IRELAND: Sika Stalking In The Wicklow Mountains Of Ireland

Sika98k

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I had a great day todpay which I will endeavour to share with you.
Sika deer were introduced into Ireland in the late 19th century by Lord Powerscourt. The deer bred, he shared some of the offspring with friends. The deer parks fell into disrepair, the deer escaped and the rest is history, of a sort.
Anyway 8 am had me at a friends house as his guest for the day. We were shortly joined by another guest whose SatNav lied ! Or he did .
A wholesome breakfast of porridge and tea started the day. The Argocat was already on the trailer and hitched up and we left for the hill. The road got narrower and narrower and eventually we were on forest trails.
The young cubs left on foot leaving myself and host to get the ArgoCat unloaded and away. The weather was dry and clear. A fortnight ago we sat in the fog eating our biscuits and drinking tea in the mist. After half an hour of that we packed it in for the day. This time we had good fortune on our side.
Half an hour in the ArgoCat had us a good way up the hill and we started spotting deer. The Red/Sika hybrids were roaring and whistling as we puttered up The hillside.
As an aside if you have never been in an ArgoCat don’t go looking for a drive in rough country in one. It’s an experience best not repeated too often but it sure beats walking !
We reached the top of a hill and engine off, we dismounted. Rifle loaded, binoculars, rangefinder, knife still all attached to me we set off.
Its difficult to believe that this is within 20 miles of Dublin. A walk, crawl, slither amongst the peat hags brought us to the side of a valley. There was a lot of noise coming out from various directions. A bit of glassing showed 3 hybrid stags holding their harems on the far side of the valley. Somewhere down below there was the distinctive whistling of Sika.
Mein host raised his eyebrows and instructed me. “ Right you’re on your own from here. Go get’em !” He then turned his back on me and disappeared from sight.
Now where the buggers ? I glassed for a while and eventually spotted several stags at the bottom on the valley floor. There were some hinds about but apart from the occasional whistling no great displays or fighting. I had a few spots of dead ground before me that could be hiding something from view. The stags were not getting any closer no matter how fervently I wished they would.
Anyway if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed. Mohammed must go to the mountain. Or the valley floor in this instance.
21/2 hours and some 700 yds later I was a damn sight closer. I had spooked a hind on the way down which took offf across my bows but I was sufficiently far away for my target group not to notice.
I had managed to encounter a couple of areas of dead ground which allowed me to creep a short distance. Slithering down hill clutching a rifle across your forearms and retaining the rest of your belongings is not as easy as 30 years ago.
The last piece of dead ground allowed me to roll on my back and watch the raven who was probably viewing me as an alternative diet after my heart attack ! Still, I had taken my meds the night before and was good to go.
I had been watching one superior stag but he had moved away across the valley floor. Anyway the moment of truth, if any, was rapidly approaching and I chambered a round , 7x57, 162gr SST’s, if anyones interested. Oh God no, back on my belly again in the mud, deer droppings, pools of water. Reminder to self, this is for fun. .
I reached the lip of the dead ground and slowly looked over. There was a stag within range. Sliding the rifle forward I shouldered it and safety off. Boiler room shot and squeeezed the trigger. Success ! Off he went, throwing the front legs forward. 50-60 yards later he piled up. Job done ! As an aside, the heather exploded with deer that I had never seen, they were just lying down.
a quick phone call and the Argo arrived just as I had finished the gralloch. Not a big stag but a hell of a stalk.
We went of to collect the other two who had shot a hybrid stag. Then I saw the other rifle ! A 1918 SMLE ! Beautifully restored, the owner, an engineer, had made his own mounts for it and very tastefully done also. The electric fuel pump then decided to quit on us so it was a bit of a hike back to the cars. Still, days like this are few and far between.
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Mekaniks

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Very cool. Thanks for sharing!
 

