Pictured above: left to right. Mr James “Eddie” Nash. Mr Allan Roberts. and Mr Lee Jackson.
This is the story of Allan Roberts a good friend for over 5 years. And his first deer stalk, since he lost both his legs from the knees down.
Around 3 years ago Allan was injured in a roadside bomb and another buddy of Allan’s was injured and is very lucky to be alive today!
Allan has just got on with it and is an inspiration to myself and anyone who knows him, I have been running a page called Lamping foxes and have made many great friends on there and got talking to Lee Jackson from Wiltshire deer stalking. And was offered to go down deer stalking and I spoke to lee about Allan and lee was happy for Allan to come down.
Then before we knew it, Lee had auctioned a day’s stalk and raised £400 to donate to help the Hero’s and Blesma, we set the dates and went down to Wiltshire for a few days, when we arrived at our B&B we unpacked our kit and phoned lee to let him know we had arrived.
Lee gave us his postcode and told us to get kitted out for the first stalk, we made the journey to lee’s and had a great welcome from Lee and his wife Kate & Lee’s buddy Charlie.
We were made very welcome and it was like Allan and I had known them for years and chilled and chatted over a hot coffee and then got ready for both of our first stalks.
I was using a Tikka 243 and Swarovski scope and Allan were using Charlie’s 30/06 Sako with Swarovski scope
as there was now 4 of us we split up I went with Lee and Allan went with Charlie in the mule.
I headed off with Lee in the jeep arrived and parked up and did my safety checks with the rifle and we made our way along a hedge line at a good distance we spotted some roe doe’s, but no bucks so Lee decided to go back and go and have a look for a muntjac.
In a nearby wood, once in the wood I discussed with Lee about people walking their dogs, as safety comes first. Lee assured me there should be no one there, so we made our way along an old dirt track and it was very quiet, all of a sudden a roe deer ran out in front of us, it was about 60yrds in front of us and spotted us! Then returned back into the woodland and we lost sight of it. Then with no warning a muntjac buck walked out in the same place as the roe had just disappeared into.
The munty had a chance to see Lee and myself as we were lying down, and I was set up in a matter of seconds and the scope cross hairs were fixed on the target point as the muntjac just stopped for a split second and I pulled the trigger and it was a perfect shot and the muntjac was dispatched humanly.
I was over the moon and Le and I stood up and, I shook Lee’s hand and thanked him we made our way and got some pictures of myself and the muntjac, we gralloch the deer and made the way back to the jeep.
Lee checked up on how Allan and Charlie were doing, they had no luck yet but were still walking the wood lines, within 10 mins of the text we had a text back with the news that Allan had his first ever shot on a roe buck. So we headed over to meet up, by the time we got there Allan and Charlie had headed on and Allan had his second buck in the bag.
My first stalk.
By Allan Roberts.
During my military career I was a Lance Sergeant in the Welsh Guards however I was working for a Private Military Company when I was injured…..
I had a phone call from my mate James “Eddie” Nash, who out of the blue asked if I’d like to go deer stalking, he knew the answer even before asking me, “YES!”
James and I have been mates for about 5 years however it seems I’ve known James all my life, we instantly clicked, I think due to our passion of shooting.
During my leaves from working in Iraq, James would take me out hunting on his land, shooting rabbits and other vermin with his rifle also with the shotgun shooting crows, I really enjoyed myself, a bit different from the shooting I was used to at work but just as enjoyable!
On the 16 march 2010, North of Baghdad in Iraq, I was severely injured along with 2 of my Team Mates by a roadside bomb which ripped through the vehicle I was travelling in; this resulted in me becoming a double leg amputee.
I spent 8 weeks recovering in an American military hospital in Germany having many surgeries. I will always remember James and me having many Skype calls about him being out hunting, I really looked forward to his calls, as you can imagine being stuck in hospital and away from my family and friends for a few months takes its toll on you mentally, so chatting with James about shooting and hunting kept me going!!!
When I arrived home I started a lot of physical therapy, but was stuck in a wheelchair as my legs hadn’t healed enough to start using prosthetics, this was a dark period in my rehabilitation and I really felt useless as I couldn’t do much compared to the lifestyle I had before being injured. During this time James was doing alterations to my house and we got chatting about shooting as usual and he suggested we go out on the crows early one morning, I wasn’t too sure as I was stuck in the wheelchair and didn’t want to be a hindrance but James insisted, next morning we went out and set a small hide up in a barn I sat in my wheelchair with James playing different Crow calls and in they come, boom, boom and down they fell !!! A good mornings shooting!!!
I also shot my first fox whilst out Lamping with James and another friend. Baz. I was sitting in the back of his land rover and Baz spotted one with the lamp, they insisted I take the shot, which I did and killed the fox, brilliant!
As I progressed through my rehabilitation and become more able on my new prosthetic legs James and I continued to go out Lamping and shooting crows, good times!
James had been chatting with Lee Jackson and Charlie Green and had arranged for us to go down to Salisbury to have a couple of days stalking, I asked James about dates and the cost and he said that Lee said it was for free??? James had mentioned also that Lee had auctioned off a stalk and split the proceeds between 2 military charities; Help for Heroes and BLESMA (British Limbless Ex Service man’s Association) Blesma being a charity which means so much to me.
