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Thread: Last-minute trip pays off

  1. #1
    Member mopheadrob's Avatar
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    Last-minute trip pays off

    So I got a message from some mates on Friday night. Wanna come on a quick overnighter tomorrow? I was surprised when the wife encouraged me to say yes as I hadn't planned to be away this weekend, but then I did take up hunting to spend more time with other blokes outside of work. The trip was into an area containing my spot X, so I was even more keen to join in.

    I raced around on Saturday morning throwing gear in my pack. The checklist I've refined over the last year helped, but I was interested to see how much I could get away without. The others were taking a .243, a 6.5 Creedmore and a .308, so in went my .270 for variety. My mate's ute pulled into the drive after lunch and off we went.

    Our crew included two novice hunters and my more experienced mate with his 9 year old (?) son, so it was going to be interesting logistically. The hike in starts with a relentless 600m climb; the 9 YO basically ran up but one of the rookies struggled to say the least. We reached my little campsite in the treeline about 2 hours later than anticipated, but still with plenty of time to pitch the flys and down a Back Country before an evening hunt. It was blowing like 40 bastards, but I knew my spot X would be sheltered from the Nor' Wester (even if we wouldn't be). The only rewards for an hour getting pummelled by the wind were a quick glimpse of a big red shape disappearing into the bush, and this sky:

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    In the morning it was still blowing hard, but the forecast had it easing so we decided to split up. My experienced mate took his rookie brother and son back to my spot X, while I took the other guy over to the next basin. We set up halfway down a finger between two gullies, from where we could each glass an opposite side of the basin. I took the side out of the wind, but with only a couple of slips and a small scrubby face to watch, it was going to come down to luck.

    An hour in, we heard two quick shots from the next basin. Sounds like the rookie took a shot and his brother was ready with the follow-up, I said. This was confirmed on the radio a minute later, but it had been a hopeful shot apparently and they couldn't confirm a hit. We went back to glassing.

    A bit later, I swept my $40 Ali Express binos back over the best-looking slip 215m away and my heart skipped a beat... a big stag! I called to my partner to offer him the first shot, but he couldn't hear over the wind (okay, maybe I didn't try that hard). Bugger this, I thought - he could turn back into the bush, it may be the only animal I see this trip and it would be my first stag. Feeling like a complete newbie, I struggled to calm my breathing and waited for a broadside. I got it and squeezed the crappy factory R700 trigger, and the 140 grain SST hit him hard. I quickly cycled the bolt as he lifted his head and delivered a follow-up.

    Pulling the trigger is the easy bit, said my boss's voice in my head as my mate came over to see what the story was. It was tough enough to get down the steep gully to him through all the broom, lawyer and young beech, so the carry out was going to be a mission. I was pretty elated to find him, dead where he fell from the first shot.

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    He was in awesome condition, so the back steaks, hindquarters and eye fillets were a pleasantly heavy load. I know many more experienced hunters will tell me I should've left him to mature (or at least waited until he was in hard antler) but I'm not a trophy hunter and the freezer was empty. I buried the head in the bush in case it would be worth carrying out on a later date - maybe someone can tell me if it will be okay. The antlers felt pretty hard, but hadn't started to shed.

    Back at camp, we found out the other group had been successful - a neck shot at 300m, the novice making it look like all in a day's work for the 6.5. With the heaviest pack I think I've ever shouldered, we stumbled down the track (saving a lost Irishman from a night in the cold on the way) and arrived home at 6pm. My wonderful wife was pretty dark about it as I'd implied we'd be home around lunchtime, but a week in the dog box won't wipe this smile off my mug!

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  2. #2
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
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    Good stuff mate. It's so green everywhere for this time of year, going to be some great stags about in the roar, heaps of feed right the way through antler growth
    mopheadrob likes this.
    #30GANG....

  3. #3
    Member Nathan F's Avatar
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    Prime venison. Well done.
    mopheadrob likes this.

  4. #4
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    Good stag for a very heavily hunted spot. It always seems to produce the goods however
    outdoorlad and Moa Hunter like this.

  5. #5
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    Well done that will be a trip to remember.

    Sent from my CPH1903 using Tapatalk
    mopheadrob likes this.

  6. #6
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    You told the story well. Good one.
    mopheadrob likes this.
    RIP Barry S. 18/01/20

  7. #7
    Member mopheadrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerazziSC3 View Post
    Good stag for a very heavily hunted spot. It always seems to produce the goods however
    You obviously know it well, then? Yeah, I'm constantly surprised by the numbers in there for somewhere so close to town. I can only assume the climb up puts a lot of lazy buggers off.
    outdoorlad and deer243 like this.

  8. #8
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    well done rob !
    mopheadrob likes this.

  9. #9
    Member outdoorlad's Avatar
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    Nice work, camping the night up there is the key. how the hell does a tourist get lost up there? must be an Irish joke in there somewhere 😂


    Quote Originally Posted by PerazziSC3 View Post
    Good stag for a very heavily hunted spot. It always seems to produce the goods however
    Sure is, plenty of restocking from the farm over the back.
    mopheadrob likes this.
    Shut up, get out & start pushing!

  10. #10
    Hunter gatherer dannyb's Avatar
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    Definitely go back for the head, trophy or not it's your first and a pretty nice even head at that, if he's hard underneath you could strip the velvet and stain the antlers easily enough.
    If you'd bought it straight out you could've had the velvet fresze dried for a unique euro mount most of us woukd be proud of.
    Well done.
    outdoorlad and mopheadrob like this.

  11. #11
    Member mopheadrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorlad View Post
    how the hell does a tourist get lost up there? must be an Irish joke in there somewhere ��
    He'd gone up the direct route to the top intending to follow the loop around the ridge & down, but missed the sign and took the hunting track over the back. Didn't have a GPS app, compass or anything, thought he was still on the loop track. I guess he would have figured something wasn't right when the track disappeared, but he was woefully under-prepared for being caught out. In his defence, the sign is poorly placed and the hunting track is pretty heavily used.

  12. #12
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    Well Done, nice stag. The antlers should be pretty close to start stripping and as Danny said it's easy enough to strip and stain up.
    mopheadrob likes this.

  13. #13
    Member craigc's Avatar
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    Awesome story. Never let anyone question why you shot a deer, hunting is what you make it and before the internet and Facebook was invented only the opinion of those closest to you mattered anyway

    Well done, well deserved.

  14. #14
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    if you do retrieve the antlers dont leave them anywhere the dog may possibly be able to get near them.......lost a set of similar size to yours like that....
    enjoy your venison.
    dannyb and mopheadrob like this.

  15. #15
    Member stug's Avatar
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    Was up there myself last night. Saw a few deer but mainly hinds and fawns. Nothing harmed.
    mopheadrob likes this.

 

 

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