Culling red deer
Due to new arrival I had not been out much recently and when I was I did not have much luck. So when we finally got to the weekend after a busy week, the forecast from Saturday morning looked promising. I packed my gear and went to the far side of my stalking area.
It was well below 0C and very crunchy. It made little sense stalking so I got to my usual spot with the view over moorland. With a bit of luck some red deer could be coming from the hill to the woods or a roe deer could come out later on enjoy the sunshine. I set up my camera and sticks and stood under a tree waiting for more light. Temperature dropped even lower before the sunrise and I was getting cold contemplating whether to move on or not when I spotted a movement in front of me. It was stag. He was coming towards me and soon disappeared in a dip. I knew he would come out nearby soon and although I had no intention of shooting him I thought I could get some nice footage.
The area I was in could be quite productive, but carcass extraction without a quad bike near impossible. Knowing I was not going to shoot I was patiently awaiting for the stag to show up. At that time I noticed a movement in front of me behind the bush. When I looked through my Zeiss 8×56 binos I could see there were some hinds too. If there was a calf I could get one and somehow manage to drag it out.
The deer soon cleared the bush and showed up not far away. I kept watching just to make sure what was what and they all looked similar size to me. I selected one that looked like a big calf or yearling hind and when she was broadside I squeezed off a shot. I thought I saw it dropping on the spot, but was not 100% sure. I reloaded waiting for any movement. The deer remained where they were confused where the shot came from. Initially I had no intention shooting again, but they were not going anywhere and after a while I thought I could possibly manage to get a young hind out as well. 🙄
Well, I made up my mind and when the smaller one presented a neck shot I pulled the trigger and the second deer dropped. To my surprise remaining hind and the stag still would not move away… Not until I waved at them so they could see me and eventually move away.
I went to the deer and did a quick gralloch. As soon as I got to the second hind I knew I would have problems… 🙄 I dragged the deer as far as I could when a friend texted me asking how I was doing. He was out stalking as well when I told him I got two red deer to deal with and if he could help. He kindly agreed and joined me later on.
What had been happening for the next couple of hours was nothing like Australian/NZ style extraction by fit stalkers carrying out a deer from the mountains gracefully jumping over burns you can see on YouTube. 😆 We dragged both deer for several hundred yards. Then we decided to leave one for the next day and just drag out the smaller one. Then we gave up and butchered both deer and carried it out in pieces… 🙄 After three hours we got to the car totally knackered.
Deer Stalking Video
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