This time we’re up on the open hill stalking hinds early in the season. Ordinarily after the stags rut we like to leave the hill to rest a while before starting on the hind, just to allow the deer a bit of recovery time and peace and let the hill settle after what has usually been a busy two weeks of stalking. We don’t mind the rest ourselves either!
This year things were far from normal as some of the deer had taken to moving down overnight into the more vulnerable areas of the estate, specifically young trees and arable crops. We needed to start to deter them.
Our tactic was to get into position early and stalk the route they were taking as they came back to lie up out on the hill during the day – hence we were out long before first light to get into a position as they drifted up to perceived safety.
We had some late rutting activity still going on in front of us but these deer were safe today. We wanted the deer coming from the low-lying areas.
Almost immediately we had deer moving, and while glassing a group heading our way we saw a hind clearly limping from what looked to be a front foreleg. We’d found our target.
Fortunately she tagged along a the back of the group and presented nicely, falling to a broadside heart/lung shot after a dash of around 20 yards.
An easy ATV recovery followed. On initial examination we could see no obvious external sign of the reason for her limp, but after skinning her back at home there was an old injury to her foreleg which had healed perfectly well and no other sign of a problem. She was actually in good condition.
So a great result and a good animal to remove from the herd.