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Thread: End of a drought

  1. #1
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    End of a drought

    It had been a lean start to the year on the hunting front for various reasons. Spent the first 3 months of the year not doing any hunting at all due to a number of reasons, fixing cars and sorting the house out as well as work getting in the way. Since the start of april I've been out as often as I could, nearly every weekend and seen a few animals but only managed to knock over a few goats which although are bloody tasty and fun to hunt bagging a deer was proving to be hard work. Now I'm not the most experienced hunter out there and maybe seeing as I had a pretty good 2017 the fact that I hadn't shot a deer was beginning to make me question whether or not I actually knew what I was doing. With the freezer being empty it only seemed to add to the frustration.

    Anyways Friday came along and i packed all my gear up and jumped in the truck heading for a spot I've been to a few times where I normally see animals. Armed with some info from an all round good bastard I parked up, strapped the bag on and headed for the hills. It's pretty chilly down this way at the moment and we've had some awesome frosts and walking up the icicles and frozen ground were really something to behold. Unfortunately that meant it was going to be cold. When i left the truck at lunchtime it was saying -3 and I doubt it got much warmer. Making my way up to the bush edge was relatively easy and for once i wasn't sweating like a gypsy with a mortgage due to the cold. When i reached the edge, I saw just what i was expecting. Some beautiful looking sunny faces, but everywhere else snow. And a fair amount of it. I hiked up a couple hundred vertical metres to my usual camp spot which unsurprisingly was under a lot of the white stuff. Nevertheless i cleared an area and set the the tent up then headed out for a glass. By now it was 3.30 and the sun was gone completely but i spent a couple hours glassing around the faces which the sun hits where the wasn't much snow for any sign of life. I didn't see anything moving but there were plenty of tracks through the snow which gave me some good feelings about the following day. With the light fading and temperature dropping bloody quickly i returned to camp for a much needed feed and put on every piece of clothing i had before jumping into bed at 7pm, on a friday. That's probably the first time i've ever said that.

    6.30am arrived and my alarm woke me up after a pretty good sleep, I reckon it would've hit -6 or 7 outside but I had enough layers to keep warm. After a coffee and some porridge in bed I left the tent just as the light was good enough that a torch wasn't needed. Trekking uphill for 20 minutes I came across a bloody good lookout rock that gave me view of all the faces below me to the left and right. I dropped my pack behind it and crawled round to the front so i could sit down and glass. By this time it was just light enough to see properly and I couldn't believe that just as I sat down I sat 3 animals not that far away from me moving at a rapid pace down hill. Bollocks. They must've seen me crawling round the rock. But they didn't disappear, after running a short way they stopped dead in their tracks and looked at me. A hind, a yearling and a spiker. I didn't move. I spent the next half hour looking at them through the binos. The hind barked a few times while the yearling and spiker started to feed again. I had nowhere that I could move to to get a shot off, so had no option but to try and wait them out. All of a sudden, not sure if they got wind of me or what but they were off full pace into the bush. Shit.

    I waited another 20 minutes hoping they might return but no sign. Damn. I don't know what spooked them or if the wind changed but I was left wondering whether or not I'd get another chance. I retreated back the other side of the rock and walked down hill for a bit to glass another face that the sun was just starting to hit in the hope that I may see something else. After an hour or so the sun was higher in the sky and beaming down on more faces above me so having not seen anything I trekked but uphill and thought i'd have a quick look from lookout rock as I'd now named it. 10 minutes later I was about to head further up when there down on a ridge i saw a head. A hind looking completely the opposite way from me. I tried to keep myself calm. She was a long way below me and a scan of the area showed no easy way of getting into a shootable position. It was pretty open country. 5 minutes later and i had a plan. I could drop down about 30 metres and dip down through a gut and there was a rock i could hopefully shoot from. It would be a fairly long shot, reckon 300 odd metres, I don't have a range finder and no seeing the whole of the animal, if I could get into position it would possibly be too far for me. I slowly started dropping altitude looking through the binos as often as i could, she was still facing the other way. Then out of nowhere another head popped up and was looking straight at me. For fuck's sake. I couldn't believe it. It was the hind from earlier, all this time she'd been bedded down but now looking straight at me. Again I couldn't move. With nowhere to go I sat and watched again and the 2 deer walked off slowly down into the next gut. Fuck me, twice now the deer had the better of me, I was not over the moon but wasn't going to give up just yet.

    Scanning around I looked at the ridgeline they'd walked over and followed it up to my height. There was a bloody big rock at the top that if I could make it to would have a half a chance to look down and maybe see these bloody deer. Again I retreated, picked up my pack and crossed over the ridge behind me so i could get further without being spotted. Out of sight i made my way as quickly as I could the 400ish metres to the rock. However I was walking through a mixture of knee deep snow and tussocks so moving quickly and quietly wasn't possible. I told myself to clam down and go slowly, yes the deer had seen me but they didn't bolt so maybe just maybe they were where I was hoping. What seemed like an age later I came over the hill and my big arse rock was right in front of me. Even better it had a lovely flat top that i could crawl along and look down.

