Save the Rhino: stalk winner report

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I originally offered a lot for Sporting Rifle’s Save the Rhino auction of an evening and morning’s roe doe and muntjac stalking. However, as the end of the auction was almost at the end of the season, I offered the winning bidder Terry Hoskins the alternative of an outing for roe cull bucks and muntjac.

Arrangements made, Terry duly arrived on Saturday afternoon and after a quick chat to gauge his expectations and ability, it was off to the farm for a couple of shots to check the rifle. All was well so off we went.

Within 100 yards of entering the wood we came across two muntjac but they didn’t stand long enough for a shot. On we went and bumped a roe doe followed by another muntjac. By the time we bumped another roebuck and doe and the fourth munty, I was getting a little concerned. I have taken many friends and acquaintances out stalking – some for their first ever stalk – but never a paying client, so the pressure was on. However, my worry was short lived. We stopped on a hill looking down into some dense cover when out popped a roe doe and shootable buck. Terry got ready on the sticks while I watched through the binos. As I looked at Terry to see everything was okay, he took the shot and I missed the reaction of the buck. Terry assured me it looked good.

While discussing this, a muntjac buck was spotted making his way towards us. It eventually came into range and Terry was quickly on the sticks, and took a perfect chest shot. We passed a very dead munty and got to the area for the roe. We found the strike with a good spray of blood but only one tiny blood spot six feet away. We cast around for about 15 minutes with no joy. I decided to take care of the munty (Terry insisting on doing the gralloch for the practice) and to get my two black labs to look for the roe. As soon as they picked up the scent, they were off, and found it just 80 yards away. A perfect heart shot but no blood trail, a good exit wound and lots of blood where it was found. Terry took care of the second gralloch with a pointer or two from me, and it was back to the chiller. We spent the last hour in a high seat and saw a total of nine deer but didn’t get a shot.

IMG_0144Sunday morning, and Terry arrived at 5am. A quick coffee and we were on the ground by 5.30am. As soon as we pulled in through the gate, I spotted two cull bucks couched up in a field, so we were out of the vehicle and walking along a tall hedgerow to get within range. Once there, the only option was for Terry to crawl through the hedge – blackthorn and thick stinging nettles didn’t deter him from getting into a good shooting position. It was then a waiting game. As time passed, I tried to encourage them to get up without a result, when two Greylag geese obligingly flew over them about four feet off the ground. Up they stood, bang went the shot and another heart-shot buck in the bag, all by 6am. Gralloch performed (by Terry) we went in search of a muntjac.

We saw numerous deer but as so often with munty stalking by the time the rifle comes up they are off in the distance. I spotted another and got Terry on the sticks. I kept urging him to shoot but nothing happened – he was looking all across the hill about 100 yards away when it was just 25 yards in front of us! I don’t think he expected to get that close. We went on another few paces and another munty buck presented itself. In one swift movement the rifle was up and the buck dropped to another well placed heart shot.

With two roebucks and two muntjac bucks in the chiller, the pressure was off. Terry took four deer with good shot placement and performed all the grallochs. Considering he had only shot a total of four deer previously, he did an excellent job and I thoroughly enjoyed guiding him. And all for a great cause!

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