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Thread: A long time between drinks

  1. #1
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    A long time between drinks

    I met Sam @sambnz through one of the forums a few years back now when I was looking for someone to join me on a Tahr ballot block and we have done a fair bit of hunting together since, mostly fly in trips on the west coast, but we havent shied away from "doing it the hard way" either.
    I spent the past five years living in Culverden, the gateway to the Lewis Pass so after a while we got onto a spot that was pretty good for producing a Chamois or two, typical Chamois habitat, steep and gnarly and there was always a few mental challenges to overcome when pushing around that sort of country, but we kept heading back and after a few times we had it pretty well sussed so would always get a few Chams for the camera, and Sam managed to bag his first one from the area too.
    Fast forward to this past 12 months and we got a bit of hunting done early-mid 2017, but since then I have been tied up big time with work and Sam has been chasing bad guys around Christchurch so we never really managed to get things to fall together and get out on the hill, 8 months in fact since I had thrown the Sportivas on.
    About a month or so back I thought bugger it, I dont care if the bloody farm comes crashing down around me, I NEED to get out on the hill, so a few phone calls and messages later and we locked it in.
    3 days was our window and we decided to get up into our usual area but also push over into some country we hadnt explored yet, I had a bit of new gear that had been sitting patiently waiting for a real world trial, and Sam was keen to get his young dog out on the hill so we were looking forward to it.
    Day one started off a bit late, I had to have a quick meeting with the vets before travelling into chch to pick up Sam on the way through, made it into town about 10.30am and Sam was asleep due to chasing bad guys around all night, I had told him I would ring when I was on my way, but then promptly left my phone at home so after a rude awakening, we threw the gear and the dog in the Hilux and away we went.
    We made it to the bottom of the hill by about 1.30pm and wasted no time throwing the packs on and making for the tops, we had discussed earlier that depending how we were going for time we would possibly stop at a flat spot we had found on a ridge that was still just inside the bushline and camp there for the first night, that way we could head off early the next day and be on the tops reasonably early, we had a fair way to travel to get into the area we wanted to be.
    The weather wasnt too bad on the way up the ridge, bit windy but we negated that by staying just off the leeward side and made pretty good time, Sams young dog had her nose going overtime at one stage on the way up while we were still quite low and lo and behold a young pig spooked out in front of us, he/she was gone but encouraging to see the pup taking interest.
    No sooner than we had got to the spot where we could possibly camp the rain came in, sideways rain, it was now blowing a gale and we decided better to set up the tents here than out of the bushline, we spent an uncomfortable night being battered around by the wind and rain but still managed to spot a few Chamois in different spots out for a bite to eat on some sheltered slips which was encouraging.
    The next morning it was still raining but I requested the weather on my new Inreach and it said clearing by 8am so we had a bite to eat and packed up our gear, we also saw a few chamois out and about from camp before we departed including one buck that I videoed for a while who on later inspection turns out to be very good, I will be back to have a look for him. We didnt want to waste time shooting an animal here so early in the trip so we carried on up onto the main ridgeline and made our way along, up and down, up and down, glassing various basins as we went, we even had a young buck at one stage I thought was going to follow us the whole trip, appearing here and there behind us on the ridge, they can be curious buggers much to their demise!
    One thing I have found with chasing Chamois is that they can appear when you least expect it, further along the main ridge we were crossing the top of another basin and Sam gives me a tap and say quietly "Buck.." and there had been a buck standing on a rocky outcrop in front of us just watching us, he meandered off and vanished as they do and we had a quick glass down into his basin and decided to carry on.
    We were both getting pretty low on water by now as it was early afternoon and we still had a way to go before a Tarn that we were going to camp by for the final night, we climbed up high onto the final ridge, at this point near 1700m and from there we spotted the tarn below us and made our way down to it, we set up camp and by this stage we were both pretty buggered and it was nice and sunny so just lay around in the sun for a bit before deciding we would head up onto the next ridge to have a glass into another basin as the magic hours approached.
    We climbed up and started glassing and I decided to turn and have a bit of a glass into the basin where our camp was and there way down low I spotted a lone Chamois making his way up, being alone I knew he was a buck, but was he any good?
    He wasnt wasting any time making his way up the basin so we decided to drop back down near camp to get a closer look at him, we managed to stay out of sight and got in behind a small ridge and I poked my nose over for a look and he was standing there staring straight at me about (what I thought at the time was) 400yds away, he looked half decent, would go 9" anyhow so I decided I would have a go at taking him home with me, I dropped back and chambered a round and crawled back up with my rangefinder to range him, he was still staring straight at me but was pretty agitated by this stage and stomping his front foot and peeing which they do when they are onto you, I thought bugger the rangefinder, give him a wee bit of hold over with the 270wsm and I cant go too far wrong so I let one go and it went straight over top of him! Bugger! he ran and I thought I had lost him but he appeared again going the opposite way across the basin than I saw him depart, this confused me and for a second I thought he was a different animal, still looked decent through the scope though and I now knew he was only about 280yds away, he wouldnt stop for a shot though and was about to dissapear over a ridge so I quickly turned the z5 back to 6x mag so I could get a good view of him running and as he was about to dissapear I held for a mid shoulder shot and pulled the trigger as he ran into the centre of the reticle, Bingo! rolled him on the spot and as he tumbled I thought I could see through the scope I had hit him a bit far back which I felt a bit shit about, but he was down.
    We made our way down to where he was and let the pup find him even though we knew exactly where he was, she was a bit hesitant at first but after she realised he was made of meat she was ok!
    Turns out I had hit him perfect, good solid mid shoulder shot and the 150 VLD had made the lungs and heart into soup before exiting leaving a good drain hole, they work bloody good in the wsm and I have had similar performance even on big bull thar out at 600 yards.
    He was a nice representative buck, not the biggest I have shot, but would go 9" as I thought, and he was fat! I havent seen as much fat on a Cham before, we took the backsteaks and back legs and I took the head to add to the collection.
    A short sharp slog up the hill later and we were back at camp, we go all out with lightweight this and ultralight that but we had both bought along a little luxury... a couple of beers each! They went down bloody good and as evening fell we made a feed and drifted off to sleep for what would be a cold but very still night.
    The next morning we woke to a frost but an absolute stunner of a day, we sat up on the little ridge behind the tarn and had coffee above the clouds, bloody beautiful!!!
    It was time to head back to reality though so we packed up and off we went for the long walk down and out. The new Exped lightning 60 I had bought did bloody well carrying all my gear plus the boned out chamois and head, it sits quite well on the hips and delivers weight there away from the shoulders really well for a lightweight pack.
    We saw a few animals on the way out and even had a half hearted attempt at getting onto another buck which didnt pan out, the fact we had to come down a big scree slide with all our gear on making a whole heap of noise didnt help us!
    We made good time though and made it back to the truck early afternoon, it was stinking hot and we were all wrecked.. the pup too! But, it was bloody awesome being out there again, on the hill hunting with a good mate and I cant wait to go back again!
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  2. #2
    Member Boar Freak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    In transit
    Some cool country down your way.
    Nothing is tough about having a 70 lb bow and looking like an uncoordinated praying mantis while trying to pull it back.

