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Tim Herald: Hunting Trip to England

October 30, 2011 by  
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OCTOBER 20011 English Red Stag and Muntjac

I have always wanted to go to England and see the hunting tradition there, and being a history major, I also wanted to see some of the neat sites through the countryside. Kiri at Athina Hunting Tours invited me over to do a free-range red stag hunt. And he told me we would work in as many other activities as possible.

After the short 6 hour and 45 minute flight from Detroit to London and only 5 minutes clearing my rifle, we were off to the north. Kiri took us to a nice little cottage where we unloaded our gear, and he told us to get dressed and we would go for a stalk. Cameraman Jim Benton and I hurried into some hunting gear, we checked the zero on my rifle (I was using a TC ICON in .300 Win topped with a Nikon 4x16x50 Monarch BDC scope and shooting Winchester 180 gr. Accubonds that shot dead perfect both times checked), and we were off into the woods looking for the little muntjac deer.

I really wanted to get a muntjac as the UK is the only place to hunt them free range these days, and I think the little deer are just very cool. They only have small straight antlers, but they also have fangs that are leftover tusks from evolution.

We slowly stalked through the woods, and we spotted 2-3 muntjac, but they were either does, or we didn’t have a chance to judge them. We also saw a nice young roe roe deer buck. Toward the end of the strip of woods, there was a high seat and platform, so we decided to spent the last 30 minutes there and see what moved through. We saw a couple muntjac does and a small buck immediately. Then two roe does crossed about 80 yards away, when a loud bark came from behind us.

I assumed the bark was from a dog, but Kiri turned quickly, pointed behind me and told me to, “Shoot that buck!” Not 20 yards away in the opening was a muntjac buck looking away from us with his head and neck extended, and he was barking constantly.

I eased the .300 ICON around as Jim got the camera turned. I thought I should shoot low, and I placed the crosshairs just under his shoulder and touched the trigger. The little guy was dead immediately as the 180 gr Accubond went straight through the point of his shoulder. Kiri was excited with the quality of the trophy, and I was just amazed how cool the little deer was with his tusks.

The next morning found Kiri and I in a high seat and the camera positioned below in a fairly open pocket back along some woods and a creek. In a typical English misty morning, and group of red deer made their way out of the woods into the tall grass in front of us. There was a great looking 6×7 stag, 5 hinds and a couple spikes. The stag tried to keep the ladies tied up and the spikes away, so he was moving all the time from 50-125 yards away. He lip curled a few times, and heavy steam was coming from his nostrils in jets. The light wind shifted a bit and the herd slowly vanished into the foggy woods. It was a classic scene. (…to be continued in Part II)

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