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Tim Herald: Hunting Trip to England-part 2

November 1, 2011 by  
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Part 2: England

…the problem was that the camera couldn’t see any of it because he was at a low angle and one small rise had completely blocked his view. So, from anywhere else we used a high seat, we had a second brought in for the cameraman. What a shame we didn’t get that all on film.

The next morning we were in the same location, and a little after good light, we had a great looking 6×6 stag walk in, and he ended up at about 15 yards in the wide open. If I had my bow, I would have taken him without a second shot. We did feel he was just a little young and he had tons of potential, so we let him walk.

The morning after that, we changed high seats, and just at daylight we had a group of 9 hinds, 2 spikes and a BIG stag walk right in front of us. The big stag was at a mere 25 yards, and I looked at the easy shot through my Monarch scope. I could have taken him with complete ease, but there wasn’t enough light for the camera for another 20 minutes, so I had to watch the group walk 300 yards and into the thick woods.

Just as we were about the get out of the seats, a stag came running buy behind us. We saw that he had a typical 6 point side, but the other side was really deformed with a cluster of points twisting at the base and only a short beam above. The guys there called him a malformed, and when we told the main deer keeper about him, he said he likes those deer shot and taken out of the herd as management stags.

We had a few more encounters with younger stags, and one day Kiri took us to a traditional English duck shoot. We all road out on a gun bus and were dropped off at shooting stations. Then the shooting began and staff kept the thousands of ducks that reside on the 90 acres of water there moving. It was a 300 bird day broken down that everyone was supposed to shoot 20 or so birds.

It was a lot of fun for a couple of hours and quite a challenge. I am used to trying to shoot the easiest bird possible over decoys to ensure a kill, and the English way is to pick the toughest or most “sporting” birds to test your shooting skills. I shot a lot of shells at high birds, and Kiri and I split the 20 bird quota for our blind. It took me many more shells than Kiri to get my half, no doubt, but I did learn a lot about the tradition and it was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Along the same lines, we stopped and watched a traditional driven pheasant and partridge shoot one morning. The beaters pushed hundreds of birds over the line of guns that were spread out, and they took high and sporting shots as well. Then they came over to the gun bus where a nice refreshment table was laid out with pastries, sausage rolls and sloe gin and champagne cocktails.

On our last morning, we were all pretty down. Getting up 2 hours before daylight was getting old and our outlook for success was bleak. We had to be back by 10:00am to get our stuff ready and get headed to London and the airport if we were to be on time.

At daylight we were back in our favorite high seat and the slight wind was just right. We saw no deer through the morning, which was odd, and at about 9:20AM Kiri nudged me. I figured he was going to tell me it was time to go, but he whispered that there was a hind in the long grass only 25 yards away. She had been bedded and just stood up. All week, every time we saw a hind, we saw a stag, so we scanned the tall grass and within seconds I spotted the crown of a stag’s antler.

He began moving around a bit, and I got my rifle into position. Then from nowhere a spike ran by at the back of the weeds toward the woodline and that got the stag moving his way. I recognized it was the non-typical management stag and must admit that I was disappointed that it wasn’t one of the really big stags, but We were at the end of the game, and I had a shootable stag at 70 yards.

The stag moved away in the high grass, but he angled to my left, and that would put him in a 10 yard wide opening if he continued. We stepped into the clear, took one more stride, and I placed an Accubond right through his shoulder. He collapsed on the spot, and we had an English red stag at 9:30AM.

It was a mad rush to get photos taken, the stag loaded and us back to the cottage before checkout, but we did it. Then off to London to catch our plane back to the States we went. It was a whirlwind day, but we were all smiles. I have been on a few trips lately where the ride home was a sad and lonely affair with nothing but empty tags to show for the efforts.

Athina Hunting Tours worked extremely hard to make this a trip that we will never forget. Being able to hunt red stag, muntjac, duck, watch a pheasant shoot, and spend an afternoon with a local historian was more than I knew you could get into a 6 day trip, but we did that and even had time to drop in at the local pub a time or two!

Hunt Hard…Tim H.


One Response to “Tim Herald: Hunting Trip to England-part 2”

  1. lance says:

    Was watching one of your episodes. You have good content however, there is so much advertising and that heartbeat is very annoying. I know who and what I am watching and the heartbeat is a distraction that I feel is a negative. Have you ever thought about showing the shot placement as well as the deers antler score. These are things no one does that would teach people to be better hunters and selectors of game. Respectfully, Lance

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