The Waiting Game

Published on 16 December 2016
Author: Peter Moore
Often out hunting the action either kicks off almost right away or when you are just thinking of going home; this tale really explains it. I was out with my daughter Chloe in October for some Roebuck and an evening’s lamping on rabbits. We were in a big high seat called the scaffold that takes two shooters. We set in at 15.00 and waited, and waited, by 17.00 I got the feeling nothing would happen so decided to sack it at 17.30.


I unloaded and was halfway down the ladder when Chloe hissed: “dad a deer” and pointed to the right. I froze and very slowly turned my head, sure enough, a Roebuck was staring at the scaffold about 170-yards away in that; ‘not sure what it is but I’m ready to run anyway attitude’. With nothing else to do I hissed; keep an eye on it and very slowly climbed down and slid to the ground. Much to my surprise the buck was still staring. Well, I might as well try for it, but first! Reaching into my pocket I pulled out the magazine and slid it into the rifle. The click as the magazine catch engaged sounded like a gunshot but the deer was still standing looking.
Cycling the action I thought would make him run but even after that noise he still stood. Bad news; I was in a dip and needed to deploy my bipod for the shot. The spring noise as I folded the legs down was sure to spoke him but no! It was still too low so I had to extend the legs; again more noise, but he still stood. Finally, I was in a firing position and just placing the cross hairs at an angle behind his left shoulder for a quartering shot when he turned around so all I could see was his rump. Typical!

The waiting game

There was no shot to be had, as I was not prepared to shoot him in the butt as the bullet would travel through his guts and ruin the meat. So I waited, talking to Chloe later she told me it was tense, as she could not see me but had heard me get ready and then saw the deer turn away and she just kept her binoculars on it.
He was feeding and I just lay there for about 5-minutes ready. He moved forward a bit then just as I thought he was going to turn left for a broadside shot as Roe so often do, he turned right behind a bush; damn it! Well, I’d been on the ground for 10 minutes now so a bit longer could not hurt. It was then the gods of hunting smiled; as he walked out of the bush, stopped and presented me with half his left side. The cross hair was on the point of his elbow and bang he reacted and ran about 25 yards then dropped. Now that was one intense bit of hunting and Chloe came down the ladder smiling and said: “waidmannsheil”; I replied waidmannsdanke!

And you, have you already had a similar moment? Tell us more about your experience in comments.