UNITED KINGDOM: Stalking Between, Amongst & Along The Hedge Rows

:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:......don't you have them in Canada?
We do. I have never encountered them anywhere near a farmed field.
I have certainly never encountered them in the manner I described. I doubt I will ever again though. :)
 
Was any of the information in the course you took transferable to Canada at all? I am thinking meat handling, or techniques.
 
Charging by CIC score, for me is irritating. Maybe when formula was invented it had game management meaning and reason, but commercially today it is abused to maximum. The price goes exponentially up, with size of horn, tusk or antler...

Further, there are better or worse guides, but there is no expert that I know, that can estimate the trophy 100% before actual measurements are taken. Mistakes at best are few cic points, and at worst much more.
So mistakes can happen.
I know for cases when hunter could not pay, because final measurement went far beyond planned budget, trophy taken with approval of guide, and when outfitter would not reduce the price... the trophy remained in hunting lodge, bill unpaid, and hunter went home empty handed, with bitter taste in the mouth.

In 2017, I had my budget ready for Namibia PG hunt. (September 2017)
On end of July that year I went hunt.... , well stalking for roe buck, rut just starting.

In one of the local hunting areas they know me well, and usually I stalk roe bucks, alone, without guide. I also prefer that way.
In last moments of daylight I saw a roe buck running around a doe. The light was fading fast, last moment of daylight after sunset.
When I took a look through Zeiss - the buck had antlers, so strong he could beat a young fallow deer!!!!!

I kept him on cross hairs, round chambered, safety off... for several long minutes... he was moving, but kept circling around the doe 40 to 80 meters from me depending... I could drop him, any moment.
And I decided not to shoot.

The reason:
I was alone, and full responsibility rested on my own decision. If the official guide was with me... I could at least try to bargain for the price.
In this case, being alone, bargaining option was out, full price applicable. So I let it go.

I told later to the jagd master, my friend, and person in charge to organize hunts on that area of this buck.
Roe bucks are territorial, and will keep to their area... So it could be easily found again. He will be either on same meadow, or the next.

Months passed - and the buck was shot that season.
And ended up as the strongest roe deer shot in 2017, in offical hunting magazine in my country.
Not the best ever, but best in 2017. Pure fat gold, cic medal

If I pulled the trigger, based on charging system, that little trophy would cost me more then half of the budget for Namibia PG safari, 5 heads of game. (including Kudu)

I still think, that I made right decision not to shoot. Namibia was much better experience overall.

Now, to estimate the trophy on the field, and keep costs at reasonable level, and having in mind that formula is complicated, and mistakes in estimates are easy to make, and I often hunt alone, I had to develop my way of judging the antlers of roe deer: By size of ear against the antler!

Antler the size of ear, too young, or in case of abnormal type of antler, elder may be - trophy is pitiful, but also economic, and shootable
Antler the size of 1,50 lenghts of ear, best buy - shootable
Antler the size 2 lenghts of ear, simetrical, thick, impressive - expensive. (I avoid)

And I stick to that.

Brickburn, sorry for my interruption. Your report is great, I really enjoy! It reminds me of my non hunting visits to London.(y)

I appreciate your input. Given the prices on some properties I can certainly see why you would avoid the final category. :)
 
Was any of the information in the course you took transferable to Canada at all? I am thinking meat handling, or techniques.

Certainly. The ability to identify disease in the body organs would be helpful here. Also some of the signs on the hoof.

Meat handling is not really new to me. It would be similar to a food handling course with any local government authority.

Techniques for "gutting" are different. As they do not have to keep evidence of sex, that many jurisdictions here require.
 
Oh, and several of the deer species you can Stalk can be placed on a limb in a tree to gut them and then they can be thrown in your hand bag to be carried from the field. :)
Hanging a Moose from a tree like they do would require a farm tractor. Hanging them from a tree is just not practical for most of our species in North America.
 
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Charging by CIC score, for me is irritating. Maybe when formula was invented it had game management meaning and reason, but commercially today it is abused to maximum. The price goes exponentially up, with size of horn, tusk or antler...

Further, there are better or worse guides, but there is no expert that I know, that can estimate the trophy 100% before actual measurements are taken. Mistakes at best are few cic points, and at worst much more.
So mistakes can happen.
I know for cases when hunter could not pay, because final measurement went far beyond planned budget, trophy taken with approval of guide, and when outfitter would not reduce the price... the trophy remained in hunting lodge, bill unpaid, and hunter went home empty handed, with bitter taste in the mouth.

