The Air Around The Center Rim
(The Tale Of The Game Pie)
Treating mother nature with total respect was how I was brought up as a countryman of the old school, so the use of poisons are a very rare method for me, although I am fully qualified to do so, I do use some poisons very rarely as a last resort when all other traditional methods have been exhausted, under very strict methods probably over strict on my part as I take best practice to a whole new level.
I urge all my fellow countrymen to out cast these people for they bring you down to their wretched ghastly level for if you can treat an animal in such a way then you can treat a human the same, as countrymen and hunters you should stand for ethical and humane hunting with conservation being at your core belief and doing the greater good of finding the balance in nature.
My disgust knows no bounds to these very poor excuses for human beings, I had to contact him, I explained I was not saying it was not a good shot but you are murdering and destroying animals in this case rabbits with high velocity calibers in the name of pest control and indeed field sports, you are not only giving the anti more ammunition to attack us but also alienating the general public that will only go to further legislation against us, also a total lack of respect for your quarry etc, I could write a book about this conversation etc, his words were its not illegal to blow up rabbits so I will carry on its pest control the foxes and corvids will eat what's left, for one its not pest control blowing up rabbits and two you are saying you are feeding other pests thus attracting more to that area, GRRRR my parting words were arguing with a fool only proves there are two and I left feeling more disgusted than I started the conversation feeling.
Her lady ship on this South Somerset North Devon estate called me up to the big house to discuss the Roe Buck cull for this year, she really knows her stuff and knows every inch of this estate and the animals on it, we talked over the maps of the estate and reports from the tenant farmers and estate staff etc, reports of deer damage to crops were higher in some areas than in recent years, our thought on this was due to a housing estate that had been built and what with dog walkers etc they have pushed those deer further over, indeed I was already thinking much the same as I had been watching the deer numbers for several months now working out the cull and finishing the roe doe cull.
First week of the Roe Buck season I had orders to take two roe buck out, now one was a basic simple little roe buck nothing special he was never going to be a big deer so a cull buck as we call them, the other not so, he was a high silver and one I suggested to leave for later as the cull season goes on, her ladyship was adamant he had to come out, I found out why, she was getting a lot of deer damage in the houses ornamental garden so she watched and stalked the deer to find out who the culprit was, as it turns it was this large roe buck attacking her gardens etc, her exact words in her well spoken strong voice was ROBERT THAT ROE BUCK WILL HAVE TO GO!!! so as I always I said yes Mam.
I whispered to the under keeper stay here watch my every move with your binoculars and learn how I do it, also watch the animals as I stalk in see how they react see how I become one with nature, I began the stalk not knowing exactly where I could take the shot as I had to get around a headland and a long running hedgerow along the woodland I had to stalk along, it was a very hot early morning, I had to literally stalk inch by inch 200 plus yards to get to where I thought I could get a humane shot, all this past other deer grazing rabbits and as it turned out a lot of black birds the alarms of the countryside.
Inch by inch I stalked, my heart beating from my chest all my senses fully alive and in tune with mother nature herself, I could feel my way my feet feeling every blade of crass stone or stick, from the corner of my eye I saw a male black bird I froze like a statue until he had gone about his business.
I stalked on as a wood pigeon above my head flopped out of the tree dropping down on the field to feed, again inch by inch I stalked on with sweat beading out all over me, 100 yards in and I freeze again as 2 rabbits start having a bust up, these bucks literally tearing strips off each other, they both run into my legs still fighting as I am frozen like a statue, one of them taking a rest lent against my boot, all this happening in almost complete silence with me as an onlooker at one with mother nature, they bolt off chasing each other, I take a moment to compose myself and reflect on the memory now made.
I stalk onwards right past a doe asleep in the long grass, I freeze my heart beating from my chest as my breathing lightens as she raises her head in a sleepy way, she licks the air sniffing scenting to see what's around her then lowers her head and dozes off, I stalk past as stealthily as fox stalking a rabbit with my eye on the goal.
