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  • 2 Post By Tahr

Thread: Old bull Young bull

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Old bull Young bull

    Craigc and myself recently spent a few days in the Kaweka’s. 3 full days hunting and half a day each side flying in and out so in effect we had 3.5 days hunting. Its an annual Father & Son trip that Craig and I do.

    We camp at a nice spot in the bush that’s pleasant so long as its not too wet. This trip we were lucky that it only rained on the last day. Most days were accompanied by a cold wind though that made it a bit unpleasant at times.

    We had a hunt the first evening and saw a spiker and a hind which was a good start. We spotted one each, so that was a draw. Like families do, there seems to always be a tournament going on; the most deer spotted, the furtherest shot, the closest shot, the fastest cooker, the best food, the best dog, the flashest and newest gadget….

    Attachment 84541

    One thing that was a bit of a bugger was that neither of our dogs had current Kiwi certificates so we couldn’t take them. They expired last November and there hadn’t been a course run since.

    We were up early the first morning and off hunting after we had breakfast in the dark. Soon after first light and while it was still a bit murky Craig spotted a stag away down a slip. I couldn’t see it through my old eyes at first but with a bit of directing from Craig I eventually found it. The range was 460 yards. “You could slip down that ridge and get a lot closer and shoot it”, I said. “Nah”, came the reply “I can shoot it from here”…as he got into a prone position over a rock and adjusted his 3-18 VX6. “Ok”, I said “I will call your shots”. I had just got the binos back onto the deer and “boom-whack”, it was poll-axed by the 162 grn Amax from his .284. It was 30 degrees down hill and a wonderful shot.

    The stag turned out to be a fat little 4 pointer still in the velvet but hard underneath. During the rest of the trip Craig spent a bit of time around camp rubbing them against trees and they came up quite nice. I suggested to him that he should have been pissing all up his belly as he was rubbing them, but he thought that was a bridge too far.

    It was a steep retrieve for Craig but one we have both been down the same slip a few times so we know what to expect. Doesn’t make it any easier though.

    Attachment 84539

    A cold wind sprang up for the rest of the day and we didn’t see any more deer but I walked North right through to almost a bivvy on the same ridge and hunted my way back, and Craig hunted south.

    Attachment 84540

    The next day brought another cold wind and was a bit quiet until the evening when I spotted a hind on a clay pan, then its yearling. They seemed quite skitterish and the reason became clear when a randy spiker appeared and tried it on. The hind gave him a short shrift and he then kept a respectful distance from them and him from them.

    They were in quite a difficult spot to recover from so I had no intention of shooting them but I ranged them anyway, or rather tried to. But my range finder battery had gone flat. Bugger. So then I thought I would have a look at them through my new Tract Toric scope to see how clear they were at 15 power. I lay down and adjusted the side focus. Lovely and clear, and the spiker just stood there side on…so I thought “I wonder what the range is (I had to guesstimate)?”. “500 yards”, I answered. Hmmm. Very clear scope, broadside deer and a lovely 500 yard dot in the ballistic reticule. Solid rest too. As if it was in slow motion I slipped a 300saum round into the breech, steadied and squeezed the trigger.

    The spiker just stood there. All he did was give a slight flinch as the 150 TTSX whistled over his back. He stood there stock still for long enough for me to pick my binos up and to see him suddenly bolt for cover. I expect the hind and fawn were long gone. I felt a bit sheepish.

    Attachment 84542

    Attachment 84543

    The next day Craig ranged the clay pan for me and it was 440 yards. He also took the battery out of his RF binos and gave it to me. Fortunately he had a separate spare range finder. Its handy to have a gadget man in the family.

    The last full day dawned a bit finer but there didn’t seem to be any more deer around. I sulked off down into the red beech for a stalk and Craig headed off down towards Kiwi Mouth hut somewhere. Not sure what he did, but I expect some over-due sleep because of my snoring was on his agenda. My bush stalk was uneventful for deer but I did see some Kiwi probing which was nice. We had heard one calling from our tents at 1.15am on the first night so new there were some around.

