The evening was drawing in but the light was very good and conditions ideal for watching the woods and all it's inhabitants. We had been quietly observing for several hours, seeing buzzards mating and plenty of rabbits and magpies, when in the corner of the second field the hind quarters of a deer appeared. We watched for several minutes as the buck grazed into the wind. It was moving slowly away from our position and not presenting at a good angle for a clean shot. We assessed the condition and size and agreed that if the shot became viable I would take it. After several more minutes, that felt like an age, the shot was on. On my first buck this made me concentrate very hard so as to do the best I could for this buck if I were to take the shot. When we were comfortable I took the shot and we watched and waited. In just a few brief seconds we confirmed a clean kill. Then I started to feel very responsible for the buck and the care of it as I started to learn more about field preperation.
It is difficult to explain the feeling of attachment and responsibility but it is all very important to gain an insight into how this deer interacted with its environment. He was around 7 years old with malformed antlers. This could have been from birth or an injury when young. Several other features could also have contributed to its malformation. This buck was towards the end of his feeding life and teeth showed signs of wear.
I know that during the stalk and after I did as much as I could to learn and gain valuable experience in managing deer and this was truly a privilege to be a part of.
This was my first Roe buck and as a 7 point malformed it's one I will always remember.