Great October Stalks
Matthew Rogers takes a look back at some of his stalking highlights from last October
For an avid stalker of Fallow, October is quite literally Christmas come early. For October, along with November, are arguably the pinnacle of the shooting calendar for those that carry an affection for this larger, more accessible herding species of deer. I quantify my statement with “more accessible” in the sense that for many they often require little strenuous travel nor expense in order to pick up a beautiful representative animal as this case study shows.
Glancing back through my stalking portfolio, my eye was caught by a folder entitled ‘October 2013’; gosh, a year ago to the day, I thought. Well worth a look. So how was “this time last year” and should I be excited for the coming weeks?
October started off with a great little Muntjac doe; hardly a “warrior” beast I am sure it could be argued, but undoubtedly a cracking way to break the dry spell that was September. Hardly surprisingly actually, September 2014 was also something of a wash-out for me, but what better way to get off the blocks than this. The doe was happily trotting in the opposite direction, oblivious to our presence and allowed plenty of time to get up on the sticks for a nice 100 yard broadside shot.
The images below illustrates the exit wound and shows the huge bullet expansion even on this diminutive light framed animal. None the less it exemplifies the importance of having a solid backstop at all times, as remains of the 150 grain bullet will have no doubt continued for some distance.
October also saw me overcome my general paranoia of highseats that are not entirely secured to solid trees! I ascended just before darkness and just in time to pick off a terrific Fallow Buck (pictured above), this particular beast had come trotting along a man made ride through the woods. As it crossed to my right it paused and presented a wonderful unobstructed shot at about 120 yards. This was particularly memorable for me as it didn’t feel “right” just after the shot rang out and was followed by a very tense follow-up which confirmed the round was effective and my nerves were the only things at fault.
Finishing off a great day was the spectacular view over the Oxfordshire countryside. Furtherance to my recollections, I did remark to my friend at the time that the view was entirely wonderful but utterly wanton of noteworthy features. I think the reason it struck me as beautiful was the sheer ‘Englishness’ of it – truly one of the benefits of stalking deer in the South East of England in the autumn.
So all said and done, October throws up great stalking memories already for me. I cannot wait to get out in the fields and woods again this year!
For more on the importance of expanding ammunition in deer management follow this link: expanding-ammunition-for-deer