Roebuck stalking in bad weather… Hunting in Scotland

Deer stalking in bad weather

Weather has not been great this May so far. It has been really cold with frosty mornings and temperatures at 8-12C during the day. It has been blowing gale force winds from the East and North, raining a lot and all you could only imagine… but that’s deer stalking in Scotland for you…
I really think weather is a key factor to a successful stalk, but when this kind of weather stays for a couple of days I tend to go out anyway despite the odds…
It was one of the days like that. I wanted to go out in the morning, but when I woke up and looked outside the window it was raining with a strong wind. I just went back to bed… In the afternoon it was a bit better, but still wet and windy with frequent showers. I had been staying home long enough, so packed my gear and jumped in to the car.
Before I got to the forestry gates it was raining heavily… again… I waited for a few minutes, but it was not improving so went out anyway. When I got to the forestry it was a bit better under large sitka trees, so I walked slowly down the track still thinking about going back home when I bumped on two roe does… I was not prepared to see anything and they spotted me right away and disappeared between the trees.

I pulled myself together and walked on, but more switched on than before. That day I had a new piece of kit to test. A little flexible tripod I bought off eBay. Jonher recommended it on his blog and I thought it would be a good idea. I had been looking for something to improve my filming when stalking. This tripod could be attached to stalking sticks or high seat rail and is small enough to keep in pocket or attched to sticks all the time. I already carry too much kit with me and it is not much fun to have half full roe sack on my back all the time…

I found a nice dry spot under the tree and tried to attach the flexible pod to my sticks. I managed to fit my camera, it looked quite promising. I put rifle on sticks and all looked good and stable. I really like Jonathan’s idea.

The rain was not stopping so I took the camera off the sticks and put it in my pocket. I walked a few hundred yards of the track straight at this place and when I was going behind the bend I froze. There was a buck about 80-100m away. He was looking directly at me and I could not make a move… I thought I cocked it up again… but he dropped his head and started feeding again… Ufff…. Rifle on sticks then, but it would be great to film as well… So I put my left hand into pocket to take out the camera and hold the rifle on sticks with my right hand. It took me a while and was not easy to attach the camera back to the tripod on sticks with one hand, I made some noise and the buck was lifting his head a couple of time, but I eventually managed…

After a few attempts I got scope and camera aligned. I had to move a few steps to have better angle and safe shot, but when I did that I felt wind on my back… There was not much time left and when the buck stood more or less broadside I squeezed the shot. I saw the buck jumped off the side of the track between the tree and that was it.

.223 Rem Sako 55gr SP bullet performance

When I got to the place the buck was when I pulled the trigger, I could clearly see light frothy blood indicating a good lung shot. I looked between the trees and there he was, not 15m away. I really like these little .223 55gr Sako SP bullets. They are very effective on roe deer and do not do much meat damage.

I dragged the roebuck to the track and it looked like the exit wound was a bit too far back… I gralloched him and on inspection the bullet entered behind the shoulder and exit without even touching green gralloch and was on the right side of the diaphragm, so not bad. It just looked a bit too far back, or maybe I was just lucky the bullet never expanded too much?

I finished the gralloch and was ready to pack the buck when the ground under me collapsed and I was up to waist in the dip full of water… There are plenty of surprises like that in the forestry. The water flowing in the ditch besides the track was going under it and on top was plenty of moss and grass and empty space underneath… Fortunately I was not injured and was not carrying a buck nor rifle…

I packed the buck into the roe sack and went back home. It was still early, but weather was not improving much and I was already wet…

Video

8 comments

  1. Hi Greg! I love your posts and the video. You are true hunter who care of the roe when you took its life. I have the same thoughts and I can sometimes be sad on our hunts especially moose hunts where for example have to drag them with a 4-wheeler. You are a very good example as a hunter with soul.

  2. Hi Greg. I have been looking on the web for advice and haven’t got any sensible answers back so far. I don’t shoot/hunt but thought you might be able to point me in the right direction. I have recently had several sightings of a single roe deer in my garden, the garden is a decent size and opens onto woodland and farmland. I have been here for 11 years and have never seen one before. Now he has found his way here, how can I encourage he/she to stick around? Is there anything I can do to help him along. We are in knutsford in Cheshire – there are deer reported in some parts of the county but none as far as I know, historically, this close to us.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      There is not much you can do to encourage roe deer. I think your garden already has something to offer, either good food or shelter. You can try planting something roe deer like (willow is not bad to start with) but then you may also find there is already some nearby. What I would recommend is a salt lick. I often see roe and red deer using salt licks. I will try to post a short description or video showing how to do that. You could have one in your garden somewhere and enjoy the view. It can be any salt rocks for horses/cattle and there are some deer salt blocks available from Bushwear (2 and 10kg aniseed flavor).

      Regards,
      Greg

  3. Thanks Greg for the good, practical advice. I have surfed for half a day and not come up with anything nearly as useful. Best Regards.

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