It was one of those days,
Tuesday after work and time is knocking on but I managed to sneak off around 6pm and arrive at the lower car park area around 7pm on a beautiful warm August evening. Having closed the gate, I drove forwards the 20m to the parking area and there in front of me stood a magnificent roe buck. So now the agonising choice of sit still and do nothing and see if it will relax and mooch away, or do you try for the rifle? I sat still and he eventually slid off up into the top wood.
Kitted up and rifle slung I set off in full stalk mode with my sticks. I made it about 100m when to my right I could see the flank of a deer down about 5m away in the wood. This was no Roe it was a fallow in summer coat munching away happily. I set up the sticks, wound down the Swaro to 2.5mag and waited for an ID with its neck in my cross hairs. Casual as you like she raised her head to reveal that she was not shootable just yet L. Looking straight at me I tried to scan the surrounding wood without causing alarm, but to no avail as she barked twice and ran and I could hear and now see, the rest of the herd follow suit.
I was now 400m from my intended high seat and id spooked the herd. I umed and arred about going home having ruined my chances, but my wife was away with work so I could not think of a better thing to do than sit in the main ride seat and watch the sun go down,
View down from Car park ride to Main ride High Seat
In position at around 7:30pm I reckoned I’d have about 45mins shootable conditions left. I poured a coffee and glanced up just as a white deer started to cross behind the trees at the top of the carpark ride T?? I set up with the Sako but I could see the deer was a doe and that others were close behind. In all four does and four followers emerged at the top of the hill and I swapped rifle for bins and watched them munching grass happily for 15 mins oblivious of my attention.
At about 8:20 the light was fading fast and I had the choice to walk back to the car in fading light now, or sit it out for another 20 till unshootable dark descended. I decided to walk back, but as I glanced to the right down the ride back to my car, I could see several dark shadows emerging.
The bins revealed a dozen or more deer on the ride at about 250-300m from my chair. The ride dips down into a hollow at around 150m and that’s where they were heading. I swapped to rifle and wound the Swaro up to 15max to try and ID a shot. There were at least two small bucks in the herd, but with so many others in front and behind and at 200m+ range, I wasn’t going to get a shot.
Eventually they were all in the dip at 150 and all I could see was the tops of a few backs and the occasional head pop up for a look see. That and the light was now dropping fast.
I had a quick look around to make sure a herd of bucks hadn’t sneaked up on my whilst my attention was diverted and with that last hope dashed I packed up unloaded and climbed down from the seat. Needless to say the herd was gone by then but on the walk back down the now very dark main ride I heard the nark and a herd scatter to my left in the top wood. I set about retrieving my trail cams and then to my surprise spooked another herd in the dark in the lower wood right of the “Pond” high seat.
So no shots fired but the old heart was pumping for much of my two hours on site and it was after all a beautiful evening.
The tree felling last year I feel put a major damper on deer movement at the Cops but if today was anything to go by , there’s activity in spades now and it all bodes well for this season.
See attached some randomly selected clips from the trail cams from main ride and Pond Seat. In all I had 175 clips of deer over the two weeks and theres some old ones from March as well.