Friday, 23 November 2012

DeerStalking: The Search For Muntjac

 Trigger jerk: and it's sighted 1 sq high at 100 yards!

Shooter: "I've got some stalking! and one of my radiators won't get hot. What    should I do?"
SBW: You had me from stalking, I'm on my way

Because this report comes to you from the real world, not from the fantasy land where rich plumbers exercise their R8's on their way to exercise their R8's mid-week, it was more like "I'll be there soon, to soon-ish, early next month, or how's the month after that for you?" Eventually the day dawned, the radiator got hot, Mr Mercedes joined us and we set off for an evening stalk.

As usual we were plagued by bad omens and incompetence:

Shooter (driving): coming up on the left there's a field with a herd of Fallow, every time I go past, if they are there, I dont get a deer.
SBW and Mr Mercedes: Groan
Shooter: Look! loads of them!
Mr Mercedes: Groan
SBW: Jinx

The ground is a 300 acre walled (but not gated) estate to the north east of London, in an area we'll call Campo de Muntjac. It's home to some Roe and lots of Muntjac. The chaps who run the outfit are very friendly and funny lets call them The Keeper and his pal The Rumbler.

On a short drive across the we startled a small deer, and as we set up the shooting bench we disturbed a Roe. Hmm maybe we've swerved the jinx?

On the estates you're required to prove your proficiently with a rifle before stalking, on your first visit if you weren't asked to I'd take it as a sign of a poorly run outfit. At Campo de Muntjac they have a 100 yard range. Its traditional to make disparaging remarks about ones accuracy and eyesight before shooting. There'll be a good natured understatement competition, and you take your place at the bench. In the US I've been handed a rifle with the words "its hot and ready to rock" in the UK I just cant imagine anyone doing that. The Rumbler set his Howa up on the bags bolt closed on an empty chamber and I took my place at the bench, Mr Mercedes had already shot his super tight group and Shooter was telling The Keeper that I'm a famous blogger, no pressure then.

My sighter was within the 'ring of death' so I ploughed on with the second a definite improvement, the third looked better at first sight but is actually a square low as The Rumbler has sighted his rifle one high at 100 yards

As usual in england while the whole thing is deadly serious, due to our laws against earnestness no one can acknowledge that. As my group had tightened with each shot the guys were well satisfied and proceeded to regale me with the traditional tales of the German/Scandawegen/American who was here last week/ month who was SO bad even thought his rifle/scope cost SO much. Formalities out of the way we split up to take our seats, Mr Mercedes saw another Roe as he was taking his place.

As The Rumbler and I were setting off, who should reappear but our pal Shooter or "bolt-less" as he's also known. Made it all the way to his seat, without the bolt for his Remy. How we laughed.

Our highseat was pretty luxurious, it even had a roof. The Rumbler and your pal settled down to watch the wildlife, after a while there came a strange rumbling sound, like a brewery really. I ignored the first few but after a while I started to snigger and looked round, The Rumbler, for it was he, looked almost apologetic for a moment, but the couldn't keep a straight face either. Much sniggering ensues.

SBW: Are you hungry?
The Rumbler: I ate before I came out
SBW: Have some Chorizo it might settle your stomach

Our picknick was interrupted by the sound of a Muntjac's bark, and coming towards us too! We both glassed and glassed, I offered up a few prayers but Mr Muntjac decided against visiting our clearing and buggered off.

Shooting light faded fast and it was time to make for home. The Rumbler worked the bolt, so we could exit the highseat with an empty chamber and fumbled the round which promptly slipped between the slats of the highseat's floor. I've done this before and I cant tell you how delighted I was to see someone else make the same mistake (mine bounced off the metal rung of the ladder and The Bambi Basher was without mercy in his mockery).

As The Keeper arrived he was greeted with the sight of our butts in the air as we searched the grass under the seat for the dropped round.

The Keeper: You two look as though you're having fun
The Rumbler [pointing at his stomach] Its been awful, terrible rumblings
SBW: I had to give him some of my sausage
The Keeper:  Whoah! too much information!

More soon

PS be sure to check out Shooter's blog HERE