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Thread: Good and bad calls and lessons learned

  1. #1
    Member
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    Good and bad calls and lessons learned

    So I managed to find some time for a quick early morning hunt in a spot I have had some success in the past. Yee hah. I usually take my wee dog and skunk around in places where no one else bothers the local population too much. We always have a great time. This hunt I decided on a bit of a change. My passion is stalking and shooting my deer at closer ranges where the excitement for me is real and tangible. I had noticed a small clearing on the other side of a gorge where deer were often to be seen at first light. My 270 with a dial up scope was something I had developed a while back 'just in case', but to be fair it hardly gets used these days. The suppressed 308 or 223 does most of the work for me now. So it was time to dust off the mighty 270 and try something a bit different. Daylight saw me in position, having snuck past two big red hinds in a similar type of spot, but their tummies looked a bit empty. They were left alone unawares. My chosen wee clearing soon revealed a big fallow doe and yearling feeding their way back towards cover. A nice flat spot on my side was my platform and the range finder told me 450m. Bloody hell, they look more than that far away. Small deer I suppose. I popped my canine companion up behind and got my rifle set up. Ranged again, attached bi pod and ear plugs and dialled up scope. That was easy. Lay down and looked at the yearling grazing peacefully, unaware of death lurking a million miles away. I took a steady rest and gently squeezed the trigger. At the report the deer dashed straight down hill in to a patch of gorse, and as I brought the rifle out of recoil I could see no movement. The reaction and sound of a hit told me it was down for the count. I sat up and looked at my pooch and we kind of both went "Is that it"? What an anti climax! For me there was no thrill of the hunt, no what if, no surge of adrenaline and no emotion. I may as well have shot a steel gong. It was the furthest deer I have shot with my own rifle and to be frank I don't think there will be many more. I don't want to get in to a debate, but to be honest I felt I had cheated. I also felt like I had cheated the deer. It had no chance to test and prove itself against me with the wind and a million other factors that could swing the odds in its favour. The shot was science, not hunting. I guess there might be some satisfaction in being able to pull off this sort of shot and use tech to outwit cagey animals, but I did not feel that. Each to their own. I pondered this some more as we made our way down to the lip of the gorge. Interestingly my wee dog when put in front went straight in to finding the deer that dad had shot mode. Another pang as I felt I had cheated her too. We carried on. Lesson number 1 learned. I made the gorge and found a steep looking spur to get down in to it on. It was bloody steep to be fair. A twenty metre gut sliced through and up to me. I moved above what I thought was its end point and went to take a step. Only to find that vegetation had covered a deep piece and I nearly ended up plunging down a long way. Grabbing my mate I also narrowly avoided her doing the same. Bad call number 1 that spot. Be more careful I told myself. We made the spur and down we went. It was bloody steep as I have said and things were very loose under foot. Bluffs plunged away either side and the dog nearly went over. Twenty more metres to a safe stop spot and we stopped, me holding on to her. No deer is worth losing my mate for that is for sure. I backtracked up out of there. Good call number 1. This was worse than half the tahr country I have traversed. We went another way and nearly went down another slice. Not good. Footing was dicey and I kept my mate in. We made the lip of a bluff and I decided to traverse the edge until I found a deer trail or cancel it. Good call number 2. We found a deer trail. Down we went again and although things were still a bit average, we made the bottom. Steep bluffy sides and ten feet plus deep water meant I wasn't going across there. We sidled down stream. Eventually the stream changed and a crossing was found. Excellent. Good call number 3. Over we went. Name:  Gorge.jpg
Views: 300
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    The climb out the other side wasn't as steep and half an hour had us at the site. No deer. But blood. Plenty blood. My mate earned her dog tucker and tracked me down through the shitty gorse patch. Lovely. It didn't take too long to find our deer and she was very pleased with herself. Finally she had got to do some work. By this stage the deer had been on the deck for well over an hour. Not good. Mine are usually out cooling down immediately. Another black mark for shooting them a long way away in tough country.

    Name:  Fallow.jpg
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Size:  3.88 MB

    I pulled my meat bag out of my pouch and waddya know, no straps. Oops. Still in the ute. Bad call number whatever. Lost count by this stage. Ha ha. I boned the deer out and managed to use the lower straps and get them over my scrawny shoulders. Just! This wasn't going to be comfy. We headed back down and crossed the stream without issue. A small bench with a game trail on it had my wee mate keen and she wanted to take me to deer number two. One was enough in this country though. Nother good call there I suggest. We managed to find an even better game trail that took longer but was not as steep or dicey. Worth the extra mileage. Good call. So I made it out in one piece with my deer and plenty to think about as I drove home. Never too old to learn I reckon and never too late to re think what we do. As I said each to their own, but for me deer mean too much to me for me to give them no chance. And always make sure when you pull the trigger you can get to them after the shot, and quickly. I think next time I might grab the 223 and my wee mate and sidle that nice deer trail we found a bit more.................
    Tahr, veitnamcam, madjon_ and 17 others like this.

  2. #2
    Hunter gatherer dannyb's Avatar
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    Cool story and yeah definitely each to there own.
    Don't get me wrong I love a good stalk especially in open country where it can he really challenging with little or no cover.
    But I also enjoy the challenge of a longer shot, knowing I have developed the load, taken into account the environmental factors and put it all together and hit the deer exactly where I wanted to.
    For me they are both just as rewarding.
    Thanks for sharing
    canross likes this.

  3. #3
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    at least the venison will be appreciated

  4. #4
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    Man can I relate to that feeling. Ive shot 3-4 deer now at around the 350 yards mark.....yip it puts venison in the freezer (one of the main reasons I hunt) but smooching around in the thick crappy,damp,dark.log infested,bushlawyer tangled,crownfern covered understory following the pooch and trying to see Bambi before they see/hear/smell us is the ultimate challenge and squeals my wheels too mate...shooting a sleeping pig at 10 yards then a quick reload and two steps forward to shoots its buddy scooting out from crown fern has been our best effort to date.
    enjoy the venison...you both earned it...sometimes an easy one is good.

  5. #5
    Member Boaraxa's Avatar
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    Good yarn , great shot im amazed the 270 even went that far , personally for me its the country I have to cross to get to an animal that usually dictates , cant be assed crossing big gully's im too lazy , but hey good outcome perhaps all you need to figure out next time is a sweet way down & up to your deer ow .
    The Green party putting the CON in conservation since 2017

  6. #6
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    Ha Ha Boaraxa. Smart arse Yep I think working out the country first might have been wise ay. As I said. Never too old to learn something. Happy that that we could (eventually) get to it. Looking nicely aged in the fridge today. About to start getting dished out to those who need a wee hand for Christmas dinner.
    veitnamcam and dannyb like this.

 

 

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