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Thread: My year outdoors so far

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    My year outdoors so far

    With a classic crappy winters day I was looking back at the adventures so far this year. After a couple of years of grinding away hunting at every opportunity this year has been a bit tougher to get time away from work and everyday life but this has just meant hunting a little closer to home to maximise time in the hills. A bit more "success" has come my way than in the last few years but truth be told the animals have been a nice bonus to just getting into some great country both new and familiar.


    New years was spent with my partners extended family in the outer marlborough sounds fishing, diving, hunting and eating. We were very privileged to be invited to such an awesome part of the country. We knocked over 3 yearlings and processed them into mince and steak for everyone to take home and spied a few decent velvet stags for the up coming roar. It was very surprising how many deer are living in that country, wasn't uncommon to see 20+ deer for an evening.

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    After eating way to much food and enjoying some relaxed private land hunting I linked up with my good mate Jade for a big alpine mission into some new country before heading back to work. The goal was jades first tahr and a good bull for myself. The river was too big for either of our utes so we doned our packs and set off up valley, after a good 4 hours slog we'd arrived at our chosen campsite and settled in for the first evening. The next morning my mates body was all seized up after the slog in so I went off up a side creek solo, the day dawned drizzly, windy and miserable but there were a couple of small bachelor groups of bulls scattered about the opposite face. Before long with the drizzle strengthening they all bedded down in the alpine scrub so I parked up under a rock and caught up on some Z's and played the waiting game. A few hours later the wind had blown the drizzle through, while grabbing some snacks I looked up to see a big bull feed out of a small gut behind me. With the wind blowing directly towards him I felt I didn't have a lot of time. A good look showed a decent animal with 12"+ horns so I set up for the shot at 334m and touched off a shot. I had made the fatal mistake of not checking what the wind was doing at the animal. It was a strong NW wind blowing 90 degrees to my shooting line and this resulted in the bullet missing just forward of the chest. I spent the afternoon thoroughly checking for blood and then retreated to camp a bit gutted. Next morning my mate was still feeling shagged but had spotted another mob of bulls from camp so I had a quick play at them to no avail before walking out. Great country and next year we'll ensure that the bodies are in slightly better shape.

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    Next trip was a quick overnighter to some familiar country down Kaikoura. I was only an hour into the walk when I spied a big bodied animal on the fringe of a steep slip, on closer inspection it was a great stag for the area so I set up to redeem myself for the miss on that bull tahr. One shot at 306m sent the stag tumbling head over heel down the shingle and rock slip. Over 100 vertical meters and some sickening crunches before coming to rest out of sight in the forest. I very tentatively pushed my way through the thick scrub to see what the end result was. I eventually found the huge bodied animal completely beat up with snapped tines, beam and a very broken body. Probably the worst case of remorse I've ever had. I'd of much rather let him walk than have him in this state but I'd made the decision to pull the trigger so set about boning out both hind quarters, back steaks and one front shoulder. I returned in the morning and retrieved the head and found the other main beam but neither of the spectacular wide trez tines could be found. The intact side measured 33". By far the oldest stag I've had the privilege of taking.

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    I caught the spicey cough in March so only had one opportunity to hunt with a good mate towards the end of the month chasing roaring stags in the bush. We had a blast taking a stag each, missing a couple of opportunities and cleaning up a mob of goats. A pretty productive day in the bush.

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    Early April rolled around and I was fortunate enough to be invited for a fly in trip over the coast with a couple of good mates. The stags were roaring hard and we had a great trip. We never laid eyes on any big thumpers but the roaring action down in the thick alpine scrub band was enough to get anyone excited. While cutting the distance to one such stag I spied what looked like a chamois laying under a rock. A quick look revealed a wide set of hooks and an attractive coat, a quick shot at 140 odd metres had the 10 1/4" buck down. My best yet and a nice old buck. Later that evening while dropping into a new creek head after a roaring stag a similar situation panned out with an impressive barren doe chamois appearing. My mate pulled off a great steep up hill shot to take a 13 year old 9 1/2" doe. That pretty well wrapped up our roar hunt.

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    Late April seen me getting away for a quick afternoon mission. Left the ute at 2pm and got back just after 11pm. Slogged up into a favourite creek head, a lazy roar greeted my ears as I crested the top ridge. After a brief glassing session I'd picked up a good handful of deer with one stag being more within reach considering the limited amount of daylight left. A speedy stalk later had me 150m from the stag and two shots later he was down, a quick butchery and photo session and I was off back down the mountain.

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    May was mostly spent chasing feathered game which is something my partner really enjoys. Always great to get the dogs working too.

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    Unfortunately the only free weekend I've had during June has coincided with a good storm front. Hopefully the next 6 months bring some good adventures for everyone.
    jakewire, Tahr, timber and 38 others like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    What an excellent post, thanks so much for taking the time and making the effort! Appreciated!

  3. #3
    Valued Member 7mm Rem Mag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    North Otago
    Brillant well done
    Hook_Grass likes this.
    When hunting think safety first

  4. #4
    Member stug's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Oxford, Canterbury
    You’ve been getting amongst it. Well done.
    Hook_Grass likes this.

  5. #5
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    your freezer will be looking healthy...indeed thankyou for taking the time to share your photos with us....
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Well done Hook Grass, looks like you have had a great start to 2022 and seen plenty of nice countryside and picked up a few animals to boot. Some great photos there mate. Look forward to seeing what your next 6 months brings

    Cheers FBD
    Hook_Grass likes this.

  7. #7
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Fat belly Dog View Post
    Look forward to seeing what your next 6 months brings.
    Hopefully a great big pile of pregnant red hinds.

    Loved the write up and pics. Just a reflection on where your commitment could pay dividends.
    Last edited by Flyblown; 25-06-2022 at 06:59 PM.
    Hook_Grass likes this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Flyblown View Post
    Hopefully a great big pile of pregnant red hinds.

    Loved the write up and pics. Just a reflection on where your commitment could pay dividends.
    The goal for this year was more hinds than stags, the evening I shot that six point stag I really should have shot the hind and yearling instead. The ledger so far is 3 yearling hinds and 3 stags so a few hinds/yearlings should round the year out nicely.

  9. #9
    Caretaker jakewire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Marvellous, really enjoyed that.
    Hook_Grass likes this.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    A busy 6 months with some good animals , be good to see what the next 6 months brings.
    Hook_Grass likes this.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Timaru, Canterbury
    Great report! Thanks for the write up.
    Some great photos and great trips.
    Look forward to reading on the rest of your year!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Bloody good read. Cheers for that. Some nice animals

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Southern Alps
    What a nice write up and a good read when theres snow lying out on my front lawn.You sure have put a bit of time into the outdoors,well done.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    nice one hook grass , some great memorys and photos.



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