After seeing Paul's advert on his social media page of some once of a lifetime muntjac bucks I just couldn't resist. The thrill of hunting these animals is a huge passion of mine. Their illusive behaviour really gets my blood pumping. I would not class myself as a trophy hunter but a medal muntjac is probably the only deer species I dream to get because it is such a challenge.
The day was here early March my 2am alarm went off and I set off on my just shy of 3 hour journey from Herefordshire to Bedfordshire.
I met Paul and a group of other fellow hunters just before 5am at his shoot room. All introductions were done and we were on our way to a pheasant shoot near Luton where Paul helps manage the deer. We arrived at the estate and I was told I was going to be trying my luck for a monster muntjac buck which antlers looked like they were well over 12cm. Another hunter was off to try his luck for another impressive buck which browtines were well over 4cms.
I approached a coppice of woodland stalking down a hedgerow I was told the highseat was just inside the wood where the giant buck had been captured on trial camera. I entered the wood having a scan with my Swarovski SLC binoculars I picked up three muntjac does. I managed to get to my seat without disturbing them and waited patiently. Numerous bucks and does passed through the oak coppice but sadly none of these were on my menu.
After a few hours sat in the highseat paul approached the wood and gave me a wave to come down. We went off stalking the woodland to go try our luck at calling him in with the buttalo call, but it wasn't going to be my morning unlike the fellow hunter who had managed to get his monstrous muntjac.
We headed back to the shoot room exchanged stories on the journey back and once arriving given times to meet back for the evening stalk.
We arrived back at the stalking ground and I was put with my PH scott for the afternoon. He told me that morning another big buck was spotted just a 10 minute stalk away from our drop off point. Off we set and in a pretty historic looking oak woodland,it was open woodland except for a big rhododendron bush. We set up on the shooting sticks and scott began to call with the buttalo. Within seconds two inquisitive muntjac does appeared, one of which started barking at us. This alerted half a dozen fallow to come darting out of the bush and away through the woodland. Scott carried on calling and we waited patiently. Both of us suddenly were alerted and out of the back wandered a huge muntjac buck. His shiny white ivory catching the setting sunlight as he started walking away from us no interest to the call at all. He disappeared down a ditch and down over the brow so scott waved me on as we stalked to the bank to try cut him off. We got to the brow and my heartbeat was racing the buck was scratting about in the old oak leaves about 80 yards below us. I set up my .243 on my shooting sticks and steadied my breathing waited for him to turn broadside and gently squeezed the trigger. He was down, we waited 5 minutes for him to pass and then walked over to admire the fantastic buck. To my surprise scott said although he was a fantastic looking buck long in the antler he expected the lack of browtines he probably wouldn't make a medal. Never the less I was more than happy with the beautiful buck. We wandered back to the truck and still had a good hour of shooting light left and scott asked "did you want one last chance at the big buck You set out for this morning" "Why not!" I replied.
I stalked down the hedgerow again and I scanned the woodland again. About 200 yards I could make out two muntjac. I checked through my binoculars and it was the monster buck and his antlers were huge! He was to busy sniffing around a doe to worry about me so I slowly attempted to stalk a bit nearer to try get a shot. I set up next to a tree and looked for the buck but he had disappeared into a big bramble patch. I waited patiently and tried calling him out. Light was fading quickly and I new this illusive giant buck had evaded me. I walked back to the truck and set off on my long journey home. although deep down a little disappointed not to get the monster buck I was still ecstatic with the beautiful buck and the experience I had had that day. One day I hope I will fulfil my dream of a medal muntjac but as the saying goes "they don't get big by being stupid"!