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Thread: MEB's 2012 Red Roar - Part 1

  1. #1
    MEB
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    MEB's 2012 Red Roar - Part 1

    I have my hunting kit planned out, what I'm taking, what I'll need. A hectic week of work leading up to the Roar, as always it seems. Then I get my kit sorted. Can't find my blaze vest, my sling and my inflatable bed mat won't stay inflated. I fill the bath and check for leaks but can't find any. So I inflate it fully and sleep on it. It's half flat at 3am. Bugger. This is my first chopper flight into DOC land to hunt in the Roar. It's the culmination of being introduced to hunting 4 bird seasons ago. I am not missing this and I know how important a good nights sleep is. A quick email and I get two offers. I plump for the kathmandu bed roll offered by my good friend and hunting Guru Chris. It needs to be returned after I return as his lad Harley needs it for his stint of Chris's 23 days straight hunting the Roar - Reds and Sika. I ready my kit. Print and laminate some area maps. My sling surfaces from the same pocket as my blaze vest does. My pack hadn't been completely emptied from my last trip. So fully equipped my kit gets stuffed into my pack, daypack and Coleman Igloo for the journey south. I have 15 rounds of Federal 140gr soft point. My Winchester Model 70 chambered in .275 Wigby on which sits a Leupold VX1 3-9 x 40 sorts out the shooting side of things.

    31/3/2012
    I leave the sunny climes of Tutukaka and follow my Navman in car GPS uneventfully to arrive at Greendogs(Blair) at pretty much 6pm as planned. He arrives minutes later to inform me we are moving some cows. So we move cows. Have a good feed and a quick 'have you got everything' and we hit the scratcher.
    1/4/2012
    Early start and we head off to pick up Bambislammer(Malc). Another short stop to meet up with Phil and we arrive at the Galatea Airstrip shortly after 10am.

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    Gear gets sorted and weighed.
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    Blair and Malc take first ride in while Phil and I talk and get ready.

    Soon It's my turn in the chopper. It's a Hughes 500 and has 3 front seats. So kit gets stuffed in back and we jump in front. It's an exhilarating ride and I love every second.
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  2. #2
    MEB
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    We land all too soon and get our biv's sorted as quick as we can. Main camp gets built of a main rope with some tarps over. We cut a few saplings down to make space. Clearing up rubbish and shit left over from the last party. Tie the tarps up and Malc and I get the Kitchen sorted. Phil hands out presents and pics are taken.

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    Our main eating and socialising area

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    Our bivs and sleeping area

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    Presents from phillipo

    Blair and I get our kit sorted and head off up the side creek. Blair gives a few roars here and there and we sneak along. No replies to the roars but sign everywhere - both fresh and old. We sneak through some beaut deer country but no deer. We then head up to a slip Blair knows and check it out for a while but no deer. We slope off back to camp full of expectations. Dinner was the chewiest mutton ever. Washed down by a few tins of Bourbon and cola. Had a good bit of banter. My boot repair leaks so I have a wet right foot on day one. Our plan is to sneak up the creek at first light and ambush the slip, watch until after first light and then head back for breakfast and a full day in the hills. I have a fitful nights sleep. Expectation and a mattress I forgot to blow up see's to that. Combined with warm weather and I hardly sleep a wink before alarm goes off at 5 something.
    2/4/2012
    Gear on and we head off up the clearing. Lots of fresh sign again. Find a good shooting posi and camp out at base of slip, opposite side of slip and stream. We wait. And wait. Nothing showed so we sidle along the stream side till I can go no further and I look up. TWO DEER. The shot that was there no longer presents itself and the deer are mostly out of sight. Then a deers head and neck come into view through the trees. I aim for the centre of the neck and apart from a bang the deer do nothing. A head neck and shoulders come into view through the small gap in the trees and I shoot again. The deer slowly wander off up the hill. I find it hard to believe I missed twice and head across the stream to climb to where the deer were. I search and find no evidence of a hit but fresh prints meander off up the hill. We figure the projectile might have been deflected off a branch or twig, twice. Good enough excuse for me. Blair and I decide to sneak back towards camp about 20m up from the creek. We find some nice looking open guts and I get a stone thrown at me - your going too fast. Take one step, look around scan the area for deer. Then take another step. Slow as you can and inch your way through. Expecting to see a deer with every slow step. We have almost cleared the last open gut when I hear a twig snap from the direction of the creek. So slowly we inch our way towards the creek. As I near the creek I crouch down and get closer. I slowly raise myself up and find a Stag bathed in sun staring straight at me. I freeze and hope that Blair has seen the Stag. Any movement at this point and it would be bye bye Stag. The Stag stares at me for a few moments and then drops his head down to resume feeding. He is head on to me as I swing the rifle up. Crosshairs on his neck, I aim for where his heart would be and squeeze the trigger. The Stag slumps straight to the floor. An ear twitches then no movement at all. I turn round to Blair who's grinning. Handshakes and a pic then I'm off across the creek to my Stag. My first Antlered Red Stag. How many points did he have? I've no idea. I just saw the antlers and knew it was a Stag. I get to him and see 6 points. Quite a young animal. Im elated. Pressure is off.