    That evening was to be our last so we carefully selected where we would go. Craig headed south to where he could glass a lot of country and I went to where I could see less but where I could see into the lower bush country. It was windy, but not cold. The Sika don’t seem to like the cold wind but if its warm they don’t seem to mind so much.

    At about 6pm I spotted a hind at about 350 yards just inside the bush and after a wee while she led her yearling out onto a slip area. I ranged her at 340 yards and lined her up. I had a a good sight picture but decided it was too windy for a sure shot (probably 20mph), so I lowered my rifle and they eventually wandered back into the bush. I radioed Craig and told him what had happened and then we resumed our vigil.

    About an hour before light Craig radio’d and said he could see a hind and yearling much closer to me just off a low ridge – Craig was on a high point 700 yards away. I swept the face with my binos and straight away picked up a deer angled n to me in the bush. I couldn’t see its head but it was obviously made of meat and was begging for a ride home. I radio’d Craig and said I had it at 230 yards and was about to shoot. He replied that he was videoing it. My shot hit it mid shoulder and it dropped without a flinch. The real bang-flop. I could see it through my binos dead as a door nail. Craig radio’d to say he would be with me in 10 minutes and that he would guide me around to it (there was a steep creep between me and the deer). “Got it all on video”, he said.

    Long story short …Craig guided me to the exact tree where he had last seen the hind, and all I could find were scuff marks where more than one deer had seemed to have bolted. Perplexed, I searched until dark and then dragged my weary self back to where Craig was. It didn’t take much of a conversation to work out that I had shot a different animal to the one he had seen and video’d! What he had filmed was another 100 yards or so further down the ridge, and I had shot a different one. This was all compounded by the hind he had filmed not being visible to him when I actually fired. So we trudged back to camp with our tail between our legs knowing that we had a retrieve to do in the morning before the chopper arrived.

    We awoke at 6am to rain and nil visibility and because we couldn’t do the retrieve from the night before unless we could get some bearings we didn’t head away from camp until 7.30am. The chopper was due at 1pm.

    By 10am it was still clagged and raining and we were getting cold, but the fog swirled clear for about 2-3 minutes and that was long enough for Craig to spot the dead animal in the bush through his binos and to get a bearing onto it. I had had my turn the night before so this time Craig headed off, albiet with a lot less distance to travel. 45 minutes later he radio’d to say he had found a nice fat spiker, and an hour later he was back next me. Unfortunately not all of the meat was recoverable and the bottom side legs had to be left behind because they had tainted. While he was over there I had been able to get the odd pic of him through the mist.

    Attachment 84544

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    We were back at the camp at about noon and we quickly packed up for the chopper in spite of the chances of Chris getting in were very slim. Craig climbed a hill to ‘phone Chris at 1pm and he said that he hadn’t even bothered to get the chopper out of the hanger because f the weather. We were resolved to spending anther night there so we made a fire with wet wood and settled in – hope upon hope Chris would eventually come. At about 5pm it cleared enough to give us hope and at 6pm we heard the whop whop of Chris coming to get us. Yipee! We bundled our soaked gear into the helicopter and we were off out of there.

    Its always great to hear a chopper depart and leave one in silence, and its just as good to hear one coming to take you home. We had had a great time and had seen 10 or a dozen deer. It was the 4th time we had been in there together. This time we had gone in 3 weeks later than usual which meant the heads were hard, but the tute had gone off so there weren’t as many deer out and about.

    It was still a memorable trip, and there are more to come.

    Attachment 84546

    madjon_ and trooper90 like this.

  2. #2
    Throbbing Member Dorkus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Awesome write up Bruce. Sounds like a great trip and good to get some animals on the deck
    “The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.” - Thucydides 463BC



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