Persistence Pays Off Muntjac Hunt

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Working in deer management, every day is different. I can be managing habitat one day and assessing the woodland here on Euston estate, then taking a client out to stalk a roebuck the next. I have come to expect the unexpected and thrive off meeting new people, regardless of their previous stalking experience. This summer, however I faced a pretty daunting task: guiding a Professional Hunter from New Zealand.

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Chris Bilkey is an extremely well respected PH and offers hunts to clients from all over the world for New Zealand and Australian big game. We were introduced to one anther by a mutual friend, while visiting the UK to take part in his first driven grouse day. While in the area, he was very keen to get a good six-point roebuck and representative muntjac to take home and I was more than happy to offer my assistance.

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The one issue we had – time. Usually for a hunt like this, I would have a client for two days per species, totalling eight outings. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I had Chris for only four. Assuming the muntjac trophy would be the harder of the two in the high summer cover, I opted to attempt that first. Although territorial, finding the trophy buck you know is in the area can be almost impossible with limited time.

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We had approached the buck’s territory and on our way, shot three cull muntjac to ensure Chris wouldn’t go home empty handed. The cover was as expected: very high off the mown rides of our big wood and we had to search the area thoroughly, hoping to catch a glimpse of our target. With a few cull muntjac in the bag and the heat rising quickly, we had no choice than to call it a morning. Flies are a real issue on shot deer in the summer and we needed to get them back to the larder as soon as possible.

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I had a feeling that persistence might pay off, so we headed back through one last stand of beech trees, interspersed with a few pines. Due to the heavy leaf litter from the trees, the cover on the forest floor was pretty low compared to other areas. Suddenly, at the same time as one another, Chris and I caught sight of a muntjac standing front on, quite calmly, just observing us.

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With a slight sixth sense, I got Chris on the sticks and ready to shoot, before raising my Geovid HD-B 10 x 42 rangefinders to see what sex and size the individual was. Sure enough, I could see through my binoculars that it was exactly the animal we were looking for. Unfortunately, standing front on, a shot was not available due to the excessive carcass damage shooting a small deer with a relatively big calibre can cause.

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However, the buck wasn’t overly phased by our presence and as it turned to walk away, a quick squeak on my Buttolo call, hanging from by bino harness, caused him to pause momentarily. This was all we needed and as expected, Chris made a perfect shot, bagging the buck which totalled four muntjac for the morning.

With the tricky task done and dusted, the roe would be a walk in the park right?

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Author:
Chris Rogers
 
I need to shoot one of those.
 
Thanks for sharing!
 

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