Last week I had the opportunity to document a deer stalk down in Sussex. So feeling slightly apprehensive I met up with the stalker at the lovelt time of 3.30 am in a pub car park.
I climbed into his truck and off we set. At just after 4am we arrived at the estate where we were to try and find a suitable deer to shoot. We had all ready seen a group of 5 in nearby open ground. After putting on suitable out door gear he got his rifle and binoculars and we walked into the first clearing. I was extremely anxious of making too much noise. The light was the cold pre dawn blue, the birds just starting up their chorus. My shutter sounded very loud and my feet seemed very heavy.
Very quickly he spotted a pair of roe deer at the bottom of our clearing near some woods. He had to check if there was a buck as he cannot kill female deer at this time of the year. Once we confirmed that there was indeed a buck, we had to creep up close enough and safe enough to take a shot. The rules before you shoot are very strict and safety and welfare are paramount. We took the shot and the buck fell instantly, a clean kill. It did not feel cruel as this was a wild animal that had a good life and no boundaries. And the carcass would be used in the butchers and there would be no wastage. I suppose it takes you back to when we did hunt to feed ourselves, man versus beast.