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    Blair gets on the radio and lets the boys know. They head up the creek to join us while Blair shows me how to get the head of easily.

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  3. #3
    MEB
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    Out with the guts and we find the bullet went through the centre of the neck and then through the heart. Then it's onto my back for the short - 80m walk back to camp.

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    I get back to camp knackered but very happy. Out with the meat safe and Blair and Malc hang the Stag up while I recline for a while. I decide to spend the rest of the day in Camp. Skin my head, get some much needed sleep and sort out the camp kitchen a bit.

    The boys head off for a hunt up the side creek

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    The boys arrive back without luck at dusk. Some nice areas found but no roaring and no deer seen. A good feed of steak and potatoes, a bit of a yarn , some beers and we hit the sack. Tomorrow Phil and I go for a hunt starting at the slip up the creek. Early start again.
    3/4/2012
    Up at dawn. A good feed of porridge and off we head up the side creek towards the big slip. We check out some likely looking areas but no deer to be found. Give a few roars but get no replies. We then decide to gain some height so climb up to the top of the ridge - 1600ft. A couple of hours later we are on the ridgeline. There was old sign and not a lot of that.

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    It was really dry up high and windy so we sneak round as best we can in inches of crisp, crunchy leaf litter and dead fern. Wind swirling this way and that. Sneaking up on a deer was impossible so we get round to a creek head and follow it down back towards camp. The creek turned into a shitty way back to camp. We meet Malc on the main stream bed. He hadn't seen much more than us it turns out. So we trudge back to camp. Blair had managed to knock over a hind and had a few Stags roaring so we all eagerly anticipated the following day. We 'sort out' the meat safe and then have a good feed of sausages and pasta. A few beers a yarn and then hit the sack.
    4/4/2012
    Woke to swirling winds and less stiff legs than the previous days. A good feed of porridge and Phil and I head off up the main stream with a plan. Which the constant swirling winds messed up all day. We found very little fresh deer sign but pig rooting everywhere in areas. No replies to our roars. I decide to head back to camp frustrated with the wind. I'm first back so make veni stew with herbs and juniper. It was marvellous. Had to wash my mop in the stream and I could only describe the event as bracing. Blair and Malc roared all day and got one solo reply. Only two more days full hunting left and my body is just getting into the groove. I decide to hunt the opposite face from camp solo tomorrow. A feed, yarn, beer and bed.

  4. #4
    MEB
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    5/4/2012
    A good feed of porridge and I head off up the opposite face. I find some old deer beds and have a good sneak about but the wind changes direction every ten minutes. I decide to simply gain height and see what happens from there. By about midday I'd reached the ridgetop and had a sit down for lunch. To discover I'd left my water at camp. Arse.

    However a North Island Robin joined me

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    There is a creek head not too far so I decide to head in that direction. I come across a lovely open gut. Wind in my face I give a roar. No reply so I inch around the open gut. Wind changes and sweeps my scent down the gut to a pair of hinds and a fawn who clutter off out of sight. I decide to cover the ground quick and climb the small ridge opposite to see If they have stopped the other side. A few minutes later I peer over the ridge to find the creek head but no deer. I sneak down and find fresh prints heading away. Im pretty thirsty by now so follow the swampy head down to the creek which starts as a waterfall I can't get to safely. I sidle round and find a little bit of fresh sign - probably the two hinds I spooked. The creek now has 10m sheer rock sides so I decide to sneak back towards camp. The wind blowing in every direction still. I arrive back at camp to find Malc already there and Blair and Phil return shortly after me cursing the swirling winds. Gave heaps of roars all day and got one solo reply. Feed of sausage egg and beans, a few yarns and bed.