  3. #3
    Member stug's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Oxford, Canterbury
    Good stuff. Sometimes you've just got to get out and re-charge the batteries. Nice buck too.

  4. #4
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Buck measured just under 9.5 on one side and 9 1/4 on the other, Im not sure why one picture of him wont upload???
    Last edited by Ryan_Songhurst; 09-02-2018 at 05:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Member StrikerNZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    South Canterbury
    Bloody good. Thanks for the write-up.

  6. #6
    Member Sideshow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Lovely write up really enjoyed that @Rayan_Songhurst hope there wasn't to much crashing at the farm while you where away
    It's all fun and games till Darthvader comes along

  7. #7
    If your not fast your last Shootm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Mighty Manawatu
    Shit hot trip there Ryan, like the write up and pics. Good to see you get off the farm for a couple of days

    I Have Sexdaily. I mean Dyslexia! Fcuk!

  8. #8
    Caretaker jakewire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Good work Ryan.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  9. #9
    Member Kooza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Kaweka meals?
    Ryan_Songhurst likes this.
    Went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

  10. #10
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by Kooza View Post
    Kaweka meals?
    Beats the pants off backcountry
    Shootm, GWH, FatLabrador and 1 others like this.

  11. #11
    MSL is offline
    Member MSL's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_Songhurst View Post
    Beats the pants off backcountry
    Yep and the main advantage is that you can use any old scummy water to boil them up, that and the contents have the texture of actual food.
    Shootm, GWH and FatLabrador like this.

  12. #12
    Member sometimes's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Awesome trip

  13. #13
    Member Tommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Great write up, and well done on the running shot!
    Identify your target beyond all doubt

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Paengaroa, Te Puke
    Great write up and trip by all accounts, plenty of game seen by the looks. Always good to be out on the hill away from the normal old grind.

  15. #15
    Member Kooza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by MSL View Post
    Yep and the main advantage is that you can use any old scummy water to boil them up, that and the contents have the texture of actual food.
    Yeah mate that's what we have moved to. well worth the extra weight.
    Went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.



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