BLESMA have given me so many opportunities since being injured.
James and I started the journey from North Wales to Salisbury, it took about 4 hours and we were both constantly talking about shooting and stalking. We arrived at our B&B about 3pm and phoned Lee to see what he wanted us to do, he told us that we would be stalking that night so bring out kit with us and meet up for 5pm.
We arrived at Lees home and were greeted by himself and Kate his wife, we were made to feel very welcome, we all chatted over cups of tea and coffee and awaited Charlie Green to arrive, which he did about 30 minutes later. Lee and Charlie then started to talk about the stalk, James and Lee would try 1 area and Charlie and I would try another area.
The 2 groups split up, me and Charlie travelled in the Gator ATV up to an area where I could Zero Charlie’s rifle. Charlie placed a target out and told me to shoot a 3 round group, I loaded and made ready the rifle and built up my position, I went to take up the first trigger pressure, bang!!! I looked at Charlie and said there is something wrong with this rifle!! He smiled and said “I like a light trigger pressure”! That was very hard for me to get used to and the first group was large and off to the left, we adjusted, the second group was tighter now and slightly higher, more adjustments, my 3rd group was bang on. Charlie is happy with the grouping and said we’d go and stalk!
I was excited and my adrenaline started to increase! Another short trip in the Gator ATV and we stopped at a barn, Charlie asked if I was ready and I had all my kit, I said I was and good to go, so the stalk started.
We moved at a slow pace which suited me and scanned the area for any deer, Charlie asked if I was ok getting over fences, I replied yes no problem but it may take me a little longer than himself, he smiled and we carried on over a fence and into a wood, we moved slightly downhill to the edge of the wood, we then moved over another fence and out of the wood. Some more scanning but no deer. We moved along the edge of the wood slowly then Charlie crouched down, I immediately did too. He said that there was a Roe buck about 75 meters ahead just over the brow of a small hill; he asked me if I could crawl??? I said yes if course so we started to crawl, there was lots of small nettles on our path which we were crawling through and Charlie was being stung all over his hands, I couldn’t feel any stings probably form adrenaline, we crawled about 25 meters and stopped, Charlie observed and said to me that the deer was just over the brow of the hill and when it shows itself and is a safe shot.
I was lined up ready to shoot. About 30 seconds later the Roe buck presented itself to me, I aligned him in my sights but could only see its head, it then came slightly closer and turned side on, perfect I thought, I had a clear shot on its heart and lungs, Bang, I took the shot and the deer dropped, I reloaded and kept observing and waited, we then approached the deer, Charlie checked it was dead, which it was so we went and made the rifle safe. Charlie phoned Lee to say we had dot a Roe buck and we were told that James had shot a muntjac, brilliant I thought! Charlie said that Lee and James were making our way here and would be 30 minutes, he also said would I like to have a look to see if we could see any more deer, I said yes so off we went following the wood line along.
After about 500 meters we both seen some movement in the wood to our left, I have seen 2 deer running and Charlie confirmed the same, then we reached the end of the wood and moved up the hill again keeping the wood on our left side, we got to a small clearing in the wood and 2 Roe Buck where charging towards us, they come to within 5 meters before moving into open ground about 50 meters away and stopping, Charlie placed the rifle onto the shooting sticks and I took up a position and had the deer in my sights, as I fired the deer started to run, bang! The deer dropped, I couldn’t confirm if I hit it in the heart and lungs, the deer then lifted its head up and began to drag itself forward, I could see I’d hit it in the stomach area so I was ready to take another shot, the deer stopped for a second, bang, I took the shot, this time hitting perfect and the deer dropped dead. Again the adrenaline was running through me.
Charlie and I moved forward to inspect the deer, whilst walking towards the deer I was thinking that I was uncomfortable taking the shots from the sticks as I’m constantly balancing on my prosthetic legs and with the rifle it was not a stable platform to shoot from, I know I can shoot stable from a tripod so will not use 2 sticks again unless I practice and practice until perfect! We then moved the deer to an area just in the woods ready to gralloch.
Charlie phoned Lee to say we had shot another buck and to meet where we shot the first buck, 5 minutes later we all met up, myself and James with the biggest smiles on our faces! We all congratulated each other and then moved the deer to 1 location for the gralloch.
I really like to learn new skills so when Lee and Charlie said I’d get to gralloch, skin and butcher the deer I was really happy. Charlie explained what to do and step by step I gralloch the buck. We then moved to Lee’s house.
We arrived at Lee’s home; Kate had made us some tea and coffee and was making supper for us, chilli con carne, as we chatted about the stalk over a brew Lisa served up supper. We all ate and chat I had seconds and could have had 3rds the food was so nice but left some room for the cheese and biscuits lee had bought! Lee and Charlie were enjoying the wine whilst James and I stuck to tea and coffee as we had to drive back to the B&B! At about 0100hrs we left Lee and Charlie still drinking the wine! And headed back to the B&B for a good night’s sleep.