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This week we made the trip South to stalk Chinese Water Deer (CWD) in Bedford on Paul Childerley’s ground. Paul is tied up with a busy shoot programme as his CWD have bred well, and a number will need to be culled, and I’ve come down to assist. Having made a start, this freed Paul and his team to concentrate on the winged game.
We’ve decided to offer some intensive DSC 2 witnessing training over the course of the week with the full team, including Graeme and Steve. We decided to recce the estate the day before any clients arrived to assess the deer situation and also allocate some areas of operation and boundaries, so we all know where everyone is at any given time.
First off, I did a quick range check. Paul has an excellent range set up on the estate close to the shoot HQ. After confirming zero, I spent some time glassing across the fields close to the range. It was a nice afternoon, and I could see a group of CWD around three fields away couched and clearly enjoying the sunshine and settled, so I made an approach, using the thick hedges to get closer to them.
All went well, but my problem was a backstop, with the deer in the middle of a large field and there was no safe shot, so I decided to wait and see if they moved or any other deer came into play.
We were bizarrely assisted by a couple of walkers using a footpath a couple of fields way who pushed some deer towards the group we were watching, this lifted our group, moved them closer and some started to move my way. I picked out a young CWD, so I waited and he slowly fed until he had worked into a shallow basin to my left creating a backstop. Once he was in range, it was a relatively easy shot.
Completing a suspended gralloch in the hedgerow and then a short walk back to the larder. All-in-all, a good start to the trip.
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