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I had a great day todpay which I will endeavour to share with you.
Sika deer were introduced into Ireland in the late 19th century by Lord Powerscourt. The deer bred, he shared some of the offspring with friends. The deer parks fell into disrepair, the deer escaped and the rest is history, of a sort.
Anyway 8 am had me at a friends house as his guest for the day. We were shortly joined by another guest whose SatNav lied ! Or he did .
A wholesome breakfast of porridge and tea started the day. The Argocat was already on the trailer and hitched up and we left for the hill. The road got narrower and narrower and eventually we were on forest trails.
The young cubs left on foot leaving myself and host to get the ArgoCat unloaded and away. The weather was dry and clear. A fortnight ago we sat in the fog eating our biscuits and drinking tea in the mist. After half an hour of that we packed it in for the day. This time we had good fortune on our side.
Half an hour in the ArgoCat had us a good way up the hill and we started spotting deer. The Red/Sika hybrids were roaring and whistling as we puttered up The hillside.
As an aside if you have never been in an ArgoCat don’t go looking for a drive in rough country in one. It’s an experience best not repeated too often but it sure beats walking !
We reached the top of a hill and engine off, we dismounted. Rifle loaded, binoculars, rangefinder, knife still all attached to me we set off.
Its difficult to believe that this is within 20 miles of Dublin. A walk, crawl, slither amongst the peat hags brought us to the side of a valley. There was a lot of noise coming out from various directions. A bit of glassing showed 3 hybrid stags holding their harems on the far side of the valley. Somewhere down below there was the distinctive whistling of Sika.
Mein host raised his eyebrows and instructed me. “ Right you’re on your own from here. Go get’em !” He then turned his back on me and disappeared from sight.
Now where the buggers ? I glassed for a while and eventually spotted several stags at the bottom on the valley floor. There were some hinds about but apart from the occasional whistling no great displays or fighting. I had a few spots of dead ground before me that could be hiding something from view. The stags were not getting any closer no matter how fervently I wished they would.
Anyway if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed. Mohammed must go to the mountain. Or the valley floor in this instance.
21/2 hours and some 700 yds later I was a damn sight closer. I had spooked a hind on the way down which took offf across my bows but I was sufficiently far away for my target group not to notice.
I had managed to encounter a couple of areas of dead ground which allowed me to creep a short distance. Slithering down hill clutching a rifle across your forearms and retaining the rest of your belongings is not as easy as 30 years ago.
The last piece of dead ground allowed me to roll on my back and watch the raven who was probably viewing me as an alternative diet after my heart attack ! Still, I had taken my meds the night before and was good to go.
I had been watching one superior stag but he had moved away across the valley floor. Anyway the moment of truth, if any, was rapidly approaching and I chambered a round , 7x57, 162gr SST’s, if anyones interested. Oh God no, back on my belly again in the mud, deer droppings, pools of water. Reminder to self, this is for fun. .
I reached the lip of the dead ground and slowly looked over. There was a stag within range. Sliding the rifle forward I shouldered it and safety off. Boiler room shot and squeeezed the trigger. Success ! Off he went, throwing the front legs forward. 50-60 yards later he piled up. Job done ! As an aside, the heather exploded with deer that I had never seen, they were just lying down.
a quick phone call and the Argo arrived just as I had finished the gralloch. Not a big stag but a hell of a stalk.
We went of to collect the other two who had shot a hybrid stag. Then I saw the other rifle ! A 1918 SMLE ! Beautifully restored, the owner, an engineer, had made his own mounts for it and very tastefully done also. The electric fuel pump then decided to quit on us so it was a bit of a hike back to the cars. Still, days like this are few and far between.

Can’t wait to board the plane this weekend and head to Ireland… your post just makes the anticipation that much greater… stunningly beautiful terrain… and super cool looking deer that aren’t easy to hunt… what’s not to like?
 

BRICKBURN

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Thanks for sharing your stalk with us.
Gorgeous country side.
 

BourbonTrail

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Congratulations on a tough stalk, they make a hunt.

Wicklow Mountains are my favorite part of Ireland (everyone else can keep the Ring of Kerry). I could walk around though those hills until my feet wore off. Hunting there is definitely on my must do list. Hopefully, third time’s the charm.
 

mdwest

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Congratulations on a tough stalk, they make a hunt.

Wicklow Mountains are my favorite part of Ireland (everyone else can keep the Ring of Kerry). I could walk around though those hills until my feet wore off. Hunting there is definitely on my must do list. Hopefully, third time’s the charm.

The dollar is super strong against the euro right now… there’s never been a more affordable time… just sayin…
 

Kalthoff

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We have huntable Sika where I live, but they are elusive and not very numerous, so have not had a chance at them myself.

Are you happy with the Meopta Ballistic Hunting Turret on the riflescope? I am considering the same model for myself.


 

Sika98k

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We have huntable Sika where I live, but they are elusive and not very numerous, so have not had a chance at them myself.

Are you happy with the Meopta Ballistic Hunting Turret on the riflescope? I am considering the same model for myself.


Vi har mange her ! Og jeg er glad med min Kikkert også.
 

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Congratulations!

My wife and I are taking our belated Irish honeymoon (Covid ruined it) next year and we will be taking a day tour to the Wicklow Mountains. Can’t wait!

Do a quick hunt while youre there! Im wheels up for @Sika98k 's homeland in less than 48 hours, and cant wait to hear those buggers whistle and roar in the fields.. Super excited for the upcoming hunt!
 

