Its mid August, and out in the countryside
it is one of the busiest times of the year, with local farmers harvesting their crop,
the wild deer are being displaced. Pushed out of the fields that have provided them
with so much security through the summer months, and that means it is the perfect time to hunt
wild game. In this instance we are hunting fallow pricketts. I am out in my Huntsman,
with a good friend and excellent shot for company. I’m out here today with my good friend
Alan Haywood, the general, who taught me everything I know about stalking, and shooting, and how
to make the most out of a deer. So its a real privilege to be out with Alan. So today is
a very exciting day, as it is mid august, so the fallow bucks are in season, but also
you know, the harvest is coming off now, you can sense that autumn is approaching, and
it is harvest time, and that moves the deer around. The deer have been comfortable in
these long crops all summer, they dont get disturbed at all and as the crops come off
they start to move and you are much more likely to see deer. On the local farmers request.
We are out and about looking for fallow deer. So we pull of the main road and head into
deeper country, surveying the nearby woodland as we go for signs of deer. We haven’t been
driving that long before we spot a gorgeous fallow doe, and when there is one, there is
always more. It is a good omen and we decide to park up in the nearby woodland and see
how our luck runs. As always it is about keeping noise to a minimum from now on. If the deer
are spooked we stand no chance of success. As well as being a good mate Alan is an incredibly
good shot. Unbelievably good, and it is always good to have him onboard, and I trust his
instinct and we have not gone at all far before we are drawn to a disturbance in the woods
Using my Swaovski range finders I check it out, but with the evening fast approaching
it is just too dark to spot movement, we decide to cut through the woods and follow our instincts.
No sooner do we emerge from the trees I immediately spot a small gang of fallow deer grazing in
the adjacent field. The last one is a prickett. On my shoulder. Hang on. Just stay there.
Stay down. Ok. Yep. You got him! Gotcha! What a shot. Well, as often happens when your shooting
fallow deer in these fields, it all happened in a minute. We popped out, there were 3 does,
and a fourth doe, and the fourth doe, tend to be a prickett, and Alan has shot it. Its
dead yeah? It’s dead! Ok. Third tramline out. Good girl Millie, stay. So, one, two, I see,
just over that brow. What do you think? About 180 yards? Ok, so we will go up and then walk
down the tramlines. you see that crown nest. Yeah, he is online with the crown? He is yes.
This is crucial when you are trying to find a deer in crop. You need to relate to something.
Tramlines are the way you do it. We are going to walk down it, and then let Millie find
the deer. You know what Alan, I think I will get the Roe sack, and then we can carry him
out. Good girl, good girl Millie, good girl, well done. What is this? 199. We reckon on
my range finder that is 190 to the corner up there 202 yards. This deer was standing
looking at Alan, and the only thing that was exposed was the top of his neck and his head.
And there, is the entry. Which I think makes you Alan, the best shot in Britain. Lucky
shot. Not lucky, there is no luck involved at all. and when a deer is looking straight
at you, cause that had heard us crashing through those bushes, and those deer had all stopped,
they had heard us, as we popped out, I don’t think they saw us, do you Alan? I think he
was being inquisitive, the 3 does ran off on, he stopped and stared up at us, he wondered
what was going on, maybe he thought it was another buck or something I don’t know. He
looked straight at us. Even when you tried to put out your safety catch up? Yes, did
you notice that? It is a really heavy pricket, perfect for eating, a fabulous example of
fallow deer. We dragged the animal into clearer ground, get it out of the crop, and check
it over. It is in great condition, so it is time to grallock the animal, before transporting
it home in the Huntsman, as the beautiful August evening finally draws to a close, it
has been a fantastically successful hunt, just perfect, and I am already thinking about
all the meals I can make with this wonderfully tasty animal.