Sikamalc.

I booked two stalks with Malc primarily as I needed to book something as my FAC was due for renewal and my permission cleared for .270 had changed hands and I had lost it. Second I had not been for ages and really wanted to get out.
A few calls to Malc and some communications with the FEO and it was sorted. The trip to be on the first of December and my new certificate was granted.
A few days before saw me over at the farm I zero on and an old cot with a convenient cartoon bunny on the side was propped up about seventy yards away. The large flatbed bail trailer was parked up handy as a shooting platform. My big response bag used a rest and three test shots came in an inch high so no adjustments needed. The group was not fantastic but perfectly adequate with a bit of wind and the top of the bag was slippery. What’s that about bad workmen.
The day before I gathered my gear together. At 1130 the day before the stalks I set off for the 200 mile drive, down the M1, M25 and M23 good roads to be travelling on a Friday.
The trip was not so bad a bit slow around Heathrow but soon enough I arrived at the B and B recommended by Malc and very nice it was too. I unloaded my stuff had a shower and watched TV. I had decided to go to the Dragon pub for a meal it’s not far from the estate so I could also have a quick recci of the route ready for the morning. The meal was excellent then off back for some sleep before the 5am start.
Sleep did not come easy I was running through the stalking knowledge I had learned so far, as a novice I was having an accompanied morning and evening stalk. I must have dropped off as next the alarm was going off.
It was wet, very wet but not too windy, I had expected worse as the forecast showed a south easterly pushing a deep belt of heavy rain up the country.
I put the pub back in the sat nav as this took me past the estate entrance. And ten minutes on empty lanes took me there. Finding the bothy proved harder but soon sorted and there I met Rhys who was to be my guide for the day. I told him I had grassed one roe buck some time ago and some boar but to treat me like an idiot.
We packed our stuff into his truck, I do like these 4x4 crew cabs and have been tempted but on the run down the Volvo did 58 mpg.
On the way we saw 8 Fallow in the truck head lights. We parked up and I was glad of my winter trousers with water proof over trousers big jacket with Goretex and fleece liner topped off with a Tilly hat. I had a cammo balaclava and gloves in my pocket.
I put four Barnes 130g. home loads into the Parker Hale complete with T8 mod. Reece took my sticks, saying if I put the sticks up you raise your rifle onto them as smoothly as possible and have a look.
I had my binoculars with me but in general decided not to use them, Reece knows where to look and if the sticks went up I didn’t want to be fiddling getting my binos away.
It was just light enough under the trees. It’s still raining and occasional bigger drops falling off the canopy with a splat on my hat.
The woodland was mostly evergreen with some deciduous mixed in, the ground was a mix of dead brown Bracon and Laurel ranging from three to eight feet high. Wet laurel leaves were flickering like demented Aldis lamps as they oscillated in the strong wind, eye catching and distracting but impossible to ignore.
I followed Rhys just far enough behind not to bump into him if he stopped but ready to ship my rifle onto the sticks. I looked around carefully remembering I would only see a bit of the Fallow not the picture book pose. Rhys stopped often glassing with his Zeiss bino’s often wiping the lenses free of condensation.
I became aware I was snapping off stalks and making more noise than I should be this was a lesson of previous stalks so I started to pick my feet up. I was looking at the track ahead and choosing where to place my feet.
My Jack Pyke over trousers were good and not noisy when walking and seemed to be keeping me warm and dry. My rifle did not seem to be as heavy as sometimes previously I can’t explain that.
I was carrying the rifle muzzle up. I should have put some tape over the muzzle of the mod to keep the rain out. I had broken the rear Butler Creek so muzzle down meant rain on the lens and less clear view, that I did not want, plus possibly dumping the barrel in mud or on a rock going downhill. A new Vortex cover is on the cards.
We moved on nice and slowly with Rhys carefully checking the corners and we came to a ride straight ahead and Rhys put up the sticks and I rested the rifle on he said we will give it ten minutes here they cross left to right but could be either, we waited a Goss Hawk swooped out from the right and flew down the ride. No deer.
We moved on and came to a patch strewn with ripped off Laurel stems, over the bushes and path for twenty yards. Rhys whispered” Fallow buck did this thrashing with his antlers.”
The woods and ground cover were thick and shooting was likely to be at 50 yards or so except where a ride cut through the trees.
I had seen where Roe had stamped the ground but not like this.
We moved downhill stopping and glassing we passed sign of deer crossing the trail and the odd slot in the wet ground. Coming to another ride with the rifle on the sticks we waited but again the ride remained empty of our quarry.