In 2017, I had my budget ready for Namibia PG hunt. (September 2017)
On end of July that year I went hunt.... , well stalking for roe buck, rut just starting.

In one of the local hunting areas they know me well, and usually I stalk roe bucks, alone, without guide. I also prefer that way.
In last moments of daylight I saw a roe buck running around a doe. The light was fading fast, last moment of daylight after sunset.
When I took a look through Zeiss - the buck had antlers, so strong he could beat a young fallow deer!!!!!

I kept him on cross hairs, round chambered, safety off... for several long minutes... he was moving, but kept circling around the doe 40 to 80 meters from me depending... I could drop him, any moment.
And I decided not to shoot.

The reason:
I was alone, and full responsibility rested on my own decision. If the official guide was with me... I could at least try to bargain for the price.
In this case, being alone, bargaining option was out, full price applicable. So I let it go.

I told later to the jagd master, my friend, and person in charge to organize hunts on that area of this buck.
Roe bucks are territorial, and will keep to their area... So it could be easily found again. He will be either on same meadow, or the next.

Months passed - and the buck was shot that season.
And ended up as the strongest roe deer shot in 2017, in offical hunting magazine in my country.
Not the best ever, but best in 2017. Pure fat gold, cic medal

If I pulled the trigger, based on charging system, that little trophy would cost me more then half of the budget for Namibia PG safari, 5 heads of game. (including Kudu)

I still think, that I made right decision not to shoot. Namibia was much better experience overall.

Now, to estimate the trophy on the field, and keep costs at reasonable level, and having in mind that formula is complicated, and mistakes in estimates are easy to make, and I often hunt alone, I had to develop my way of judging the antlers of roe deer: By size of ear against the antler!

Antler the size of ear, too young, or in case of abnormal type of antler, elder may be - trophy is pitiful, but also economic, and shootable
Antler the size of 1,50 lenghts of ear, best buy - shootable
Antler the size 2 lenghts of ear, simetrical, thick, impressive - expensive. (I avoid)

And I stick to that.

Brickburn, sorry for my interruption. Your report is great, I really enjoy! It reminds me of my non hunting visits to London.(y)


Enjoying the report as well!

Had a great experience in Austria this fall. There were three price levels for Fallow Stag - bronze-silver-gold. No graduated costs above and between those levels. My stag was one of three best taken this year and did not cost a Euro more than the lowest gold medal. And my guide (actually the outfitter) worked very hard to find the best animal he could (we were hunting a huge estate on the Hungarian border where many animals were being seen for the first time.) But you are correct, that is a rare situation in Europe today.
 
@Red Leg,
I remember your excellent report, with a touch of Mozart!
(y)

Austria, is special case!
They are originators (together with Germany) of mittel European hunting culture and tradition, influencing entire continent.

I remember in Namibia, same year 2017, there was an Austrian family hunting in same camp with me.
So, at evenings in the bar, we talked about hunting, and sharing pictures of our trophies from home.
The Austrian gentleman showed me a very very nice roe buck.
I was impressed, and asked how many CIC points that one scored?
He said, no idea, in area where he hunts, they shoot by age, not by CIC score.

To me , it makes perfect sense.
 
Alright. Give me a minute.
 
A nap and a little food for lunch.

Soon enough, Lee arrives back on the scene and we are off. Again, it is just minutes until we are parked and strolling the fields to the intended destination. I’m letting Tom and Lee work their binos through the fields and along the edges. Nothing is running around the fields at this point.

Field Margin.jpg

Field Margin beside the hedges.


Sticks 2nd Stalk.jpg

Waiting on the Sticks


Both Tom and Lee are a little surprized there is not more activity. It is supposed to be the rut. News from across the countryside has “the rut being spotty or up and down”. Just before my arrival the countryside was cooking, literally, with unusually high temperatures in a record heat wave and perhaps this has mixed things up. With all deer species, it is the duration of daylight that starts the rut, but the weather certainly affects the behaviour. I sure know it does for Elk, so why not Roe deer?

Trail through Hedge.jpg

Game Trail through the Hedge.


Roe Track.jpg

Roe Deer Track





The Notch.jpg

The Notch.

