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Yokel Matt

Sika Songs

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When you say the stag lurched forward to a solid chest strike then stood there wobbling for 5 mins, surely it would have been more humane to have followed up with another shot to end the matter, wouldn't it?

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You had to be there really - it looked like it would drop any second and as he was obviously on his way down I didn't want to give it any reason for the adrenaline to kick in... especially as it was pushing 300m by this point. There was also livestock in he vicinity to worry about so not as cut and dry as it was described.

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    • By Yokel Matt
      Last Saturday evening - I'd been up well before dawn and after walking for miles and seen feck-all (on my permission anyway) decided to spend the last 2 hours of daylight sat in a high seat set in 12 acres of divine sitka spruce permission that was part of a 300 acre block. It was both cold and windy so being sat on my arse in the highseat and before long I was absolutely freezing my nuts off.
       
      Some total bell-ends had decided to spend the evening pretending to be Ray Mears or Bear Grylls and were 150 meters away on the neighbours permission with a roaring fire and trying to break more firewood so moral and expectations were low to say the least!
       
       
      Maybe ten / fifteen minute of shootable light left - like a mirage, a group of sika approach from my left. The adult hind was easy to spot so, selecting an obvious calf as soon as it was clear BOOM.... thump. followed by deer running every-which-way. I followed my hind calf the few yards that she was visible to gauge her general direction and then was distracted by as following group that stopped in the same spot. There happened to be another calf in this group so, going for a straight pin-shot, I dropper her on the spot.
       
      The first strike had been on in an area of rushy grass on a ride of woodland and try as a might in the half-light I couldn't find the strike spot. I spent an hour, well past darkness, looking with a decent torch and eventually gave up.
       
      I was back at dawn the next day to follow up and was PISSED to see that something had got there first. I must have walked past it a dozen times but it was invisible in the ditch if collapsed into... I really must get a dog!
       
       

    • By Yokel Matt
      The phone rang, it was the landowner of my patch in Dorset saying the freezer was empty and there were a lot of deer about. This statement was followed by a pregnant pause which I was quick to fill with a date in the diary! Having neglected this place for a few months and still conscious of my promise to Foxdropper to put him on a stag we found ourselves before dawn at the venue last weekend. We were early and hungry as the MacDonalds we normally stopped at was closed for a refurb - The injustice of it all! As our stomachs protested we went over the game plan and as first light came kitted up and went to our staging area where we could have a good long glass as the light got stronger.
       
      Tim was first to spot something, a large black object moving purposefully around 400m away towards a copse on the boundary of the permission. He looked to be a nice stag but didn't hang around and was shortly over the fence and in the wood. Like a ferret up a trouser leg we were off to wait up in a thick hedge closer to the copse ready for him should he reappear. No sooner had we got there then 5 more sika appeared, 4 hinds and a small stag. They were leading him all over the place and he followed obediently, several times they made their was towards us only to turn back when one of the hinds changed her mind... as females do. Eventually he seemed to get bored with it and followed the same route as the earlier stag into the copse which was within range but no opportunity presented. After discussing safe fields of fire we decided that I would circle round the copse and hopefully bump them towards Tim. The approach route for me was pretty open with several sheep fences to get over so I harboured no aspirations greater than a roe and that's if I was lucky. That was beside the point though as the priority was to get Tim his stag. I took it slow so not to properly spook them but only succeeded in bumping a roe doe from the copse which went the wrong way. Making my way back to the rendezvous two fences later I looked over my shoulder to see a hind to the right of the small spinney I just passed and paid little attention to earlier. It was apparently an old bomb blast spinney and lay in the middle of the field. She had a calf at couched at her heel and was staring straight at me. She was a good 250 away so I crept my way towards her in plane sight getting over two sheep fences in the process and got down on the bipod - amazed that she was still there and convinced that the sika population was better off without her in the gene pool. At the shot all hell broke loose and the field was alive with sika - at least 10 other animals erupted from the spinney. She had taken the 6.5 in the chest at around 150m and settled herself down at around 180. Many of the other deer had stopped to assess the situation and were within easy range but my hind looked to be labouring with a lung shot at this point still looked lucid so I left them be and concentrated on her. Around 10 mins later her hear went down and, with her calf still by her side I wasted no time in giving her some of the same. Following her short run through the scope I heard two shots in quick succession with corresponding meaty thumps from Tims position. The yet another sika hind appeared to my left, jumped the fence and stood looking at my second hind which was down and kicking her last. A small movement brought the rifle towards her, pin on the heart/lung and the fifth shot in 15 minutes rang out. Seeing the result through the scope she must have lost a pint there and then but it didn't stop her running a good 50m with it hosing out of both sides.
       
      Taking stock at 8:30 after the gralloch we hade made a fair start to the morning.
       

       
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    • By Yokel Matt
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      I'm pretty happy with him that's for sure - my first mature sika stag.
       

       
      The obligatory drag pic with me looking to see if Tim was going to help...no..... can't blame him I suppose!
       

       
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