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  • 18 Post By bigred
  • 1 Post By trooper90

Thread: Big search

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Big search

    After ending a drought couple weeks back and knocking over a red, I went for a walk on Friday to a spot where I've had some success on fallow in the past. Originally 2 of us would be heading out but unfortunately Jim sent me a message on Thursday avro moaning about how his kids had made him sick so he was pulling the pin. As far as I'm concerned that's his own fault for having kids but not much I could do about that. Anyways, friday morning rocks around and at 5.30 I'm out the door and for once not doing a big drive to the hunting area. I was surprised how warm it was compared to recent times as I left the truck. Damn I wish it was still below zero as the climb up the hill really got the sweat pouring off me. I'd forgotten just steep it was and for a man with next to no fitness I guess you call it a gutbuster. 2 hours and about 5kgs of sweat lighter later I made the tops. Little bit annoyed with how long it took seeing as I have done the same climb in 90 minutes before. I made it up not long after sunrise but due to the clouds there was no sun to be seen, not that I cared at that point i was warm enough.

    After a quick sarnie and regaining my breath, i slowly started walking the ridgeline i wanted to hunt glassing all the lovely looking guts as I went. I looked over all the spots I'd seen animals before but nothing seemed to be around. Oh well, can't always get an animal. Then something caught my eye not too far away, a black shape moving across a rock face. I brought the binos up and had a look. A goat, then 2 then 3 then 4. Bugger not what i was after. I spent a good half hour watching them and glassing around looking for a deer but nothing popped up. I was tempted with shooting one of them but it was still early and I have a fair amount of goat meat in the freezer at the moment. I must say they did provide great watching. Always running around and jumping on and off rocks. Eventually they buggered off down a gut oblivious (i think) to my presence and i carried on my merry way.

    Over the next hour or so I slowly made my way further along all the while glassing in the hope I might spot something but alas after i made it to the head of the valley I had drawn a blank. I honestly didn't care as I was out doing what I loved and having shot 1 a couple weeks ago had loads of meat and there was no freezer pressure. I was as happy as pig in shite. Unable to walk any further I decided to turn around and slowly make my way back glassing the whole way. I crested a gut and sat down which gave me the best view of the valley I had seen all day. Scanning around and BINGO a young fallow stag. Now i'm far from an expert on any deer head, let alone a fallow but he looked like maybe 6 points. I figured old enough to be left alone and have a chance to grow. Next to him though was another deer sitting in the tussock. Again from a distance it was hard to tell, it was made even harder due to the fact I couldn't see much body only really a head. I couldn't decide whether it was a fawn and a hind was somewhere near, a yearling or possibly a yearling spiker. Either way I decided I wanted to get a closer look. From this far away I had decided it probably wasn't worth shooting so made call to practice my not so great stalking skills and see how close i could get.

    The landscape came into its own now. I was high up with lots of little guts and rocky outcrops to hide me. I covered ground quickly. At a guess I reckon i was 700 oddish metres away when i spotted them but quickly got i down to maybe 350m. As i reached a good lookout point i put the binos up and looked down to where the deer were. The young stag was out of site and all i could see of the other was its arse. Not helpful. However about 20m to the left was a another deer, a spiker, just sitting in a clearing enjoying the world. Of all of them he would be the one to shoot if i got close enough. I spotted a decent looking rock not too far away that i thought would give me a decent place to shoot from. Even better my path to it was completely hidden. Things were looking good. My plan was to drop down into the gut below me and make my way to the rock, get a good view of the deer and if i decided one was worth taking would have a good rest for a shot at a decent distance that i'm comfortable with. That was the plan. What happened was completely different.

    I grabbed my gear and started to lower myself of my perch into the gut. I dropped down about 10m and had to sidle round a large rock. As I came round I could not bloody believe it. There were another 2 deer standing there looking straight at me. The shock of seeing them nearly made me fall off the rock. I didn't know what to do, I was pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place. So i did the first thing that came to mind. I sat down, no idea why but that's what i did. They were 100mish away. (I'm crap at judging distance and really need to buy a range finder)a hind and a yearling. I was debating what to do in my head. I wanted to get a closer look at the deer further down and decided that i would sit and wait them out so they would sod off and I could continue my stalk. The hind had other ideas.

