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Thread: Lambert river virgins.

  1. #1
    Member Shearer's Avatar
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    Lambert river virgins.

    After moving to the south Island nearly a year ago I was finally off on my first Tahr hunting trip.
    I managed to fluke on a ballot block. Big thanks to @Ryan_Songhurst on that one and @Pengy for the loan of some gear for the trip. It was in the Adams wilderness area and I was joined by good friend and dedicated north Island bush hunter Dean. We were off down the coast.
    After a quick flight in we were setting up camp in the Lambert river block. The weather was perfect and the scenery even better.
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    Things changed a bit over night though as the wind picked up and our carefully prepared tarp had it's eyelets ripped out and we were left with only out tents for shelter. Snow showers and strong winds all of the next day didn't deter us and I managed a Chamois close to camp in the morning. It looked good through the scope broadside but unfortunately had lost one horn to horn rot. A shame as the remaining one was a shade over 10". He was an old buck and had obviously had a recent encounter with another hunter as he had what what looked like a bullet graze across the top of his shoulder.
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    Over the next few days the weather settled and we began to find our way around the block. We spotted a good number of bulls but only a few were anything like accessible. A lot we saw may as well have been on the moon. Neither Dean or I had shot a Tahr so we were not looking for a massive trophy. Our aim was a mature bull with a good skin and we had a few to choose from - if we could get to them.
    By day four I had chosen my target. One we had named the clock face bull.
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    It would mean a two and a half hour climb in the afternoon and an hour and a half home after dark if he stuck to his usual routine.
    I arrived at my chosen spot at 4:00 pm and got comfortable. Well, as comfortable as you can on a 30 degree slope. If clock face did his usual thing he would appear at 470 yards 27 degrees above me.
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    It was after 5:00 when I finally got some action, but not from where I had expected. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a movement a couple of small guts to my right and at about my level (1300 m).
    A bull!
    At first look I knew he was a taker. I also knew it would be easy to get closer but a check through the range finder said 208 yards so I changed position, steadied the cross hairs on his shoulder and squeezed off the shot.
    He staggered then fell, then rolled, then rolled again, then got airborne, then rolled a couple more times, then flew over a garage sized rock and disappeared from sight.
    Ok. I guess he's dead but will I ever see him again?
    It was a slow, careful walk back to camp. I was pleased I had cleanly killed the animal but was full of doubt. Would I be able to find him tomorrow? Would I be able to retrieve him if I can find him?
    The next day I headed back up the hill armed with everything I thought I may need and a few "just in case" extras. One of which was invaluable. The first hour and a half was relative easy but then became time to get out of the main creek bed and head up the side gut I assumed my bull was in. After more than one butt puckering episode over the last few days I had to keep reminding myself "it's only a goat". After climbing up one particularly steep section, aided by any vegetation that would hold my meagre weight, I saw a dark shape above me that looked out of place. A quick look through the binos confirmed a big hairy bull.
    YESSSS.
    By the time I got to within 40 metres I could smell it.
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    Once I reached it I discovered an immediate problem. I am not sure how, but the Tahr had come to rest on a very steep slope. I was scared to sneeze to close to it in case it shot off down the gut and ended up who know's where. This is where my "just in case" 30m of para cord came in handy. I carefully tied the cord to the bulls back leg and went further up and secured it to a solid anchor. I was now able to move the bull around and remove the skin and head. It was almost like having it hanging off a hook. Once done and in my pack one last challenge remained. Getting down where I had just come up. Clearly I made it but it was not without it's moments. I let out a sigh of relief when I was finally back in the main creek bed.
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    Over the space of the week we were in the block we had tested our limits and often stepped outside or our comfort zones. I cannot remember a more rewarding hunting trip. The block is breathtakingly beautiful and shows our great country at it's dramatic and raw best. From the massive rumbling of ice breaking off the glacier at night to the serene silence of the still days. I loved it all and will be back in that country as soon as time and money allow.
    jakewire, Wildman, Tahr and 28 others like this.
    Experience. What you get just after you needed it.

  2. #2
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
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    Good stuff mate, I'm glad you guys came up trumps, looks like you had some bloody good weather to boot! Shame that cham only had one horn cos he would have been a bloody cracker with two! nice height and girth on him and a nice clean curl shape.
    Did you see many in the scrubby patch just to the left of the glacier in your first pic?

  3. #3
    Caretaker jakewire's Avatar
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    Bloody Good.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  4. #4
    Member Shearer's Avatar
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    No. They were almost all up HIGH. We saw a total of 3 animals in the scrub. All the rest were on the skyline or above the bluffs. We were watching 10 different bulls on the last evening. Bloody brilliant.
    Experience. What you get just after you needed it.

  5. #5
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    I look forward to hearing more in the morning. Great report @Shearer
    Forgotmaboltagain+1

  6. #6
    Member ROKTOY's Avatar
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    Nice result on an awesome sounding trip.
    Cheers.

  7. #7
    Member Boaraxa's Avatar
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    Good pic,s , thanks for posting.

  8. #8
    Member Shearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boaraxa View Post
    Good pic,s , thanks for posting.
    Thanks @Boaraxa. I was hoping to get a nice posing shot with the bull but unfortunately that was never going to happen with the position he was in.
    Experience. What you get just after you needed it.

  9. #9
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    Great post. thanks for sharing

  10. #10
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    That was an excellent first trip into some beauty looking country, shame the chamois was only a one horner but still a trophy, the tahr he looks pretty damn good well done.

  11. #11
    Member Shearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_Songhurst View Post
    Good stuff mate, I'm glad you guys came up trumps, looks like you had some bloody good weather to boot! Shame that cham only had one horn cos he would have been a bloody cracker with two! nice height and girth on him and a nice clean curl shape.
    Did you see many in the scrubby patch just to the left of the glacier in your first pic?
    @Ryan_Songhurst. I watched @sambnz You Tube clip again and saw that one of the chamois in that had one horn - the same one missing. Could it be???
    Experience. What you get just after you needed it.

  12. #12
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Great stuff cheers for posting.
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire

    Chicken Intolerant.

  13. #13
    Member Shearer's Avatar
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    No problem @veitnamcam. Can't wait for your fiordland report.
    Experience. What you get just after you needed it.

  14. #14
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shearer View Post
    No problem @veitnamcam. Can't wait for your fiordland report.
    Il see what i can knock up.
    gadgetman, Pengy and Shearer like this.
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire

    Chicken Intolerant.

  15. #15
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
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    Could be mate, he looks half decent on the video too...

 

 

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