This is not a game farm and the little deer are free to do as they wish. So, onward we make our way down the hedge rows looking for rubs and noting tracks. The farmer has planted some Rye in a strip closer to the low land and it is effectively blocking our view of the strip along the lower ground. It is obviously frustrating not to be able to see the entire field edge. At a field intersection, we stop and chat about where it is best to set up and then Tom has a bright idea to break off and he’ll watch the field to the east from a different vantage point from us. Anything that increases our chances! I follow Lee off to our planned vantage spot under an Oak on the field edge to start our calling session. I am on the sticks and we keep watch as a rain squall starts to head our way. We back in closer under the large Oaks protection and listen to the rain. It only lasts about ten minutes and we do more waiting and watching.

Rain Squall.jpg

Rain Squall




Holly Rub.jpg

When you back in under an old Oak you can find another Prickly Cousin - Holly.
First time in the wild.


Lee works the Buttalo call and we pause and watch. It is like waiting for someone to sneak up on you. The crop and woodland provide enough cover that the deer could pop out in very close proximity to us. The only open shooting lane is along the grass margin of the field. We can see a hundred yards in either direction along the margin.

Bottom Land Edge.jpg

Bottom Field Edge

I keep looking back and forth and watching the notch in the hedge where Tom is located. I want to remain aware of his location just in case a deer pops up from that direction and I have a shot.

After the Squall.jpg

The Bottom Edge Looking back toward the Notch, after the rain Squall.

Suddenly a hat pops up in that notch in the hedge and Tom is waving to get our attention. Just then a text comes through that a Roe Buck is attacking him from the east.

I’m off instantly and Lee blows by me on our way to the east field. I cannot run as quickly as Lee or as fast as I would like, due to a recent back injury.

Tom moved into our field, to avoid spooking the attacking buck. I am only a second behind Lee and I am soon out front slowly advancing toward the notch with the rifle at the ready, waiting for this little buck to come jumping out of the treeline. It feels like I’m walking up on a covey of partridge waiting for a flush.

Nothing. I make my way through the notch, through the ditch and still nothing. I make my way back through the notch and we all start chatting in low voices. We are trying to figure out where this buck has disappeared to. As we slowly make our way back toward our stand, we surmise that the buck has zagged and gone onto the next property. No further confirmation required about his location as we listen to barks fading into the distance to the west.

Close, but no joy.


We start making our way westward toward another vantage point, turning a corner in the field we see more Hares feeding in the stubble. We are headed to another likely spot on the other side of the farm that has multiple small plots surrounded by hedges. We are in the middle of a field jumping swaths and enter another field which has been bailed in large round bales. It feels like home. We all start leaning on a round bale of our own choosing to watch the field edges as the sun starts to set.

Bail Spotting.jpg

Feels just like home.

The sun has gone down now and legal light is ending soon. Suddenly Lee sees a Muntjac coming out into the field. We trot off in the direction keeping our heads low and using every available bale to get closer. We get well within 200 yards but the light is very low and the shot percentages don’t feel good enough. True to their nature, the little buggers don’t slow down for a minute and disappear. The light is too far gone and the day is over without a shot.


Final Muntjac End of Legal Light.jpg

This is two minutes past last legal light. Can you see the Muntjac along the tree line? Me neither. 21:16 Hours.


We are walking back to the vehicles and the discussion turns to a plan to meet up in two days’ time at Lee’s farm. It will require Tom and I to lose some sleep to meet up at the appointed time. It’s our turn for the forty minute drive in the dark.


There is no doubt this is real hunting. Missed chances, close calls and the need to be persistent to get the job done. We have used up this entire day. Back to the bnb and it’s time for bed after a sandwich.


Tom and I are set to meet up at a new Estate (and Stalker) for 05:00… A sleep in. LOL


The little noise maker that is so popular in the UK.



Buttalo Call.png


Buttalo Call
 
Until we wait for @BRICKBURN, an illustration:

Roe buck, antler 1.50 size of ear (a bit less), far below bronze medal, 82 CIC, a fee paid cca 250 eur. gold medal may cost 5 to 10 times more. "Size by ear measuring" is not official CIC formula, but my own way, by rule of thumb, on the field. Easy.

FYG:
CIC scoring:
Bronze medal: 105 CIC – 114.99 CIC
Silver medal: 115 CIC – 129.99 CIC
Gold medal: 130 CIC - up

roe deer.JPG
 
This is going to be a verrry looong story as not only has a year passed but a decade as well.
 
You better watch out, I may push it for a real year.
 