    6/4/2012
    I decide to head upstream a fair way and check out a headwater of 3 creeks that flow into the main stream. This will be my last full days hunting of my first fly in roar trip. Im amped up and full of energy and anticipation. Hopefully the stags will roar today. I head upstream following the creek and roaring all the way. I have the left side of the creek and everyone else is downstream or on the right hand side. I get about 1km from camp and hear a reply to one of my roars. It's from the right hand side so I gain some height and give hime a few roars. He replies and gets quite worked up. I gain some more height and give him a few roars. He replies and over him comes another stags roar from about 200m to his left on the same face - the one I can't hunt. Im pumped by this roaring - I've never had a stag roar back at me. I decide to get a bit higher than them and just roar. Im here and it's going off so I might as well enjoy it all and hopefully one of the Lads will get on to one of the roaring Stags. I check my GPS and not far above me is a nob at 1725ft. Which would be the highest I've been all week so off I go. Giving the odd roar and getting replies all the time. I make good passage untill I reach an area of jungle - supplejack central. My instep crampons help but tripping up here on this slope wouldn't be good so out with the GPS and map says less gradient 50m or so to my right where the ridgeline is - I've been too busy roaring and enjoying myself. So I sidle round the face to the ridge and find a game trail. Up I go and 15 mins later I come across a beautiful area.

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    An old rutting pad, beds and a treee that has been slashed and abused by antlers. The pad and beds appear not recently used but the tree has fresh marks. I decide to let a few roars go and have some lunch. For once the wind is in my favour with a light breeze coming up the face. I give a roar and straight away get replies from3 stags. The original, the contender and one away to my left. Sounds like he's round the crner from the others but can hear my roar. I take a pic or two and have a bite to eat contemplating what to do. Neither original or contender are Blair. Contender covered about 100m in seconds to give his first big challenge and then went back to his creek head. Original appears to be holding a small plateau and doesn't want to move just gets real shitty when challenged. The third is too far away to consider. I think about charging down the hill and giving Original what for to see If he'll come down to me. I've just finished my sarnie when I hear a faint roar from behind. So I let out a big roar and get my 3 replies followed by a reply down and to my left. I unwrap a snack bar and have a munch. A few seconds later a roar comes up the side of my face to my left. Blimey! I leave it a few seconds and reply with a roar. I get a reply that is much closer now. That is no human - it's covered too much hill too quickly. Although it sounds worse than my rubbish roar. I now briefly panic and the hairs on my arms semi stand up. My rifle is two good paces away, my gear is scattered around. I quickly get my wits about me and gather my gear. I back up on my arse to some cover and feed a round up the pipe. I give a roar and straight away get a reply from just out of vision. My heart is in my mouth and I can hear my heart thumping away. I see three ponga's sway and hear movement in the bush. Then a low moan - almost a growl and then silence. I'm electrified. My hairs are standing on end. A few seconds later I notice the wind on my ears. I remain silent for a few more moments and then original stag lets out a roar, follwed by contender. I let out a low moan. No reply from my aggresor. He's gone. Such a nice little bit of bush. I mark it on my GPS.

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    I stay put for a while, have a drink, give a few roars and reflect on the experience. I then decide Im going to shoot down the hill and rark original up as the day is now passing. So I scoot down the hill for a few hundered feet and then get a roar from my left again. So I reply. Quickly I get a reply but it's familiar. I stay put for a few minutes and give a couple of roars to get the same reply. I decide to move down the slope more to put myself in a more favourable position for both being discovered as a person and also to give me a better arena for a shot If a deer rather than a human appeared. I hear a crack and some noise and decide it's human. Shortly after some blaze shows and I whistle. A whistle back and It's Phil. We have a brief chat and he had heard contender and went for a nose but he shut up.He couldn't hear original and reckoned the 'one round the corner' was well up in a headwater. He hadn't heard my feisty bugger. We head off both towards camp. I hoped to see one more deer or get one more attempt but it wasn't to be. I make camp with a little light left but again the swirling winds ruined the day. Malc was at camp cursing the wind and reported a shot being heard early in the morning. I hadn't heard one and as I'd seen Phil and he didn't mention it it was Blair with either a miss or an animal. It was an animal, another hind on the last day. Meaning some venison for all. The poor bugger was exhausted getting back with the hind quarters and backsteaks.