Still raining, we slowly stalked back to the truck, I emptied the rifle and showed Rhys it was clear before sipping it in the bag into the truck.
We whizzed off to the shop and then back to the bothy.
Kettle on and log burner fired up followed by great breakfast bacon eggs beans and toast.
We talked about deer and stalking for the next few hours and I picked up several tips. We were expecting another stalker for the evening stalk and right on time he arrived. He was to use a 30-06 which Rhys had already checked using 150g.
We had another brew and got our still very damp outdoor kit back on.
The plan for this afternoon was high seats. Rhys dropped me off giving me directions to the high seat and his phone number to call if I shot one and the instruction to let them come clear over the rise to ensure a safe backstop. Also to mark both the point of impact, if any. direction of travel and not to follow up for fifteen minutes by my watch Also to move slowly and smoothly take my time and not rush over a shot. Lastly do not shoot a Roe Buck, being out of season of course.
I moved away from the road and put four rounds in the rifle checked the safety and closed the bolt. Gathered my sticks and set slowly off up the track. It’s still raining.
There is wood land to my left and just behind that the road roughly parallel to the track to my right is a fenced patch of scrub, ahead the track curves to the left. I am aware I am thinking about the high seat so I stop and get into stalking mode, move slowly look carefully ahead left the road right a fence so no shooting there.
Right on the corner I bumped two Fallow twenty yards ahead slightly to the right. They were off before I saw them and I saw two caudal rumps dancing away to disappear over a rise.
Bugger. But there would have been no shot in any case as the ground dropped off in every direction to woodland behind and I would have been shooting slightly up hill. This prompted me to think this why there is a high seat.
A few yards further and there it was on my left, a sturdy wooden construction. I propped up my sticks at the back corner unloaded the rifle and carefully climbed up.
As I sat down I realised I did not have the foam pad Rhys had given me to sit on, looking back I could see it on the track I must have dropped it when I disturbed the Fallow but I was not going down for it now. I settled in loaded the rifle and put it on the wide rest and had a good look round.
In front of the seat was a patch of hummocky scrub with the odd tree and ground cover the left and ahead is surrounded by coniferous woodland and to the right is the fence of the patch I just walked up the other side of. The fence posts were a handy range indicator and a marker for place of shot.
Diagonally to the left there was a cleft where the deer had disappeared. It looked likely they could reappear there or over the rise at the end of the fence or anywhere else for that matter.
It’s still raining and the wind seems to vary from in my face or from my left both of which are fine for the patch ahead of me.
It was cold and I put my gloves on, I kept the front lens covered as rain blew in from ahead. except for a while I aimed at various points on the ground, when the rain eased off, the sight picture was so lovely and stable resting on the rail and I was quietly confident in shooting if the opportunity arose, far better than off sticks.
I sat still watching, occasionally glassing looking for a deer part or the twitching of an ear or just there sudden silent appearance in front of me.
Time moved on I could hear traffic on the road behind me a way away and further off saw the odd car on a road to the right. Then there was a flurry of shots in the distance shot gun I thought, there was a shoot on the estate. Someone was exercising a horse at a stable to the right.
The light was changing, starting to get dark, I kept alert and vigilant, looking for any movement not linked to the wind and keeping still, watching what I considered to be the two entry points onto the scrub in front of me and around in general. I listened for grunts or any other sounds other than those of the trees and leaves.
Looking and waiting as the light deteriorated, I eventually decided it was now to dark to shoot and follow up. I unloaded stowed the bullets away and took care climbing down. I picked up the mat and made my way to the road and in a few minutes Rhys arrived and picked me up. They had not had a shot either.
We returned to the bothy and had tea and biscuits before loading up the car with wet kit and muddy boots for the trip home. Three and half hours later I am home with a brew. Gun to clean and kit to dry.
Thanks to Malc for helping with my renewal and booking me in and thanks to Rhys for all the tips knowledge and a brilliant day stalking and cooking the breakfast making tea and imparting his knowledge.
Thanks also to Steve my stalking mentor and the brilliant days we have had out and my first buck, Deerwarden who invited a stranger down for a day and taught me a lot.
high seat selfie.jpg
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Cant win them all I am afraid. The weather has not been on any stalkers side of late, high winds and rain. Hope we can meet up next time you are down.
 