I sleep until the last possible moment. Rise and shine, get a little food in me and we are off to meet Chris, the Head Stalker at the farm yard on the Estate.

The personality differences between the Stalkers is immediately evident. Chris is not Lee.

This man has been guiding Stalkers for a long time, apparently fifteen years. It is more apparent when, after greetings, he asks if I have fired the rifle. I say that I have not. He immediately replies that I should mount it and pull the trigger. Ok! He’s the Stalker and I comply, while expressing some trepidation/consternation about doing so in amongst the buildings. You must understand that we are in a farm yard between buildings with who knows how many people in the area. I aim in what is apparently a safe direction and pull the trigger on the empty chamber. All good to go now.


estate farm yard.jpg

Farm Yard Layout

farm yard.jpg

The Test Lane



farm office.jpg

Office. The inset stones are flint rocks. The Stag Antlers are my exact idea of a great Red Stag trophy.

What was garnered from this exercise? I did not flinch, I did not chamber a round, I checked it was safe, pointed it in a safe direction, and accuracy was 100%.

I’m the client, you take your directions and get on with the dance.

We jump in the Hilux and are off to the other side of the estate. We park off a farm road on a field edge behind a hedge and begin our morning stroll. We turn onto a track that is heading out into a large potato field that has been partially harvested. There are farm workers in the small valley preparing a harvesting machine for the day’s work. This is not a wilderness estate in Scotland, it is a working farm that manages every aspect of the properties ability to produce income.


Onward. I follow Chris while watching the field edges and we get our first sighting of some deer as three Fallow come out of a low field to our right, running for the next bit of cover. They are bucks and one is a decent size. The only catch, shooting running game is a no-no and those pesky farm workers being present secures the final decision. At home, without the workers present, this would have been a prone shot off the bipod at 300 yards. You would be down on the ground and ready for the moment they stopped at the woods edge and recovery would be ensuing shortly. But, I’m in England Stalking.
down the trail.jpg



Onward. When we reach the low spot in the valley looking right where the Fallow had entered from, two Roe deer were pointed out in the distance. I took a picture and, as Chris wryly noted, I would have an excellent image of some "brown blobs". I laughed. It was actually about a journal, more than quality photography.

Roe blobs.JPG

The Blobs

Eventually we turn off the track at a hedge and move alongside a standing crop of grain, making our way up a slight hill using the grass margin. Like magic, a Muntjac ram appears out of the crop and stands at its edge. We have all frozen in place and are watching. Chris is assessing and decides to stalk closer. We move in closer to the crop to hide from view and quickly close the distance.

Imagine the view of the blobs above on a rising hill and a Muntjac much, much closer.

I know the signal; the sticks go up and I am on them. There is a piece of farm machinery behind the little critter and Chris directs that I should wait until it clears. It seems obvious, instead of being annoyed, I must recall that he gets all kinds here and he does not know me from Adam. I wait and the little ram clears the machinery and I am on him. A quick call and he stops, standing perfectly broadside and I settle the cross hairs and pull the trigger. He jumps up and immediately runs into the tree line that is only yards away. I think the shot is good and, when asked, say so. Tom thinks the reaction was a hit. Chris is not in the same boat. With zero experience with these little guys, my brain is going to the reactions of a Mule Deer to a shot; Hunches, jumps, runs. Go find your deer. The functional portion of the equation that I am missing is “Little”. As in, should have dropped like a rock on the spot because its so little.

Still thinking I have made a good shot we head to the place he was standing and after we all search the area it is a pretty simple conclusion to reach. A clear miss. I’m embarrassed and perturbed at myself. As we all do, I wonder if I know how to shoot a rifle. As I think back on the scenario well after the fact, I figure out that I have operated the rifle like the trigger man on Big Buck Hunter in an arcade. Squeeze the trigger dumb ass.

You can imagine the emotional process:
:E Shocked: :E Shrug: :oops: :mad: :K Whip: :S Cool:


Chris has witnessed misses before and calmly provides a message to just “carry on” and we do. Of course, I am mulling this over in my mind, you can call it was it is; perseverating. I try and shake it off and start scanning the woods and field edges. We make our way down another track and pop out on another field edge. To me it looks like beets. Two Roe does jump up and run off to our left and I look down the tree line a few hundred yards and see a Roe Buck. I hiss and nod in the direction, as is my custom on every continent, to make the Stalker aware of the quarry. Chris immediately has us backtracking into the tree line to make our way closer to this buck. Slowly following, Tom drops back and Chris and I continue toward this little buck. I am excited and quite ready. We are well within 100 yards of him when Chris finishes his assessment and decides this one has some growing to do. We’ll leave him.

