As I sat with my Danish clients enjoying one last pint before their departure after a successful week on the sika stags, the subject of other species that we have all hunted arose and so began the reaching for all our smart phones, each of us eager to show off pictures of our fondest hunts and of course the necessary egotistical bragging rights of what we have hunted , so began. My guests were very interested as most Scandinavians are in my roe pictures and they inquired as to whether I could organise a roe buck hunt for them for the following year.
Having stalked the roe deer for some years now In the UK, I have built up a very strong hunting bond with some great lads across the water, who visit me each year also for sika deer. I rang Joe one of the local lads who has a large area of ground to stalk over and we agreed to book the Danish in for 3 days on the bucks. There’s something about stalking roe deer that I really love, maybe it’s the different species that we unfortunately don’t have here in Ireland but each time I plan a trip to the UK I get unusually excited. Harkila had supplied me with the recently launched AGNAR suit designed specifically for summer hunting and I was keen to see how it would perform on the warm evenings as. Also in my carry-on bag was the new Harkila Herlet shirt, designed with a new technology to keep any annoying insects and ticks at bay.
My wife is now quite used to me jetting off at a moment’s notice to hunt abroad or attend trade shows so after a quick goodbye kiss I was soon on my way to Dublin airport for a 6:40 a.m. flight. On our way from the airport, Joe suggested we look over the areas to familiarise myself once again with the high seat locations etc. and also to make sure of any possible stock in the area. As I had arrived 2 days before the guests I wanted to make sure of my surroundings again as I would be guiding one hunter also. Satisfied that all was in order we continued to my Hotel where we enjoyed a cold glass of local cider before we planned a hunt for me for the evening in another area where the landowner needed some bucks culled. Our other mate, Ryan picked us up that evening and we had the usual banter as we drove along the motorway. Arriving at the hunting area, I loaded up the .243 and we made our way along the hedgerow to where Ryan had previously observed some bucks. After a short walk Joe suddenly froze and pointed ahead to our right-hand side. I observed him for some time through the Zeiss binoculars to ascertain him a suitable candidate before making my decision and that of Ryan and Joe also. The buck, poorly looking with 6-points of small and irregular formation was browsing along the hedge away from us nonchalantly. Getting the quad sticks into position I eased the rifle into the rest and with the thumbs up from both lads, I sent a 100gn Hornady round into the roes’ vitals. He made the characteristic death run and expired after some 70 metres. On close inspection he indeed had a poor antler on one side and was a suitable buck to cull.
After a long earned sleep, the next day we picked up my clients at the airport and we planned our 3 days of hunting to suit them accordingly. Having guided these lads before I was in no doubt to their shooting capabilities and we were all equally excited about the next morning. 3a.m was soon upon us and after a quick coffee we were loading up the Blaser guns and on our way. As daylight was breaking we eagerly scanned the surrounding fields for a roe buck but all we seen were some does so we continued. Another local stalker, Lee was also with me as he was more familiar with this new piece of ground, when suddenly the wind changed and lee pointed as a nice mature buck suddenly broke from cover and fled, his summer coated back making long arched moves as he quickly fled into the tall crops. Bitterly disappointed at the sudden change in wind, we continued but then typically the rain came down without warning and this ended our first stalk. Joe however had much better luck and his client had a nice buck down so we drove back to our hotel satisfied with the outcome from the first outing.
The only downside to roe buck hunting is the long day from the first outing until the evening one so we would retire to our rooms for a few hours’ rest and then usually have some dinner that afternoon and sit around conversing or reading a book to pass the time. My wife reckons us stalkers have a great life but such is the life of a roe buck stalker. The evening hunt was once again a success for Joe as he guided his client onto yet another buck. The pressure was on now so with high hopes for the next morn we had a few hours’ sleep and thus it all began again almost like groundhog day. Ill not go into details of every stalk otherwise ill bore the readers but one of the 6 stalks which stood out for me was on a morning hunt. Through my Zeiss binoculars I observed some does in a field of rape and then without any warning a beautiful buck of 6 points stood up from his morning nap and stood alert watching the does in the same field. I ranged him at 233 meters and as Joe got the viper flex sticks into position, the Blaser was eased into the cradle of the sticks and the scope was dialled in to the correct distance. As I was videoing this hunt Joe tapped the hunters arm gently indicating to shoot. The unmoderated .308 echoed around the valley as the buck made a burst for freedom but collapsed in a spectacular fashion by first turning around and then kicking out before dropping dead. It was an fantastic shot and a truly wonderful trophy. Their 3 days ended on a high note with 9 lovely bucks taken and they departed with a true sense of achievement and memories.
The hunt had been successful beyond our expectations and the Harkila Agnar suit performed to perfection. Even after being caught in a few heavy downpours and walking through waist high rape seed fields and corn I remained dry. I would recommend this suit to anyone who is looking for a waterproof yet light and breathable stalking suit for the summer months and it will be my first choice for the sika also for the milder part of the season.
As I near the end of my story on the roe hunt I can’t help but glance up at my own trophy roe buck on the wall and wonder If I’ll be so fortunate to shoot another nice one when I return for the rut in July.