What’s it all about Alfie?
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.
“to get a grey in a sack is a lot easier said than done. it is a struggle”