    She started barking and stamping her feet, something I'd never seen. I'd had deer bark at me before but not stamp feet. Anyways, she buggered up plan a by making a load of noise. I figured that the lower deer would hear and bugger off so my only chance of a kill today was her. I loaded a round into the good old.270 and brought it up. The scope was moving around a bit, i had no rest while sitting but i had confidence at this distance i would hit. I settle the crosshairs and much as i could and made a conscious effort to aim a little bit low to compensate for the closeness and uphill advantage i had. BOOM. I didn't have a chance to put my earplugs in. The old savage is a loud bitch. Looking up i saw her fall over and then start to roll. Oh shit. It was a long way down the gut and there was a shit load of scrub in it. I tried to jump off my perch and follow where the deer went but the terrain wouldn't allow it. Bollocks.

    I made the rifle safe and climbed down off the rocks onto the tussock. I knew the direction she rolled and looked down. This was not going to be easy. It was thick manuka scrub. BALLS. I didn't do anything for the next 5 minutes, I tried to make a logical path for a dead body to roll in my head and make a plan from there. Just as I was about to start searching I heard 7 gunshots from the next valley over. I'm guessing that maybe my shot had spooked something over there and whatever it was started moving and there were other hunters there. Either way i had a deer to find

    I dumped my gear and a mark on the gps. I've learnt that one from experience after spending an hour looking for my pack one day. I walked down to the lowest point i thought the deer could've rolled to through the scrub and started to do a grid search which was not exactly easy. Just before i started to search though i perched on the rock i originally wanted to have a look at the lower deer from just to see if i could look up and see the body lying somewhere. I couldn't. What I could see though was 3 spikers below me all standing up looking towards me. Bear in mind this now probably 15 minutes after I took the shot. I was amazed they were just standing there looking at me. There was no urgency from them at all as they slowly wondered off into the scrub feeding as they went. I was dumbfounded.

    Once they disappeared my attention turned to finding this bloody dead deer. I slowly made my way back across the gut, through the scrub and scree, checking under every bush as i went. I made it all the way to the point where the deer was standing where i shot it without finding it. SHIT. I was not happy. I really do not like it if I can't retrieve something i've shot. As far as i'm concerned it's a waste of life. I went back down to where i started my search positive that due to the thick scrub it could not have rolled further and started again. I look through every bit of scrub again and after 2 hours of searching finally found it. Lying under a bush. I obviously missed it on the first pass, but that's why i went back again.

    I dragged her out. A decent sized fallow, one the mrs will be happy to eat as she loves fallow. I got to work cutting her up. Unfortunately both front shoulders were toast. The .270 made a couple of fist sized holes in the rib cage.I should've taken a photo but didn't. I took the back legs, straps and eye filltets. Once i had all the meat off the carcass i check the time. 3.45. SHIT. I had just over an hour of light and still had a 700m drop to do down a fucking steep slope. I really didn't want to do it in the dark so crammed the pack full and started to make a move at a decent pace. The descent wasn't too bad, i only took a 15m shortcut once made it back to the truck at 5.30. It's a good thing jim couldn't make it as I told him we would be home by 2. Whoops.

    I'm sitting here now and my legs are still feeling it 3 days later. Who needs a gym anyways.

    I didn't take any photos apart from the one of the deer lying dead so will upload later from my phone when i get a chance.

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    Last edited by bigred; 18-06-2018 at 11:51 PM.
    jakewire, Wildman, Shootm and 15 others like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Well done, sounds like you have found a good spot.

  3. #3
    Member craigc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Upper Hutt
    A very descriptive yarn. Akways good to spend the extra time to locate a shot animal, however you might need a dog!

  4. #4
    Member madmaori's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Hawkes bay
    Cant beat those tasty little buggers.
    Cheers for sharing the tale

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Cool story. Thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
    If your not fast your last Shootm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Mighty Manawatu
    Good write up I enjoyed that. Well done a nice bit of venison too.

    I Have Sexdaily. I mean Dyslexia! Fcuk!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Your on a roll, well done some nice eating there. Great write up.

  8. #8
    Member Sparrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    North Canty
    Good read thanks, well found 👍

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Good write up well done! Go the .270
    Micky Duck likes this.

  10. #10
    Member Scouser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Great result, keep it going.....
    While I might not be as good as I once was, Im as good once as I ever was!

    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt



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