Here I am 50 yards away from the Roe Buck sat dosing in the long grass on the hilly meadow, with no clear shot so no choice I have to stalk even closer, now really calling on every ounce of my field craft and knowledge, I had no choice I had to stalk in to 20 yards to get a clear safe shot, I don’t normally do head shots much preferring a heart and lung shot to the engine room, but alas this buck only presented a head shot, if I tried to make him stand he would bolt so no choice a head shot was all I could take, I steadied my sticks and took careful aim this is were you have to hold your nerve and be a surgeon with a precise shot almost on a 5p, I pushed the safety catch forward on my Browning 243 and squeezed off the shot, the Roe Buck fell with barely a twitch and I breathed a sigh of relief, I was literally soaked to the skin with sweat as the adrenaline coursed through my veins.
The under keeper joined me in seconds for what had taken me over an hour to stalk took him less than 30 seconds to cover on the quad bike, his words were oh my god seriously I was transfixed watching you and the wildlife it was like watching TV and I was transfixed, watching you was like watching a cheetah stalk a gazelle on the plains of Africa, he was so excited as I sat down exhausted saying calm down boy and go retrieve Buck, the Roe Buck was a beauty and a shame to have taken him but her lady ship gave orders he had to come out,
I headed out again with the under keeper over to the other side of the estate as there was that small cull buck still to come out, I stalked around to what I call the hill ground that led to the valley meadow knowing where this young buck hung around, I sent the young keeper off for a stalk on the headland to see if he could get onto a young roe buck I glassed, alas it was a long stalk but great knowledge to be gained for this young keeper, unknowingly to the young keeper he stalked right past several doe asleep in the long meadow glass, they stood up looked at him saw no danger walked round in a circle then lay back down for a snooze, the young keeper had no idea of any of this as I watched him from the gateway with my stalking binoculars.
He started to stalked back to tell me his tale, I heard a noise I looked down a squirrel had literally ran up to me not noticing me at all and went about scratching his nuts. I laughed as he looked up at me with his jaw dropping, he hopped up on a fence post looking at me in disbelief the look on his face was priceless and the full story I will tell you over a cider at a game fair one day so ask me if you see me, the young keeper said was that a squirrel by your boot I laughed and said yes, he shook his head and said mucker I swear you are Dr Doolittle.
I laughed and said come on lad I am going to sit in my high seat you can go for a stalk around the hill grounds, blimey as I sat there in the high seat that squirrel joined me, the look on his face was like are you following me around as we came eye to eye and he fell off my high seat, I burst into hysterics as I sat there for its only when you become one with nature you get such moments, I got down as the light was getting to what I call the witching hour to a deer stalker, those that stalk a lot will know what I mean and those that don’t ahhh well you will only learn this with experience.
I met the young keeper by the woodlands edge as he came stalking along, I said you take the low ground I will take the high ground, the Roe buck came out with about 20 mins of the stalk left, I stalked out a simple stalk right out on the hill and took him from 75 yards off the sticks with a perfect engine room shot, quad loaded her ladyships orders filled duty done.
I decided to use a sub 12ft lb Daystate Regal Huntsman with pcp air rifle in 22, I mounted the new Optisan scope from my ole Mucker Carl At Solware of Tamworth gun shop, I telle I stalked in as close as I could on these rabbits as the race horses were quite jumpy, I used this gun because it had the Hugget Moderator system on and is whisper quiet.
This scope is awesome speak to Carl up at Solware for the one he sent me you can see a fly blink at a 100 yards, I bagged up on the rabbits and the horses never heard a sound.
I was going to use the NiteSite Eagle Rtec but was more in the mood to try the old school method, I am glad I did as I really enjoyed myself pitting myself against the weary quarry, I must admit I still do enjoy traditional lamping and again I did very well on the rabbits,
I must admit the Air Arms Galahad was the gun for the job on this one, the day was so hot I thought I was going to melt, I picked some field mushrooms and shot a wood pigeon on a water trough almost straight away, a couple of hours passed and the rabbits started to come out, I bagged two nice fresh bunnies in no time.
Until the next time proper job mucker.
By The Ole Hedge Creeper