Finally, seeing the quarry and getting close. Quite exciting. We allow him to move off and continue our way through the trees moving slowly and silently. After another few minutes we watch several Roe including a trophy class buck vacate the field running to our left. Not sure why I am not shooting this one, I continue to watch the field. Chris spots a Fallow pricket in the hedge at the bottom of the field and the stalk is on. Fallow are not a desired species on the Estate and are removed at every opportunity. The meat from the Estate is sold to a dealer.

Chris ranges the Fallow at 175 plus meters and quite frankly my confidence is a little off. I can’t even hit a damn Muntjac at under 60 yards how am I going to hit this?

Chris has set up the sticks and I ask if he minds if I use a tree. His tone and posture tell me not to worry about it and take my time. For whatever reason, that was enough, along with taking some time on the sticks watching the buck, checking my breathing and reviewing the fundamentals in my mind. There was not going to be a repeat of the Muntjac debacle.

I settled the cross hairs and squeezed the trigger. A very typical deer reaction to a good shot and all the signs with which I am so familiar. Soon we are shaking hands.

At the shot, the hedge row exploded and the field behind erupted with Roe deer, seven to my recollection, all leaving the country with the devil on their tail. It turns out that the field in which they are making their escape is not ours to Stalk. Oh, well.
Fallow.jpg




fallow down.jpg


Pictures taken, Chris moved the deer into the shade of the trees for later pickup.

We then strolled along the edge of the beet field and eventually around the lower edge and started a loop back toward the vehicle. Stopping to consider other fields along the way.


chris spotting.jpg

Chris Spotting


We cut across a grass paddock making our way through another farm yard on the estate passing old plum trees, hoping there is a visitor enjoying some by-products, but no luck.
house on the estate.jpg

One of the rental houses on the Estate.


Back on the initial farm track, moving in the opposite direction, we pass the farm workers who have gotten nowhere in their efforts. Chris finds out they are missing a part and that is why they are doing a line search in the field.

We hit the first hedge row, make our way over the cross road and along the tree edge to make the dog leg around the outside corner and like magic, there is a Muntjac ram at 80 yards along a crop edge. Interestingly, we are within 100 yards of our parked vehicle.

We move forward quickly to set up, as he’s walking away from us. I am on the sticks waiting for the call and hear Chris make a bleat that stops the ram in his tracks. The ram is now looking back at us and I hear the call from Chris. No rush, I am on target and I squeeze the trigger and note the reaction of the ram. Dropped like a stone. Hmmm. No need to ask about the shot, the evidence is in front of us.

A short walk in the low green grass took us to my newest hunted species.

I had not even looked at the head closely before I pulled the trigger. It was indeed missing an antler. Obviously, this little guy was a fighter. Chris and I picked him up by the legs and moved him to the corner of the field for the photo session. Photo sessions without the big white gun are certainly different. You hand your phone over to the PH and he takes some shots and then proceeds to do the same with his phone. Sadly, I am not behind the camera so we end up with images that are backlit and I must do some work to save them when they are uploaded to the computer. I have got to give this PH some lessons when we meet again.

muntjac down.jpg


munjac inspection.jpg


Thankfully, Tom was off to the side giving his phone a work out as well. This provided some interesting perspectives. Oh, technology! The photos get onto your phone via WhatsApp unexpectedly later in the day. They end up being a nice surprise gift that you are not expecting. I am usually the photographer so being the actor in many of these images is different for me.



Given the minimal wall space remaining I have chosen to have a Euro mount for this little guy. They have incredible facial markings, glands, ducts, and those little teeth. If I had the space, a shoulder mount would be gorgeous.


We make the short distance to the vehicle, load the trophy up in the back into a small bin that keeps the vehicle clean and tidy. The bin is another novelty for me.

As we close the door on the cab there is a distinct smell that is now permeating the entire cab. I smell skunk, because that is the only scent that I can reference. Not a direct hit, but close. Chris now exclaims “Fox piss”. The photo session created a scratch and sniff addition for us. One of us rolled around in a Foxes scent spot. Thankfully, we will be out of the vehicle soon to load the Fallow pricket for its removal to the larder.


