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Thread: A different way of hunting - for me at least

  1. #1
    Member Phil_H's Avatar
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    A different way of hunting - for me at least

    I was over in Westport over the weekend so Sharon could catch up with relatives. I took the .223 with me in the hope that I might be able to slip away for an afternoon to go and have a wander up a stream off the Buller Gorge in the hope of getting a goat to take back home as a change to the venison, pork and mutton that we have in the freezer.

    Well, my young nephew - we will call him Bruce - heard of my wish to go for a goat and noted that he hadnít been out for a while and would I like him to take me. He was pretty sure of a spot and believed that success would be assured - of a goat at least - with a high probability of deer. I agreed to his kind offer only to have his father-in-law tell me quietly later on with a hint of warning, that Bruce only had one speed on the road and in the bush, and that was flat out.

    Next day I arrived at his place at midday as arranged, not quite sure what to expect. Bruce asked me what I wanted to do, easy track walking or deep bush. I told him it was entirely up to him and whatever he chose I would just try and keep up. To look at Bruce one could easily be misled. He is a short stout young chap with the beginning of a West Coast beer gut and has just turned 30 years old. However, he completed the 85 km Ghost Road Run earlier this year in just on 12 hours. No mean feat for a person of any age. Bruce thought for a minute as if there were countless spots we could go to and then said that we would start off on a forestry track with the option of going deep bush should the need arise. Sounded good to me.

    So we were off. It didnít take long for Bruceís father-in-lawís words to come back to me - he only had one speed. We were in a long base Pajero and how it managed to hold onto some of the corners on the highway was a mystery to me. I just tried to relax into it and thought reflectively that this would be as good as any day to die. About 20 km later we arrived at the forestry track and here at least I thought the speed would reduce. I am sure it did but not by any margin that I was happy with. In between the roar of the engine and being physically bounced out of my seat I managed to ask what the plan was. We just keep driving until we see sign was the answer, then we walk. This amused me a little. How were we to see sign traveling between 10 and 40 kph along this torturous disused forestry track? The answer came to me a few minutes later. As we careened around a corner 3 goats ran for their lives off the track and into the bush. Thereís the sign Bruce said with a laughing smile.

    We pulled to a screeching halt at the side of the track and with one fluid movement Bruce had reached over to the back seat, grabbed his rifle and was inserting the bolt and loading the magazine as he crossed to the side of the trackÖ. and then just merged into the bush. I was still trying to get my rifle out of its cover when he vanished and suddenly I felt rather alone on a forestry track deep in the bush with no sound except the ticking of a cooling engine. When I finally got my shit together I walked over to the side of the bush and peered in. It was dark, tight and close to vertical. I decided it would be folly to follow as one, I didnít know where Bruce was and two, I had no experience of his hunting safety. I continued to walk along the edge of the track and kept peering into the bush. It was tight bush with 2 meter visibility at best. I knew he was in there somewhere but I couldnít hear a sound nor see any movement of shrubbery - he moved like a bush ninja.

    Five minutes later I heard a shot, somewhat further away from where I expected him to be. I remained quite just on the off chance that he was still lining something up and that any noise from me could spook his quarry. Another five minutes and another shot but again not where I had expected it. Boy this young lad could move deftly through the bush; I was very impressed. Again I waited, and then a call from Bruce. He had bagged two goats. The next hour was taken up by dragging them both up and gutting them. Down in the bush I felt satisfied that I had made the right decision. It was tight and steep and had we been more than three meters apart we were not visible to the other. One down there in the bush knowing what he was doing was OK, throw into the mix an older guy without the experience and all you would have would be a hazardous situation. I think Bruce appreciated my decision as it was on his mind when he was down there as to where the old fella might be.

    Gutting done and carcasses in the wagon we started walking. Bruce was now satisfied that we were in the midst of it. It only took a couple of minutes and we were onto fresh goat spoor heading in the same direction we were. Another half kilometre and there was also fresh spoor of deer in the mix. Between us we believed we were able to identify three individual tracks. The pace quickened somewhat following the spoor and just slowing down at corners of the track to listen and slowly work our way around to the next straight, always expecting to see an animal.

    Twenty minutes later we came to a fork. The tracks of the deer headed off towards the river. We followed and then they stopped. We scanned and we listened. Then Bruce, cocking his ear pointed to some bush at the side of the track and said he could hear something in there and with that he was gone. Again I started to follow but again I was presented with tight thick bush and not knowing where my partner was. Again I just started moving quietly along the road probing the edges.

    Fifteen minutes later and Bruce is on the track again, he hadnít found anything. We are standing in the middle of the track discussing what to do next and suddenly Bruce takes four paces past me, brings his rifle to the shoulder and fires. Thirty meters away a big billy that was foolish enough to just poke his head out of the bushline was now on his side taking his last fatal gasps of air before expiring. I could only marvel with how onto it this man was.