    Ditching the pack I crawled the last 30 metres in snow that was just beginning to melt the crust in the sun. I was quickly soaked but didn't care. Reaching the edge of big arse lookout rock i peered over and bugger me there they were. No more than 100m at most below me. And when i say below almost 100m vertically below me. Slowly i loaded a round and tried to get the bipod setup but it was useless. The angle was so steep i might as well have stood up and fired straight down. My only choice was to use a gap in the rock and hope i could hold the 270 steady enough. I took a number of deep breaths and and steadied myself as best I could, wedging my left arm between 2 rocks so it was semi level and solid. The deer had no idea i was there. I flicked off the safety and slowly pulled the trigger. BOOM. Fuck clean miss, they bolted and then stopped. I've learnt over time that the moment the trigger is pulled to reload and be ready again. Both deer stood there and I lined up again in a hurry. BOOM. FUCK. I knew the second shot was crap before i saw them run again. SHIT. Then they stopped again. Reloading again a few thoughts went through me head. First was if you miss again give up hunting, second was the deer aren't far away and my rifle is zeroed to 200m, maybe you're aiming too high. Third was take your time and believe in your own ability. That said with the hind standing side on I lined up again a little bit lower on the front shoulder and pulled the trigger. BOOM. THWACK. I heard the hit and knew before I saw here rolling down hill. She rolled all of 30m and stopped, no kicking no noise no nothing. A clean kill. Bloody hell was I happy. I got up and did a little victory dance on my big rock. It was a huge relief, I wan't a crap hunter after all.

    20 minutes later I had made my way to my quarry and she was a beauty. Probably the biggest hind i'd shot. I spent the next 2 hours butchering her, I boned her completely and took all of the meat. I was surprised there was no damage to the front shoulders. My shot went in just about the shoulder blade and then made an exit on the lower next the opposite side. I guess it's true what they say about bullets doing strange things. With my pack loaded i slowly made my way back to camp. It wasn't far but there was a fair amount of weight on my back. I made it back to camp at 3.30 and even though had enough food for another night decided was best to pack up and head home. After all i was soaked at this point from crawling around in snow and with the mercury set to hit well below 0 again figured it was best not to risk hyperthemia.

    I packed up and made the trek back to the truck smiling the whole way. It had been a lean few months and I'm sure I'll have longer stretches of no kills in future just like i'm sure i'll miss more shots in the future, nobody's perfect, but I learnt a lot about myself, a lot about deer and remembered more than anything just to enjoy it. Looking back even if I hadn't got a shot off, there wasn't one point where I wasn't enjoying being out there.

    Cheers

    Will put some pictures up from phone
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    Last edited by bigred; 04-06-2018 at 09:26 PM.
    Shootm, veitnamcam, yogi and 7 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member Maca49's Avatar
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    Cool, nicely done!
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  3. #3
    Member stug's Avatar
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    Well done, looks like a nice place to hunt, even though it is a bit cold.

  4. #4
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    Farkin good story, cheers

  5. #5
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    Excellent write up and hunt, just remember those steep up hill and downhill shots will have your bullet flying high. Well done enjoy the meat.

  6. #6
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    looks nice and warm.

  7. #7
    If your not fast your last Shootm's Avatar
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    Well done. Out there doing it

    I Have Sexdaily. I mean Dyslexia! Fcuk!

  8. #8
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    Nice one Alex bit cool there about 25c in the Cooks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by trooper90 View Post
    Nice one Alex bit cool there about 25c in the Cooks
    I think you know what words are going through my head right now.
    WallyR likes this.

  10. #10
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Ah, great report mate, Congrats on the deer...enjoy. Keep those spots/faces up your sleeve, they'll produce deer regularly through the winter, especially once the normal snow level sorts itself out and the sunny faces become more confined. They're the only spots deer can get away from the shade and the colder areas to enjoy some sun, and have a feed at the same time.
    I'm drawn to the mountains and the bush, it's where life is clear, where the world makes the most sense.

  11. #11
    Member Scouser's Avatar
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    Great story mate, well done on the perseverance, ive missed three shots on one spiker, he was up high and i aimed for the top of his shoulder thinking my bullet would drop,

    rookie mistake, wanted to sell everything and pack it in, shot my first (and only) 8 pointer two days later........felt like a champ.....
    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

  12. #12
    Member chainsaw's Avatar
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    Great yarn - well done. Looks farkn cold for a tent .

  13. #13
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    Great story - well done keep it up

  14. #14
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    Here I was thinking you'd ended another type of drought. Lots of wtf going through my mind hahaha.

    Good on yah for sticking with it. Gives a person like me hope hahaha


    Sent from my TA-1024 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Member Boaraxa's Avatar
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    Well done enjoyed that !! , yea shooting up or down can be tricky iv missed a few shots like that to tend to shoot over them
    The Green party putting the CON in conservation since 2017

 

 

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