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Taken A Ghost After 20 Years

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Elk hunter, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Elk hunter

    Elk hunter Keyboard Hero

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    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Last Monday after picking up Sharon and Willow from the train station I headed north with my old shooting pal Oliver. We were having our annual syndicate meet all five of us for a coupe of days shooting the breeze and hopefully a roe buck.
    On arrival Terry was already there with the kettle on and sitting in the sun far to relaxed. Not long after Mike and Neil arrived so all clocked in by 3.30 pm all to do was change into some stalking gear.

    The Ground.
    [​IMG]

    As Terry was a new member this year I took him with me for a stalk onto the clear fell as the weather was good that was a in my opinion the place to look. On hitting the bottom of the clear fell I was explaining to Terry that the was a resident doe. It crossed into the new planing on a regular basis as I'd and Oliver had seen her over the summer and would be a good place to sit as if there's a doe a buck won't be to far behind.

    Unfortunately Terry decided to lay his rifle down along with his sticks and go take a leek. Mid way his through his motion a buck and doe appeared out of nowhere and clocked us pair of prunes, then legged it. Poor old Terry had no chance of getting to his rifle in time and I get very excited when roe stalking. Rifle slipped off my shoulder up to my cheek, picked up the running buck in my sight. Boom over he went, deer down, Terry still had his old man in his hand and I'd reloaded all in a split second.

    Nice Buck
    [​IMG]


    Terry being a good sport admitted two things. First there was no way he'd got a shot off and second was the amount I practice certainly pays off, 120 yards free standing on a running buck.
    25-06 had just bagged me another 6 point buck.

    Back at the caravan we had to relive the moment all over again how Terry wet himself trying to get to his gun and I put the buck in the truck. From then on it was the Terry's "Stolen Buck" needless to say I got over it very quickly.

    Pinto the larder
    [​IMG]


    Tuesday started out wet and windy and that was the way it continued. Fortunately it would rain then stop and we had an assortment of fruit from melons to cocoanut to at 250 yards to blast at. Easy with some tactical equipment but great fun with .22 LR subsonic at that distance and tomatoes at 80 yards with air rifles. The day was just pure fun as we all bought toys to play with.
    The list consisted of .17 & .22 FAC Air rifle, .22 LR, .22 K Hornet, .22 Jet, .223, .6mm PPC, .243, .25-06, .257 W Mag, .270, 6.5x55, .7x57, .308, .30-06 & .300 H&H. Some there were 5 of each calibre so a pie of fun and the rain never dampened out spirits.

    6 pm that evening the weather broke and glorious sunshine all around, so no excuses off stalking. I took the river up to the stone circle then up the valley. I know there was a doe around the top of the wood that frequented next doors clear fell, good place to start. Half way up the valley there is a fallen tree that gave me cover and a reasonable view. After dicking about trying to get in a good position I decided to move.

    Buy the clear fell
    [​IMG]


    Big mistake as I moved out of my cover and around the fallen tree, a monster 6 point buck was stepping out the tree line too. Our eyes met at 20 yards, I was in no position to slip my rifle off my shoulder and he had no intentions of being shot. The one that got away, I was kicking myself.

    So I decided to carry on up the top and down the other side with little or no hope of seeing anything. After walking the boundary I took a small ride down through the trees to the river. As I came into the river ride something caught my eye 100 plus yards away under the tree line. It was very dark in colour with a tint of red defiantly a deer. Then I saw it turn! Holy cow it was a the very elusive sika, not only a sika but a sika stag in season. Now I've shot any deer but I've never seen a sika in the wild, in fact I'd never seen one alive they were like ghosts. Dropped to my knees, shouldered my rifle as it turned to cross the ride. The grass was long and all I could see was high should and above. Quick whistle to get its attention, flicked off the safety and taking a neck shot.

    River Ride
    [​IMG]


    He ran a couple of yards and rolled over, as I was on my own I approached within 20 yards and waited 5 minutes as I could see he was some size. When I was happy it was safe I walked up. I was blown away 7 point sika, that was a good stag in anyone's book.

    The Ghost
    [​IMG]

    Dark by the time we had got back
    [​IMG]


    After gutting I had to drag it to the road and only a matter of 300 yards. Its the longest, hardest 300 yard drag I ever done on that lease or any other. On reaching the road I took a picture and headed back for some help. Oliver and Neil just did not believe I bagged such a big ghost as many stories have been told but very few shot. I was knackered but over the moon as its been a goal for the past 20 years to see let alone shoot a wild sika in the borders.

    I retired to bed after a coupe of well earned beers.

    Wednesday I spent skinning and butchering ready for the trip home.
    Time to butcher
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All caped off ready to be mounted.
    [​IMG]

    For me it was a truly memorable three day hunt with some great shooting buddies.
    Thank you for reading.

    Andrew
     
  2. sharpshooterpete

    sharpshooterpete Donator

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    Location:
    Salisbury.
    Great read mate! Looked like an amazing 3 days shooting and congrats on the Sika. Must of been a hell of an adrenaline rush bringing one of those into the cross-hairs!

    atb,

    pete.
     
