Popped out the other day before the silage had been cut to assess the deer movement at a small patch near me which can hold some surprisingly good bucks when you strike it lucky. I've found the window of opportunity is quite narrow here as you've got to time it just right. The pasture and meadow has got to be long and lush enough to lure in the does in from the surrounding area looking for areas to fatten up and drop their young... with any luck keeping a buck in tow. Alternatively the previous years followers will have been given the elbow and the good browsing and quiet fields give them a place to cut their teeth away from the guidance of the doe. Either way as soon a the silage is cut you're buggered as the angus beef is let out their winter holdings and its lottery time which fields they'll be in.
Hoping to earmark a decent buck and knock off a pricket I popped out on a nice sunny evening. There were deer about and no mistake, a pair of young does, twins recently given the boot i suspect were milling around one small paddock with the sun on their back. I got a couple of pics from feet away but sadly most of them came out rubbish - these were the best of a bad bunch.
Moving down to the lower ground I saw a doe couched against the hedge so I stalked in to a position so I could lay prone and view the area from a safe shooting position. The evening had just hit the sweet spot where things start moving so I was hoping she held a buck or still had a pricket with her in the vicinity. Not long later a decent 6 pointer emerged from within the hedge next to her he was nice... very nice actually. Meaty, wide span with a big neck, even looked like he had a bit of a mane... In a rare moment of restraint I decided he wasn't what I was after so gambled that something else would appear.
Taking me totally by suprise a fox almost brushed against me as it made its was towards a hole in the hedge the deer had made towards my waiting deer. I whistled softly and stopped it in its tracks against the hedge and put one in him with the 6.5x55 and it dropped without a twitch at 40 meters.
To my surprise the deer remained where they were without showing much alarm and continued contentedly blinking in the last of the evening sun. Something eventually spooked them and they all pounced up and split, the buck and mature doe vanishing down the line of the hedge and the two youngsters coming towards me, stopping at the hole to sniff the recently deceased fox. No other buck was present They eventually came within feet of me but I didn't want to alarm them by moving to talk a picture - the idea being that they'd keep to the area and hopefully entice that decent buck back where i'd know where to find him..........
Needless to say the plan's all gone to shit as I haven't seen the b*****d on my ground since and now the silage in now cut, wrapped and stacked and the feckin cattle are out in the fields. Where's that decent buck?... back on the neighbouring ground Of course there's the outside possibility he might be back in the right place at the right time but from previous experience I've got more chance winning on a scratchcard! Thats the problem with small permissions which hold livestock and are surrounded by better ground. Still - thats stalking.
I was back there last night to look for a fox that had been, amazingly enough, chased out from within the chicken fence perimeter (during the day) before it had had a chance to kill anything
This years youngster - not a tiddler anymore though.