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  5. #5
    MEB
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    Another addition to the meat safe.

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    We spend our last night discussing the weeks adventures and seeing to a few possums courtesy of Blair and his traps - photo's not suitable for public viewing. As the night wore on I thought more and more about having a crack at Original. He was roaring hard out all day. If the wind is good in the morning he's achievable. I decided against it. The chopper was due at midday. We had meat to sort and the camp to breakdown. I retire to my bed with a heavy heart - I could stay here for another ten days without bother.
    7/4/2012
    I awake to another windy day. A good relaxed breakfast and there's a stag roaring from up the side creek towards the slip. I remember the few puncture wounds in my Stag whilst skinning him and imagine he was on that side due to a master Stag holding the hinds I took a shot at on other side.. I give a few roars and vow to return. We have a relaxed breakfast and start to break down the camp and butcher the meat. In no time our chores are done and it's the wait for the chopper.

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  6. #6
    MEB
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    This years roar is over for me. Just about to start for some. However the chilly bin is full..

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    My kit ready for the chopper ride out

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    The biggest Rata vine I've ever seen

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    We load our gear onto the chopper and are asked on halfway back 'are you in a hurry I'd just like to look up here for some spring hunting areas'. So were treated to a bit of a nose about and had a good chat with the pilot/owner. Himself a keen hunter. We arrive back at the airstrip. Divvy up the meat and make our way home.
    I'm still recalling the moment in my mind when I see my Stag and swung my rifle up and nailed him with a perfect shot. And those 3 pongas getting bashed about by the surprise Stag. And the Stags roaring back at my roars - even roared back at AYWOOOGA. What a fantastic experience with 3 bloody good bastards. I would drop everything to head out with them again. Good Attitudes, good hunters, good camp banter and great humour all week long. FYM

  7. #7
    Member Raging Bull's Avatar
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    Thoroughly enjoyed that. Cheers MEB.

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    Gold member Pointer's Avatar
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    Nice put, thanks for that! Sounds like you learned a lot?

  9. #9
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    Good tail there MEB. A great week had by the "Famous Four"....shame about the wind tho. You're right, i think it was just getting going when we were leaving but theres next year and who knows what inbetween.
    Great company , massive amounts of bullshit and megaupload war stories !
    Ruger .243....the only gun i'll ever need. (Except when i need something else)

  10. #10
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    Good write up MEB thoroughly enjoyed it

  11. #11
    Member sako75's Avatar
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    Excellent martin. Really stoked you got a 6pt and a few close encounters after that. Becomes quite an addictive sport when they come in so close ya nearly crap yourself.
    I take it you have
    David (the pilot) is a good guy. Gave us a scenic tour last year. Highly recommend him. Unfortunately we didn't use him this year but he did land at our hut and said gidday.

  12. #12
    The Scope Whore ! Philipo's Avatar
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    just a couple more pics

    Yeah a good report Martin & a bloody hardcase week alright, talk about laugh.

    Awesome bush to hunt in, but very dry ( didn't look like there was much feed for the beasties ) & just a pitty that most of the deer decided to go on hoilday


    Base camp, with Philipo's snazzy slanty shanty
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    MEB & his meat flaps
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    G Dog having a nibble before we put the safe up
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    MEB & his favourite toy, his little "magic box"
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    G Dog doing what he does best, talking arse & blowin horns
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    crzyman likes this.
    Shoot it, root it & then BBQ it !!!

  13. #13
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    Wicked bro. Congrats. We'll talk soon.

  14. #14
    MEB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy View Post
    Wicked bro. Congrats. We'll talk soon.
    Look forward to it bro - another 10 for you, must be getting bored of em by now..

  15. #15
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    Tui ad right there!

    Mike's was a great effort, shot close as it came into a roar he gave while setting up his fly. Chris and i put in a big effort to get my stag. 15hrs of hard work, we were drained when we eventually made it back.

 

 

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