deerwarden

Well-Known Member
Stalk with Sikamalc.

I booked two stalks with Malc primarily as I needed to book something as my FAC was due for renewal and my permission cleared for .270 had changed hands and I had lost it. Second I had not been for ages and really wanted to get out.
A few calls to Malc and some communications with the FEO and it was sorted. The trip to be on the first of December and my new certificate was granted.
A few days before saw me over at the farm I zero on and an old cot with a convenient cartoon bunny on the side was propped up about seventy yards away. The large flatbed bail trailer was parked up handy as a shooting platform. My big response bag used a rest and three test shots came in an inch high so no adjustments needed. The group was not fantastic but perfectly adequate with a bit of wind and the top of the bag was slippery. What’s that about bad workmen.
The day before I gathered my gear together. At 1130 the day before the stalks I set off for the 200 mile drive, down the M1, M25 and M23 good roads to be travelling on a Friday.
The trip was not so bad a bit slow around Heathrow but soon enough I arrived at the B and B recommended by Malc and very nice it was too. I unloaded my stuff had a shower and watched TV. I had decided to go to the Dragon pub for a meal it’s not far from the estate so I could also have a quick recci of the route ready for the morning. The meal was excellent then off back for some sleep before the 5am start.
Sleep did not come easy I was running through the stalking knowledge I had learned so far, as a novice I was having an accompanied morning and evening stalk. I must have dropped off as next the alarm was going off.
It was wet, very wet but not too windy, I had expected worse as the forecast showed a south easterly pushing a deep belt of heavy rain up the country.
I put the pub back in the sat nav as this took me past the estate entrance. And ten minutes on empty lanes took me there. Finding the bothy proved harder but soon sorted and there I met Rhys who was to be my guide for the day. I told him I had grassed one roe buck some time ago and some boar but to treat me like an idiot.
We packed our stuff into his truck, I do like these 4x4 crew cabs and have been tempted but on the run down the Volvo did 58 mpg.
On the way we saw 8 Fallow in the truck head lights. We parked up and I was glad of my winter trousers with water proof over trousers big jacket with Goretex and fleece liner topped off with a Tilly hat. I had a cammo balaclava and gloves in my pocket.
I put four Barnes 130g. home loads into the Parker Hale complete with T8 mod. Reece took my sticks, saying if I put the sticks up you raise your rifle onto them as smoothly as possible and have a look.
I had my binoculars with me but in general decided not to use them, Reece knows where to look and if the sticks went up I didn’t want to be fiddling getting my binos away.
It was just light enough under the trees. It’s still raining and occasional bigger drops falling off the canopy with a splat on my hat.
The woodland was mostly evergreen with some deciduous mixed in, the ground was a mix of dead brown Bracon and Laurel ranging from three to eight feet high. Wet laurel leaves were flickering like demented Aldis lamps as they oscillated in the strong wind, eye catching and distracting but impossible to ignore.
I followed Rhys just far enough behind not to bump into him if he stopped but ready to ship my rifle onto the sticks. I looked around carefully remembering I would only see a bit of the Fallow not the picture book pose. Rhys stopped often glassing with his Zeiss bino’s often wiping the lenses free of condensation.
I became aware I was snapping off stalks and making more noise than I should be this was a lesson of previous stalks so I started to pick my feet up. I was looking at the track ahead and choosing where to place my feet.
My Jack Pyke over trousers were good and not noisy when walking and seemed to be keeping me warm and dry. My rifle did not seem to be as heavy as sometimes previously I can’t explain that.
I was carrying the rifle muzzle up. I should have put some tape over the muzzle of the mod to keep the rain out. I had broken the rear Butler Creek so muzzle down meant rain on the lens and less clear view, that I did not want, plus possibly dumping the barrel in mud or on a rock going downhill. A new Vortex cover is on the cards.
We moved on nice and slowly with Rhys carefully checking the corners and we came to a ride straight ahead and Rhys put up the sticks and I rested the rifle on he said we will give it ten minutes here they cross left to right but could be either, we waited a Goss Hawk swooped out from the right and flew down the ride. No deer.
We moved on and came to a patch strewn with ripped off Laurel stems, over the bushes and path for twenty yards. Rhys whispered” Fallow buck did this thrashing with his antlers.”
The woods and ground cover were thick and shooting was likely to be at 50 yards or so except where a ride cut through the trees.
I had seen where Roe had stamped the ground but not like this.
We moved downhill stopping and glassing we passed sign of deer crossing the trail and the odd slot in the wet ground. Coming to another ride with the rifle on the sticks we waited but again the ride remained empty of our quarry.
Still raining, we slowly stalked back to the truck, I emptied the rifle and showed Rhys it was clear before sipping it in the bag into the truck.
We whizzed off to the shop and then back to the bothy.
Kettle on and log burner fired up followed by great breakfast bacon eggs beans and toast.
