What’s it all about Al­fie?

Sporting Gun - - In The Field Squirrel Control And Deer Stalking - Jan­uary 2019

My client spot­ted and iden­ti­fied them cor­rectly – one a ma­ture doe par­ent ac­com­pa­nied by her kid. He be­gan his ap­proach on both deer, which were feed­ing on the edge of a field at the boundary of wood­land. There needed to be at least 100m ap­proach to get within range to en­able a hu­mane, safe despatch of one of the deer. The draw­back here was that the can­di­date was in full view through­out.

The stalker had no choice, as it was the only ap­proach that could be made due to wind. You may think this would be un­likely to be suc­cess­ful but both the can­di­date and I knew it might just be pos­si­ble, given luck. We all need that, com­bined with the deer’s in­nate weak­ness in cen­tral fo­cus and day­time eye­sight.

My client ex­pertly stalked to within sen­si­ble range and mounted his ri­fle on the quad sticks and waited, hop­ing one would present a broad­side shot. It was the kid that he in­tended to shoot. Both deer looked at him more than once but he was mov­ing an inch at a time and when­ever they lifted their heads he froze. Nei­ther deer pre­sented a broad­side shot and the doe promptly couched down on the edge of the field to chew the cud and the kid kept on feed­ing. That was a very good sign as any deer couch­ing down is re­laxed, com­fort­able and has no sus­pi­cion of a preda­tor.

The kid moved a lit­tle to­ward the stalker head on and stopped. The stalker moved fore­word with the min­i­mum of move­ment tak­ing ad­van­tage and hop­ing the kid’s poor cen­tral vi­sion would not latch onto him. Head on there was al­ways that pos­si­bil­ity and it proved true. The kid car­ried on feed­ing but would not pro­duce the broad­side po­si­tion for a chest shot. This went on for 20 min­utes. The DSC2 can­di­date seemed calm, although I am sure in­side he was any­thing but. Pos­i­tive think­ing and re­laxed breath­ing help in this sit­u­a­tion and he demon­strated his skill and dis­ci­pline through­out. It was a clas­sic stalk demon­strat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge and all through the process the ma­ture doe car­ried on chew­ing the cud.

I could see my client was mak­ing a de­ci­sion as the kid moved its po­si­tion slightly, although it was still not broad­side as he minutely repo­si­tioned the quad sticks and re­leased the safety catch.

The shot was taken and the kid dropped to it. The ri­fle was reloaded and the re­main­ing doe jumped up at the re­port and lept into the wood­land. Af­ter a while ob­serv­ing the kid to en­sure it was not wounded or try­ing to get up I asked the can­di­date where he had in­tended the shot to go. He replied con­fi­dently, “lower neck” and that the kid’s re­ac­tion to the shot was as ex­pected with that place­ment.

This was a mas­ter­class in stalk­ing tech­nique and a gen­uine priv­i­lege to be the one to see it.

Good hunt­ing.

“to get a grey in a sack is a lot eas­ier said than done. it is a strug­gle”

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