It’s a quick trip to find the Fallow down the edge of the field. I try to assist with the loading but a comment about the younger guy helping gets made. I’m not sure if I should feel complimented and respected or that I need to make arrangements to be put aside in a home for the aged.


A quick trip back down the pavement to the farm yard and we drive into the back and pull up beside a spectacular processing set up: electric winches, water, drains, hooks, knives and a rail system complete with scale, fridge and freezer.

This was the original butchery for the estate and it has been brought up to modern standards. It is quite impressive.

muntjac hanging.jpg

Muntjac Hanging

No assistance required with the Muntjac. Chris soon has it on the hooks and proceeds with the Gralloch. At my house, we call it gutting.

It is done in quick order and I am fascinated to see it being done from a hook and backward. It dawns on me that there is no requirement to keep evidence of sex and that changes the game.

Done quickly, head off and back into the fridge.

I help get the Fallow onto the hooks. I guess I want to wrestle my way to my dotage.

Knife, saw and steel used to quick effect and another animal is in the fridge ready to go to the meat dealer.

The area is completely cleaned and made ready for the next round.
butchery.jpg



It is now time for Chris to go see his family and we are off to breakfast and or brunch. Tom asks for a suggestion in the neighbourhood and we are sent off to a local distillery that concocts English Whiskey and has a good restaurant attached.

We are off to find food and will meet back up a little earlier in the afternoon to try some other parts of the property and try it all over again.

I have made Chris aware that I am quite willing to pay the fees for a larger trophy and he has a field in mind. Yesterday a good Roe Buck stepped out and stood there for another client. Luckily for me that client was not after a Roe. Maybe this buck will come out again for me this afternoon. I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen.

Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 10.11.59.png

English Whiskey Company
https://www.englishwhisky.co.uk/the-kitchen/

A twenty minute drive has us at the Distillery and I’m ordering the Full English Breakfast. Those odd delights on an English menu were on offer; like Blood pudding, which is not on my list. Tom of course chuckles at me and I eventually do try a piece off his plate after some urging. It is not actually too bad; you just have to get your head around it.


Breakfast done and now to try some of the Whiskey on hand. There is one that was ok and there were a couple that could use another twenty years in a Sherry cask.


We go back to the Great Ellingham for a nap.
 

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There you go, finally got something on the ground. :P Cheerleader:
 
Thanks for the detailed play by play. It is interesting to see the differences in the way things are done between countries.
 
Great photos! Very interesting to get to see the buildings, hedges, the way it’s farmed and of course the game and trophies! I’ve never been to the UK, so this has added a lot of interest.
Thanks and I’m looking forward to the next installment!
 
Very good. It's quite interesting to read about how its done "across the pond" so to speak. The miss is so human. Reminds us all that we have had those moments too. Congrats on your animals thus far. Nice pics. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
Bruce
 
This is an overview of the Estates lands. The various points of interest noted.

Estate Overview.png


Thanks to Google Earth, this is the 1945 view of the same ground. There are some very old trees and forests on this Estate.

1945 Aerial View.png



Soon enough we have made our way back to the Estate farm yard to meet Chris and we load up and go on a tour. I have little idea what direction I am heading so I just enjoy the view of the hedges and fields. We drive down a small tar road and pull off in a yard and walk back up the hedge row that adjoins the road we have just travelled.
Roe Call 2.png

The location of our calling spot.

Can you see us calling.png

Can you see us calling. We are just on your left through the hedge.

There are deer tracks in the dirt and other evidence of our quarry. We set up in the shade of the hedge and Chris makes some calls and we wait. In a little while a Roe Doe came out on the edge of the field about 200 yards away and we just watched. We soon learned that it did not give one damn about the calls being made just a few hundred yards away. It continued to feed and then made its way back into the cover on the other side of the field. That was enough for Chris and we were walking back to the vehicle prepared for the next location.


Roe Call 3.png

Google Earth view of the next field.
We drive a short way and enter into another fallow field, again surrounded by the ever present hedges, and get out to walk to a large Oak tree to set up with safe shooting angles and a view of the field as it fell away to the south and also into the adjoining field through a hole in the hedge. I must say that I watched that hole in the hedge like a hawk. After some calling we waited and waited some more. Constantly scanning.
Chris 3rd call.jpg
set up east.jpg

Just waiting for the big one.


It turned out that there was nothing doing here either. It is always a disappointment when you have amped your expectations up because something was there yesterday. You hope the buck is out touring his territory and going to be coming around on his scheduled route again just for our pleasure. That hopefulness and anticipation is certainly what makes up a huge part of hunting. Dreams shattered, I walk off with my companions toward the vehicle still hoping that buck will jump out.

