The urge for a solo mooch around the Golf Course with the .22lr (Mauser 201) overtook me at the weekend. As well as having permission to shoot there I must clear it through the course before hand and then get an incident number from the local Police before arriving. I’ve touched on this before, it doesn’t matter if you think it’s a good thing or not, it’s the procedure I must follow to benefit from this patch, I can see things getting even tighter for everyone in the not-to-distant future.
Stupidly I hadn’t realised how little wind there was and when I started my stalk I had to reduce to Ghost Walking in order not to give my presence away. Still, much better than the other option of watching Midsummer Murders.
Once my eyes had adjusted to the gloom after about 20 minutes I could see some rabbits just edging out of some of the long grass (rough) at about 80 yards and chasing around which can be indication of either relaxed, over-sexed or younger rabbits, I took them to be relaxed and kept on inching forward but not directly towards them, your size increase even over 10ft is noticeable, I was taking an indirect route.
Just to my front was a small pond surrounded by reeds and Iris, I was making towards the left-hand edge where I knew the distance to the rabbits was 45 yards. Once I had reached the pond I stood still and continued to observe in total silence for two minutes. I made sure that the gun light pressure switch was where it should be, shouldered the Mauser and took a step forward – that’s when it happened.
As soon as I had moved the water in the pond next to be exploded and showered me with cold water, the vegetation parted with a crash and out shot a Muntjac about 3ft from me. It sped past and onto the middle of the fairway where I’d now got the light, the Doe looked over her shoulder at me, blinked and took off again into the long grass.
I don’t scare easily but that did make me jump a little (lots actually, it was the cold water) and I then wondered if I had managed to get that close to the Doe unheard or she had me spotted all along and bolted at the last minute. The Rabbits where not in the same ‘relaxed’ mood now and had disappeared.
Slightly wetter than anticipated I headed off in another direction to where I knew rabbits fed on Bramble leaves and very helpfully had to stand up to eat.
Ghost walking again, I was in a small corner of the fairway and could see half a dozen rabbits – that’s when it happened! An owl shot upwards from right under my foot with a hint of downdraft across my face. I think it was a Little Owl, it made no noise to give me any further clue. Ever closer to some kind of Cardiac arrest I decided to stomp loudly back to the car and have a coffee.
Midsummer Murders now seemed quite appealing and I remembered my dear Wife had done me an advent calendar with a different bottle of beer for each day – In my mind I was already reaching for the bottle opener!