"There'll be Days Like This..."

James Schneider uses some clever calling techniques and effective shooting to account for five bucks in two outings.

August 1st saw my second official DSC2 witnessed outing and I was keen to achieve two culls and wrap the process up. Thankfully the weather cooperated and presented perfect conditions for calling roe buck in the height of the rut. 

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(Above: James with Roe Buck number one & Weatherby Vanguard in .308 Calibre).

With Peter Jones acting as my DSC Approved Witness and the Hampshire countryside my stage it wasn’t long until a muntjac buck had been stalked upon in a nice open wood.  After quickly getting into position on my sticks, Peter was able to draw the buck closer via more subtle calling with his Buttolo and I dispatched him with an angled neck shot from my Weatherby Vanguard Mk 2, adding the second cull to my DCS2 portfolio.   

Soon afterwards we were perched in a hedge row after stalking up on a fallow doe and her fawn when Peter again began calling with his Buttolo.  Just as the light was starting to fade a roe buck came bounding across the field of barley with such vigor that he frightened off the fallow. He was taking a straight line to us and after some quick adjustments crawling into position, rifle up on a rest and a few additional chirps from Peter’s call to bring the buck to about 70 yards, I felled him with a clean high neck shot.

Witnessed cull requirement for DSC2 assessment now complete, I was keen to reinforce my newly acquired deer management skills in the field as quickly as possible.  The following Saturday I planned an early morning outing to a recently acquired license in Hampshire and arrived in the field at 5:30 AM.  Again, the weather was perfect; cool and clear, not a cloud in the sky and about 17 degrees centigrade.  The fields were wet with dew as I crept to the far corner downwind and set up on my sticks, watching over a hedge with the sun just coming up and lighting up the far side of the mature barley fields with a yellow glow.  Light breeze, birds singing, a perfect time to break the morning calm with some high pitched squealing.

James250Within ten minutes, a healthy four point cull buck was bounding through the field just as I had seen two evenings prior. However, this one spotted me and turned to run away in an ark, which, as luck had it, deposited him onto the track where I was set up originally expecting to see an animal emerge (of course the deer will usually do exactly the opposite, approaching from my blind side and catching me off guard) however one loud screech from my call stopped him for a moment before he disappeared into the wood, giving me the instant required to place a heart shot at 140 yards.    

(Left: Roe Buck number two ready for the gralloch). 

After a quick gralloch, I moved to a recently mowed adjacent field with the hay gathered in long lines waiting to be bailed. The wood to the left was one that I had been keen to stalk since taking on the lease and the morning continued to evolve perfectly as the sun warmed up the field. The sky was as clear as I’ve seen and a deep blue with the different hues of yellow from the hay and stubble, peak of summer gold and light brown reflecting off the verdant Hampshire canopy.  It was so clear and bright I was missing my sunglasses.

I began to call, slowly but consistently for about 20 minutes when suddenly towards the bottom of the down 200 yards away a beautiful roe buck came hurtling out of the wood at speed, his head and ears alert and red coat magnificent in the morning light.  Having identified the general location of the call, he then calmed himself and began an orderly, determined trot directly towards me following along one of the lines of cut hay that sectioned the field.  A few more pips, closer and closer still and the neck shot at 40 yards humanely culled him before he even heard the shot.

The time was now going on 8:30 AM and the temperature beginning to rise but still time for a quick stalk through a final patch of woodland that had caught my eye previously.  I began down a nice ride through the wood, and was remembering advice to “think like a deer”, which in that moment meant “get out of the sun and hang out in a nice cool wooded glade”.  I was quick to find just that and again set up and began to call.  The temperature was now around 23 degrees but it was a good 5 degrees cooler in the meadow and I just had that feeling that I had anticipated this one correctly.  Again, within minutes of calling a four point roe buck emerged from the purple hued shadows to investigate.  I was using a slow peeping method which heightened his curiosity but three quick chirps from the call had him literally sprinting towards me until I placed another neck shot at 50 yards for my third buck of the morning and fifth in two outings. 

Five bucks stalked during the peak of the rut provided an exciting display in a truly spectacular environment that is the Hampshire countryside. As Van Morrison’s Mama said “there’ll be days like this” and I was blessed to have had two in a row.  Lucky me!

To watch a film about 'How to Call a Roe Buck - July" follow this link to our short films page: short-films

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