  3. Jake_snake

    Jake_snake Engaging Member

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    Location:
    Nowhere exciting
    Not sure I have the stomach to strip them down like that. Can I ask what a ghost is without looking too thick?
     
  4. Elk hunter

    Elk hunter Keyboard Hero

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    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Skia Deer are a very secretive animal in some parts of the word, scotish borders where I shoot is one of those places. I've stalked in the same area since I was 18 and I've met many stalkers up there and heard many stories about sika. Tracks in the snow, poo on the ground, occasional call from the depths of the forest, but very few seen or shot.

    But travel 30 miles north of my leases and lots of sika. I've shot many red, roe, fallow, few muntjac and seen cwd, but never seen or shot a sika. So for me it was a ghost.

    Andrew
     
  5. dave ratz

    dave ratz Posting Addict

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    Location:
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    very nice read , great pics , a head to be proud of,atb Dave
     
  6. nath92

    nath92 Donator

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    Location:
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    Great read great shooting and holy hell , that place literally looks like heaven thanks for sharing Andrew

    Atb
    Nath
     
  7. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    Location:
    Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.
    That looks like a Manchurian strain Andrew.

    We shot loads in Ireland - but they are also called ghosts (grey ghosts - I did a feature in Shooting Gazette about 19998 or 1999 on stalking them in the McGillycuddy's Reeks (Kerry mountains) and called the feature The Grey Ghosts (or Phantoms?) of Kerry. I took a guy out on the hill and there was a lovely 8 pointer striding down the hillside which was flat for 1000 yards in all directions and just mountain grass, no reeds and only one patch of rock consisting of a large boulder, about the size of a mini (old mini) and an attendant rock beside it. We were lying flat with our heads buried in the turf (to avoid the white moons of our faces alerting him). He went behind that rock, so we made ready for him to come out the other side - range was about 120 yards. There was no other cover for a long way. After 5 minutes he didn't appear so we approached at the ready thinking he may have bedded down behind the rock - NOTHING. He was gone. Vanished into thin air. The grass all around was just thin white grass and there was no dead ground for him to have slipped away in.

    I have witnessed them sneaking away at other times too. Red deer stand proud and hold their heads up high and prance away haughtily. Sika sink to their knees, lay their antlers flat along their back and slide away as silently as their nickname suggests. How that stag disappeared I will never know - there was no hollow under the rock, the grass plain was flat and the grass was not even boot high and we were both looking out for him - in winter coat, so dark. They are incredible creatures and even their call is eerie - three whistles rising in pitch. Ppwweeee, ppwweeee, ppwweeee. Always three.

    Stalking reds, fallow or roe is dead easy - like shooting cows in comparison to Sika. The Asian deer are always more cunning, have a greater zest for life and make better eating!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  8. bunnyblatter

    bunnyblatter Pro Poster

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    Location:
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    Stunning animal Andrew mate. Are you going to mount the head ?
    Great write up and looks a lovely place
     
  9. Elk hunter

    Elk hunter Keyboard Hero

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    Location:
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    Hope to have the pair mounted and was at the taxidermist today. I'm thinking of doing the roe myself with his help in a course over a few sessions, while he does the sika. As I be nice I have one done by my own fair hand.

    Andrew
     
  10. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Location:
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    Great write up and story Andrew, looks very similar terrain to that forestry patch Ive been on up near Galloway I told you about that my mates on.

    Bloody hard walking in the boggy heathery patches mate, when you mention that 300yrd drag I felt it mate:D My mate shot a big red stag just 100yrds from the van once and it went down a steep ditch to the edge of a loch before keeling, he said it nearly killed him pulling it up that ditch with no quad or rope long enough and he is a big lad over 20 stone!:D

    I borrowed a grizzley last time its the only way I could get around to the rides now, to be fair we saw 5 roe on the quad with the engine running first light, 2 were shootable but my mate couldn't pick them out before it was too late and they clocked us and walked back into the tree line.

    Anyway, lovely Sika and Roe buck there mate you will have to post the finished heads when they are done mate, I admit Ive never seen a sika in the wild myself never mind with a rack like that!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  11. tinmanofkent

    tinmanofkent Tiger King

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    Location:
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    Once they're on the wall be sure to have a plaque under the Sika that reads 'The Ghost' and 'Terry's Stolen Buck' under the other. The history on the heads should live on with them and I love reading the backs of mounts.
     
  12. mbison

    mbison Busy Member

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    Location:
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    Top write up again matey. What a fantastic lease and two fantastic beasts. I'm curious, how much does one pay for a mount?
     
  13. Jim of Cov

    Jim of Cov Donator

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    Location:
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    Hide n Sika.
    I'm Sika readin bout it.
    Ask and you will receive; Sika you will find.
    "I'd like to teach the world to sing..." New Sikas.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014

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