Stalking in May
May in one of my favorite months in deer hunting season. Firstly because grass and undergrowth is not yet high enough for roe deer to hide and secondly, it is last midges free month… In the areas I stalk in Scotland, early May is not that attractive as high on the hill as fresh grass is still very small and it is usually quite cold with temperature frequently below 0C or even some snow, but second half of the month is when the action starts.
This year I found first fraying marks on trees in first half of the month, but then typically it became quite cold and wet… But at least there were some fraying marks and I knew there should be some clean bucks around, but I had not seen one so far this year. Unlike on low ground near Glasgow where I saw some clean bucks, everything seems to be delayed by 2-3 weeks up in the forestry…
I booked myself in for a day mid-week and went for a short stalk before going to work.
I got to the forestry for 4:30 and it was already not quite first light. I slowly walked up to the gate and followed forestry boundary to the place that is quite sheltered and roe deer quite like it. I watched the area through my binoculars and I soon spotted a movement in a tall grass. It was a roe deer, but unfortunately a doe. She was still in winter coat and looked heavily pregnant. I let her go on her way and kept spying surrounding area. When the doe moved I moved on as well and I soon spotted two deer in a distance. It was a bit too far to be sure, but I thought at least one of them was a buck.
I followed the edge of the forestry and soon got to withing 200m. I could see it was a buck and a doe. The buck was feeding happily, but the doe was watching in my direction. She was staring at me for good 10 minutes and I kept still watching her through my binos. When she finally dropped her head and started feeding I moved closer using a ditch between me and the deer to get closer.
I was maybe 150m away with the deer behind a brow and some small trees when I heard the doe bark. She must have heard me coming but was not sure what I was. I could see the buck and he was looking around not sure what to do. I knew they would bounce soon so I put my rifle on a quad sticks and as soon I could see the buck broadside I squeezed the trigger.
The doe ran barking and the buck ran as well, but different direction. I could see he was well hit and he soon dropped after 10-15m.
It was a nice buck and surprise to see it was more than an average 6-pointer. It was not a medal head, but nice unusual 8-pointer. I shot a similar roebuck couple of years back very near the same spot, but that one was a 6-pointer with 4 points on one side and 2 points on the other side, so it must be some unusual blood line. Shame all the buck in this forestry area lack weight and are usually quite thin with heads seldom reaching above 300g.