Chris takes us through more of the estate through some rougher roads and by the Old Forest that holds Red Deer and at times some Roe. It would be nice to see a Red Deer on this estate. Nothing was moving out of or inside the forest when we went by.


A short trip and a left hand turn had us heading into a crop field, along the edge of which we encounter some partridge and they run along ahead of us and soon pass them by. They look like Chukar. I am not sure if they were called French Partridge. Does not matter, it was nice to see wildlife.
Red Legs.png

This lower ground looked like there should be deer popping out from everywhere.

We come to the edge of a large creek basin with hip high grass throughout. What an incredible spot to watch. After some minutes of glassing it was decided there was nothing to be done here and we moved on to the likely spot where Chris had seen the buck walk out the day before.

Finally, we get back to the side of the Estate with which I am familiar and we get out and start walking. We have pulled into an over grown trail and park. We walk across a combined field and will do some calling from a hedge row. We have slowly stalked in close to a pair of islands of trees in this field and are expecting to have company jump out at any point in time.


We set up on the field edge and I am on the sticks waiting. Chris calls and tries two different calls and very shortly a young Roe Doe comes running in and I am stand still just watching her. I am hoping that a buck is going to be coming in on her tail. She came within ten yards of us before she balked. Why these guys can not bow hunt is beyond me. What a crazy place.

In the following screen captures note the weeds under the suppressor and the weeds the Doe is nearly standing in. She was close.
calling doe.jpg
roe doe called in.jpg
Roe doe in close.png

What a joy to see an animal come into the call. We waited a while longer and moved on.


Chris is planning on the fly and we start walking down dirt tracks and we are covering ground like we are on a mission from god.
The March Starts.jpg

We walk field edges and come across a Muntjac doe in very close proximity, take some pictures and move along. I wished I had the big white gun now. I am missing some great photo opportunities.
Muntjac in cover.jpg


Onward we go and we soon end up at the “Old Flint Quarry”. Apparently, some of the ancient ancestors used this quarry to make (hunting) tools. The British Museum has an active archeological dig operating in the pit. I am sure I will do some research on the subject when I get home.
Flint Quarry Diggings.png

A Google Earth view of the dig site.

I was offered some flakes from the sites refuse pile as souvenirs. Very interesting.

I have been carrying the rifle in one hand without a sling the entire time. Finally, I "cry uncle" and ask Tom to carry it for me a while since we are still walking like we are on a mission.

Field after field, we see some Roe Does and fawns and nothing with Antler. We are starting to conclude that the AH hat’s luck is not working in England. We pass more buildings.
estate bldgs.jpg


We dodge some farm tractors moving along the tracks and finally come to the one last place to call before the sun is gone. All three of us are tucked in beside a large oak on the road edge in some thigh high grass with me on the sticks watching another stubble field surrounded by hedges and waiting for a reaction to the call.

Suddenly, I hear grass rustling just to my right on the other side of the tree when Tom makes an exclamation. I cannot understand him because he is being quiet and not wanting to spook whatever has come into our midst. There is no way I am going to turn the rifle toward my companions, no matter what is in the grass with us. This is not Africa, there is nothing dangerous here except stinging nettle and Anti hunters. Neither of which is causing the excitement.

Full credits to Tom. He had to drop the phone sideways to get under the foliage to capture the sneaky little critter.


The excitement over, without our visitor revealing itself to me. A short while later my stalking here is done. Great effort. I measured the KM’s we walked and it was a long bloody way.

That’s hunting. #$%^&*, Correction: Stalking.

I found out later via a FB post that Chris had slept in the next day. The first time in his career that he had ever left a client waiting. I think our “mission” combined with his efforts at several shows before my arrival was enough to create the framework for a sleep in.

I am starting to think this Roe Rut is not really “on” or its done in this area. They are not coming out of every spot possible with blind desire. Damn, this is truly is the real deal. Try and predict a result and you will be fooled.


It has been a Looong day today and I am knackered (See, I can pick up on the lingo).

We hit the BnB had some food and hit the sack. We are going to be getting up earlier tomorrow to make our way to Lee’s farm for the next series of attempts to find that Roe Buck.

Tom expresses that he is starting to feel the pressure. I told him not to worry about it. We were busting our asses and it was just not coming together yet.
 
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