We talked about deer and stalking for the next few hours and I picked up several tips. We were expecting another stalker for the evening stalk and right on time he arrived. He was to use a 30-06 which Rhys had already checked using 150g.
We had another brew and got our still very damp outdoor kit back on.
The plan for this afternoon was high seats. Rhys dropped me off giving me directions to the high seat and his phone number to call if I shot one and the instruction to let them come clear over the rise to ensure a safe backstop. Also to mark both the point of impact, if any. direction of travel and not to follow up for fifteen minutes by my watch Also to move slowly and smoothly take my time and not rush over a shot. Lastly do not shoot a Roe Buck, being out of season of course.
I moved away from the road and put four rounds in the rifle checked the safety and closed the bolt. Gathered my sticks and set slowly off up the track. It’s still raining.
There is wood land to my left and just behind that the road roughly parallel to the track to my right is a fenced patch of scrub, ahead the track curves to the left. I am aware I am thinking about the high seat so I stop and get into stalking mode, move slowly look carefully ahead left the road right a fence so no shooting there.
Right on the corner I bumped two Fallow twenty yards ahead slightly to the right. They were off before I saw them and I saw two caudal rumps dancing away to disappear over a rise.
Bugger. But there would have been no shot in any case as the ground dropped off in every direction to woodland behind and I would have been shooting slightly up hill. This prompted me to think this why there is a high seat.
A few yards further and there it was on my left, a sturdy wooden construction. I propped up my sticks at the back corner unloaded the rifle and carefully climbed up.
As I sat down I realised I did not have the foam pad Rhys had given me to sit on, looking back I could see it on the track I must have dropped it when I disturbed the Fallow but I was not going down for it now. I settled in loaded the rifle and put it on the wide rest and had a good look round.
In front of the seat was a patch of hummocky scrub with the odd tree and ground cover the left and ahead is surrounded by coniferous woodland and to the right is the fence of the patch I just walked up the other side of. The fence posts were a handy range indicator and a marker for place of shot.
Diagonally to the left there was a cleft where the deer had disappeared. It looked likely they could reappear there or over the rise at the end of the fence or anywhere else for that matter.
It’s still raining and the wind seems to vary from in my face or from my left both of which are fine for the patch ahead of me.
It was cold and I put my gloves on, I kept the front lens covered as rain blew in from ahead. except for a while I aimed at various points on the ground, when the rain eased off, the sight picture was so lovely and stable resting on the rail and I was quietly confident in shooting if the opportunity arose, far better than off sticks.
I sat still watching, occasionally glassing looking for a deer part or the twitching of an ear or just there sudden silent appearance in front of me.
Time moved on I could hear traffic on the road behind me a way away and further off saw the odd car on a road to the right. Then there was a flurry of shots in the distance shot gun I thought, there was a shoot on the estate. Someone was exercising a horse at a stable to the right.
The light was changing, starting to get dark, I kept alert and vigilant, looking for any movement not linked to the wind and keeping still, watching what I considered to be the two entry points onto the scrub in front of me and around in general. I listened for grunts or any other sounds other than those of the trees and leaves.
Looking and waiting as the light deteriorated, I eventually decided it was now to dark to shoot and follow up. I unloaded stowed the bullets away and took care climbing down. I picked up the mat and made my way to the road and in a few minutes Rhys arrived and picked me up. They had not had a shot either.
We returned to the bothy and had tea and biscuits before loading up the car with wet kit and muddy boots for the trip home. Three and half hours later I am home with a brew. Gun to clean and kit to dry.
Thanks to Malc for helping with my renewal and booking me in and thanks to Rhys for all the tips knowledge and a brilliant day stalking and cooking the breakfast making tea and imparting his knowledge.
Thanks also to Steve my stalking mentor and the brilliant days we have had out and my first buck, Deerwarden who invited a stranger down for a day and taught me a lot.
View attachment 117915
Hi Tom, nice write up, I always read your posts as they detail your experiences in the stalking world, you have a passion for the sport that I still have, although 40 years have passed since a friend took me to "watch" deer, then allowed me to shoot one. From then on I was hooked, and still enjoy every day I have out in the field. Hopefully, impending surgery will repair my second knee replacement, and I'll be back in the fields and woods, enjoying the sport we all love, each day out there refresh's the soul, kind regards John F aka deerwarden
 

Kjf

Well-Known Member
Great write up:tiphat:

That's stalking mate, some we win, most I lose lol

At least you were out, Tis all that matters , is that you enjoyed it:thumb:

Kjf
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
Wet laurel leaves were flickering like demented Aldis lamps as they oscillated in the strong wind, eye catching and distracting but impossible to ignore
Cracking write-up! I really enjoyed that. And the above sentence was the best of the lot!!! Beautiful
 

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