I went out after roebucks again with a friend. Weather has been not great recently and we postponed it, but agreed to go out that Saturday morning. We met at 4:30 and it was quite light already as full moon was just setting and sun would be coming up around 6:00. After a short while we were driving a ride through young plantation. There was hard frost on grass and ice on puddles… It did not feel like May… We jumped off the car and I was glad I put a jacket on top of my usual fleece. After a short walk we were on top of a double high seat.
It was 5:00 and still early. I was not expecting anything moving before the sunrise it was that cold… Free standing high seat was very comfortable with wide rails and we had a good view on the ride both ways. There was mature thin woodland not far in front of us and plantation behind the seat. We agreed I would be shooting if anything comes to my right-hand side, and he would take any buck to our left. It was very quiet with almost no wind, so we had to be extra careful not to spook anything coming from the woodland in front of us. Not to be tempted, I kept my camcorder in my pocket.
We sat for about 30 minutes when two does (I think…) run across the ride from the woodland to my right to plantation. It was too fast to have a look through binoculars and they soon disappeared between the trees. Well, it was still early and my friend was quite positive something else should be moving that morning.
It was 6:00 and the sun started coming up. Great, as I was getting really cold… Suddenly, I spotted movement on my side of the seat. A young buck was coming to the ride out of the plantation. He was looking straight at the high seat, but soon moved on and I managed to shoulder my .308 Steyr Mannlicher rifle. The buck was standing on the middle of the ride, but was quartering towards me and I would have had to shoot him through the front shoulder and knew the bullet would have done a mess at that distance (to be honest it was close enough for a neck shot… but somehow I never thought of that… :idea:). The buck moved again and a friend barked to stop him. Now I got him in a bit better position, put the cross hairs behind the shoulder and squeezed a shot.
I could see the bullet strike, the buck jumped and run for about 20m. It staggered for a few seconds and dropped dead. I could see the exit wound was a bit too far back… but he was down.
When the buck dropped we spotted another one on the ride. A friend was on him, but he moved off before he could pull the trigger. Another bark stopped the buck and a second later 6.5×55 dropped him on the spot.
We went down the seat to do the gralloch (well, I left my knife in the car… 🙄 ). The bucks looked like twins with ear-long spikes still in velvet. Good cull bucks to take and in good condition. They soon would have been pushed off the area by territorial bucks anyway. Half hour later we were in the car driving home and I was home before 8:00. Very good morning.