At that I heard a roe bark and a doe came trotting up the field with another buck following her, I waited to see where they would end up and they walked straight towards me and ended up no more than 15ft away on the other side of the wall - I decided to stalk up the line of the wall uphill to put some distance between me and give me and them and to give me a shooting point down into the field and instead of having to wait for them to move to a safer point but when I had moved up the wall i looked over to see the doe running around with the buck giving chase, this put them over a crest at the other end of the field and did not present a safe shot or the opportunity to stalk in due to the first buck still laid up in the field on the horizon.
I then looked to my left and noticed a buck in the field just out from the wood at the other side of a dip and decided to stalk down the field to get a little closer, I closed in to about 130 yards and found a spot near a single tree in the field where the grass was low and I could get a shot off a short bipod I had made.
I waited for the buck to give me a side view and when he was nearly all the way round I put the crosshair on him and pulled the trigger.
The thud of the round hitting him sounded good and I saw him head for the wall and hit it falling in the long grass.
Now at this point the rifle fell off the home made bipod as I tried to cycle the bolt and chamber another round, I picked the rifle up and wiped the droplets of water from the scope glass and stood up to slowly walk to the buck.
On arriving at the wall after a slow 5 minute walk I discovered my first problem - no buck.. I could see a clear mark where the moss had been peeled off the wall an there were 3 trails through the bracken so I climed over the wall and followed one of the trails expecting to find him collapsed just over the wall...no joy,
I walked all the trails I could find and through the bracken with no joy and it was now getting dark, I had a look in the field around where he had dropped but could not see any blood trail or tracks in the fading light.
My heart sank as I knew I had to start the walk back to the car, all the way back I was swearing and moaning at myself, was the shot in the right place? Was the rifle out? ...all the usual things!
I had a bad nights sleep thinking about some poor buck with a wound lying dying slowly...not fun!
I woke early and decided to have a drive over and look in the bracken in the wood in the light, I walked about for 15-20 minutes following all the "trails" I thought I could see but no luck, I had to head to work...where it bothered me all bloody day...
After work I decided to head home and get the quad on the trailer and head over for one last look..
I went over and and drive down the other side of the fields to gain access to the wood on the bracken side and drove through stopping to walk the area now and again...
The view in the bracken -
And again -
I then went back and looked at the mark on the wall -
Definatly fresh when compared to the rest of the wall-
I then decided to have a last look in the fields long grass by driving up and down...
And about 45 yard out , low an behold!! -
Not great as a few critters had been at him and the carcass was now ruined..
Another view - you can see the mark in the moss on the wall just to the right of the trees behind the quad, can't believe I didn't see him but I guess the direction he headed initially and the long grass disguised him -
A view back towards the firing position - The middle tree infront of the big group of trees in the background at the right of the pic - out of the 3 trees on thier own in the field above -
Finally the head on the poor fella -
It's been a bad 20 odd hours of feeling bad about it but I've learned a few things out of it. -
Never take your eyes off a deer until you are sure it is down and not moving.
Never assume it will keep going in one direction, even when heart/lung shot...
Get a dog trained for finding deer!!!
Shame the carcass had to be disposed of but I'm glad I found him and it's plain he didn't suffer at all.
Live and learn!
Edited by gixer1, 22 August 2012 - 10:36 PM.