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I had a great day todpay which I will endeavour to share with you.
Sika deer were introduced into Ireland in the late 19th century by Lord Powerscourt. The deer bred, he shared some of the offspring with friends. The deer parks fell into disrepair, the deer escaped and the rest is history, of a sort.
Anyway 8 am had me at a friends house as his guest for the day. We were shortly joined by another guest whose SatNav lied ! Or he did .
A wholesome breakfast of porridge and tea started the day. The Argocat was already on the trailer and hitched up and we left for the hill. The road got narrower and narrower and eventually we were on forest trails.
The young cubs left on foot leaving myself and host to get the ArgoCat unloaded and away. The weather was dry and clear. A fortnight ago we sat in the fog eating our biscuits and drinking tea in the mist. After half an hour of that we packed it in for the day. This time we had good fortune on our side.
Half an hour in the ArgoCat had us a good way up the hill and we started spotting deer. The Red/Sika hybrids were roaring and whistling as we puttered up The hillside.
As an aside if you have never been in an ArgoCat don’t go looking for a drive in rough country in one. It’s an experience best not repeated too often but it sure beats walking !
We reached the top of a hill and engine off, we dismounted. Rifle loaded, binoculars, rangefinder, knife still all attached to me we set off.
Its difficult to believe that this is within 20 miles of Dublin. A walk, crawl, slither amongst the peat hags brought us to the side of a valley. There was a lot of noise coming out from various directions. A bit of glassing showed 3 hybrid stags holding their harems on the far side of the valley. Somewhere down below there was the distinctive whistling of Sika.
Mein host raised his eyebrows and instructed me. “ Right you’re on your own from here. Go get’em !” He then turned his back on me and disappeared from sight.
Now where the buggers ? I glassed for a while and eventually spotted several stags at the bottom on the valley floor. There were some hinds about but apart from the occasional whistling no great displays or fighting. I had a few spots of dead ground before me that could be hiding something from view. The stags were not getting any closer no matter how fervently I wished they would.
Anyway if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed. Mohammed must go to the mountain. Or the valley floor in this instance.
21/2 hours and some 700 yds later I was a damn sight closer. I had spooked a hind on the way down which took offf across my bows but I was sufficiently far away for my target group not to notice.
I had managed to encounter a couple of areas of dead ground which allowed me to creep a short distance. Slithering down hill clutching a rifle across your forearms and retaining the rest of your belongings is not as easy as 30 years ago.
The last piece of dead ground allowed me to roll on my back and watch the raven who was probably viewing me as an alternative diet after my heart attack ! Still, I had taken my meds the night before and was good to go.
I had been watching one superior stag but he had moved away across the valley floor. Anyway the moment of truth, if any, was rapidly approaching and I chambered a round , 7x57, 162gr SST’s, if anyones interested. Oh God no, back on my belly again in the mud, deer droppings, pools of water. Reminder to self, this is for fun. .
I reached the lip of the dead ground and slowly looked over. There was a stag within range. Sliding the rifle forward I shouldered it and safety off. Boiler room shot and squeeezed the trigger. Success ! Off he went, throwing the front legs forward. 50-60 yards later he piled up. Job done ! As an aside, the heather exploded with deer that I had never seen, they were just lying down.
a quick phone call and the Argo arrived just as I had finished the gralloch. Not a big stag but a hell of a stalk.
We went of to collect the other two who had shot a hybrid stag. Then I saw the other rifle ! A 1918 SMLE ! Beautifully restored, the owner, an engineer, had made his own mounts for it and very tastefully done also. The electric fuel pump then decided to quit on us so it was a bit of a hike back to the cars. Still, days like this are few and far between.View attachment 493985View attachment 493991View attachment 493993View attachment 493994View attachment 493995View attachment 493996View attachment 493997View attachment 493998View attachment 493999
@Sika98k
Great story with a good result.
That's one strange check piece riser on the old SMLE No1. Is that a coin in the butstock that appears to have George Washington's face on it. Any pictures of the scope mount.
That 7x57 has some dine wood on it and I love the performance of those SST projectiles
Bob
 

Sika98k

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@Bob Nelson 35Whelen Thanks for the compliment on my rifles timber. I try to take care of it.
The cheek riser on the SMLE is home made. the mounts are hand made by the owner, a retired engineer. Tidy work I think you’ll agree.
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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We have huntable Sika where I live, but they are elusive and not very numerous, so have not had a chance at them myself.

Are you happy with the Meopta Ballistic Hunting Turret on the riflescope? I am considering the same model for myself.


@Kalthoff
I haven't had anything to do with the Meopta hunting turret but I do have the 3.5-10×44 Meopta with the bdc reticle. Used in conjunction with the Meopta bslistic app it makes a great scope and no turret twiddling .
It works a treat and is easy to use with any factory cartridge and you can even use it to program your drops for handloads. This is an example of the app for use on my 25. Once you have the numbers memorised or written down just hold on the mark and go bang. Sounds hard but even a dopey old fart like me can use it
Bob
Screenshot_20220324-132119_Chrome.jpg
 

rinehart0050

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What beautiful country! Congrats on your stag. Thank you for sharing.
 

Powdermaker

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Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your success. . Certainly looks like interesting county to hunt.
Side note... During 1960's my father and his freinds shot a lot of moose with the old SLME. We Canadians refer to it as the ".303 British". Excellent caliber.
 

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