    It was decided that three goats was sufficient for todayís recreation unless we just happened upon a further animal. Bruce hiked on back to get the truck and I gutted out the third goat. Then after that it was home after a small diversion to go and pick up a stag head that Bruce had discarded along the track a year ago. He believes in hiding the head in the bush, let nature strip it and then take it home for his collection. In this case it was a small eight point head.

    So what have learnt from the dayís activity? Well firstly, the coast holds an abundance of game, easily accessible if you know where to go. The disused forestry tracks are a way of getting deep in amongst it very quickly. For myself I would have been happy to have staked out a long straight of forestry track and just let the game come to you. It was obvious that they use the track for ease of moving around. Would I do it again? Absolutely but this time I would be more inclined to go it alone on foot with a pack and stay in there for three to five days. I havenít got a suitable vehicle to drive there myself but I am sure if one was to get sufficient game there would be plenty of volunteers willing to come and get you. Anyway, it was an experience and one that I enjoyed and learnt a lot from even though I didnít get the opportunity to pull the trigger.

    Cheers
    Phil

  2. #2
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    Good tale! I had thoughts of the 80s Toyota ad with Barry Crump and Scotty driving bush!

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
    veitnamcam, Micky Duck and Phil_H like this.
    Ubique.
    Once divided, always conquered.

  3. #3
    Member Phil_H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerardo View Post
    Good tale! I had thoughts of the 80s Toyota ad with Barry Crump and Scotty driving bush!

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
    I have to say, it was a good advertisement for the old Pajero. It took a thrashing that day and my guess is that is the way that it gets treated all of the time. Bruce works in the bush and has had that one vehicle for a good few years now.

    Cheers
    Phil

  4. #4
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    great fun to read thanks
    Phil_H likes this.

  5. #5
    northdude
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    even if you don't pull the trigger its still good to get out. The old pajero is a good old wagon I had one for years..
    Phil_H and Dago like this.

  6. #6
    Member bunji's Avatar
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    Nice write up . Always good to get out for a Armed Bush Walk & have a look at a bit of new country,even if you do not bag something , years ago my daughters learnt to hunt with center fires on a holiday farm up that way that was crawling with goats.The well known legal eagle that owned it wife hated guns , so we were given the run of the place when they were not their & permission to stay in the shearers shed, with instructions to bomb the place,we would have shot high hundreds over the 5 yrs he owned it

    Its funny how you never forget the smell of goats, in 2014 me & the wife brought a old abandoned yacht sitting in Singapore harbor & ticked off a Bucket List item of sailing the South Pacific in it.One leg of the trip we heading into Malaysia after having been at sea for a couple of weeks & out of the blue l get a unmistakable whiff of Billy Goat ,1/2 hour later a big live stock carrier comes into view that was loaded with feral goats,asked the customs guys when they boarded us what the go was & they told us it was a regular & from Oz . Turns out Australia is the biggest player in the global goat meat trade in the world, due to inland Oz being over run with the stinking things ,the goats were keeping the large sheep stations afloat during the drought , as the cockies were getting a average of around $12 a head & groups of local farmers would all put into to share buy those little gyro-copters to round them up & loading 1000's at a time into Road Trains for live export,apparently some in marginal country now run selected goat breeds instead of sheep .I had absolutely no idea until that carrier pricked my interest to investigate .

    Gotta say l got Crumpy & Tojo ad's vibe from the white knuckle ride description,the poor old Pajero does not get the credit due ,we lived & worked in Arnhem Land & the Kimberly's for years & they were often brought as cheap Tojo alternatives by the TO's & would survive being flogged for years .

    Back in 06 there were huge floods in the Top End & we were living in Arnhem Land ,l picked up the top of the line DLX? model that a head of the Local Land Council left to get flooded up to seat height .Got the local Mechanic to check it out on the sly for the price of taking him on a Buff Hunt ,je gave the nod that it would be a goer with minimal work, brought it for $2000 & apart from the electrics in the sun roof playing up & a new wiper motor never had any other issues (all we really needed was the Air Con to work),it was one of the best 4x4 wagons l have owned & drove like a car on the road & l am a dyed in the wool Tojo guy.
    veitnamcam, Micky Duck and Phil_H like this.

  7. #7
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    Nice. I have a brother that moves through the scrub like a ghost too.....Its impressive to say the least....
    Phil_H likes this.
    Intelligence has its limits, but it appears that Stupidity knows no bounds......

  8. #8
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Just like being there.
    Good yarn cheers.
    Phil_H likes this.
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

    308Win One chambering to rule them all.

  9. #9
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    I sense some short stories in the offing there Phil_H
    Phil_H likes this.

 

 

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