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  • 17 Post By mopheadrob
  • 4 Post By uk_exile
  • 1 Post By stug
  • 1 Post By Trout
  • 1 Post By Pixie Z
  • 3 Post By CamD
  • 1 Post By Tedz50
  • 1 Post By Micky Duck

Thread: Reminiscing

  1. #1
    Member mopheadrob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018


    With everyone stuck at home, thereís a dearth of new articles in the Magazine section and Iíve been lapping up whatever I can get. I also realised I never got around to writing up my last trip. How about everyone casts their minds back and shares some recent adventures?

    Gotta go back to Boxing Day for mine (sad, I know. Itís been a busy year). @uk_exile and I had met through this forum and had been meaning to hook up for a trip for some time, and my bro-in-law @CamD had caught the hunting bug but had only been on one introductory trip. We all managed to coordinate leave passes and decided on a spot in the Puketerakis with a hut and a walk in thatís not too full-on. In Canterbury, basically all the good country requires a fair amount of climbing to access, and I have destroyed a few mates already underestimating their fitness.

    Day one involves a trek across some private land before getting to the DoC, so we werenít too bothered by the drizzly clag. Bumping three hinds after our lunch stop gave us confidence there were animals in the area, but we had some climbing through native bush to do first.

    Breaking into a clearing on the track gave us our first chance to put our binos to work, and sure enough, I spotted a stag in the riverbed below. The weather was really rough by now though and we still had a bit of ground to cover, so we left him in peace.

    Further up the track and another clearing gave us another look and yes, another stag caught my eye. He was happily feeding in a slip on the opposite side of the river valley, slightly below our elevation. With the hut about 1.5kms away also on the other side, the decision was made to give CD his first shot at a game animal. At 316m it wasnít an easy shot, but heíd been shooting well at the range. On top of that the weather was still awful - wind-driven hail on & off - and CD had to resort to an awkward rest on the top of his pack. He took his time, and while he settled himself I remembered spending what felt like 20 minutes trying to get into a good position my first shot.

    He finally pulled the trigger and I saw a puff of dirt above the shoulder. Damn - I forgot to allow for a clean barrel. The stag had run downhill but turned back, not able to identify the source of the suppressed shot. He started climbing back up the slip and paused in the bush edge. CD took an agonisingly long time to relocate it in his scope (ďWhich tree?Ē ďThe tree by the rock!Ē ďI canít see himĒ ďNot that tree, the other tree!Ē) but eventually let rip and we heard the satisfying smack of connection and watched the stag drop cleanly and tumble down the hill.

    UK & I enjoyed reliving our firsts as CD went through all the emotions that come with it. And it was a shot to be proud of - later found to have drifted further forward than his intended shoulder target into the neck, due to the wind funnelling through the valley.

    We pushed on to the hut, I would go back for the deer after dinner. As it was already getting late I didnít bother trying to beat the light and set off at 9pm. Then began an absolute mission - the country was steep & broken, and I crossed 5 ridge / gully systems before making it back to the stag - a young 6-pointer in great condition. I took the back straps & hindquarters and turned for home. It wasnít long before I gave up trying to haul them out of the steep gully, the persistent drizzle had turned everything slippery. I tried dropping down to the river, but it gorged up and I quickly ruled out trying to cross. Ditching the hindquarters, I started to climb again. I got bluffed a couple of times, and at one point was basically rock-climbing a near vertical face clutching to what little scrub had anchored itself there. Not my finest moment by any stretch, and I was pretty relieved to spot the hut at 2am.

    Poor UK & CD had spent a nervous evening waiting and eventually turned in with an alarm going every hour, half expecting to hear a helicopter responding to my PLB. Sorry guys, lesson learnt. We all had a big sleep-in the next morning, and after a low key evening glassing with no joy, the hard-earned back straps tasted pretty darned good. Unfortunately the day had been spoiled by UKís binos falling out of their case on the way back - we back-tracked our numerous river crossings but eventually consigned them to the rocky bottom.

    The next morning I was good to go again and took off to make the tops above the hut before dawn. I spotted a number of animals in the surrounding area, including on one glorious-looking fan further upriver. A plan was hatched to hit it that evening. We headed out early afternoon. CD was tasked with cooking dinner in the field - another first for him and he aced it with a bloody delicious Moroccan couscous. After that we settled in to glass.

    The country just screamed ďdeerĒ, and at that magical hour I spied a hind wander out around 600m away. We watched her feed across the fan, willing her to drop towards us but she stayed tantalisingly out of my comfort zone. Instead, a huge blue boar popped out on the other side and busily made his way downhill. Once he got to 250m, he was too good to refuse and it was UKís turn. The big 7RM barked but the boar turned and ran. Sweeping my binos back up the hill, I saw the hind had looked up but not spooked, and went back to feeding. With light fading, I left UK & CD to look for a blood trail while I raced up a fold in the hill to see if I could get within range. I popped out and spied her again at around 180m, but the light was pretty low now so I snuck closer to make sure of things. At 120m I was confident and boom, down she went.

    It transpired that UKís scope was out of whack and his shot at the boar had been a clean miss. Fortunately we had even better meat. CD got a lesson in field-dressing, and we split the venison three ways for a cruisy hike back to the hut in the moonlight. Somewhere on route, CD glanced down into the water we were splashing through and spotted an unusual shape. He reached down and scooped up UKís lost binos, none the worse for wear! That topped off an already great day for all of us.

    After cleaning down the hut that we had grown pretty fond of, we shouldered pleasantly heavier packs and headed out. Iíll admit to being absolutely shagged by the time we reached the trailhead, but this was obscured by the elation of having our efforts rewarded with some prime protein and even more valuable experiences.

    So thatís my story - nothing exceptional, but hopefully it prompts a few of you to post your own. And @uk_exile and @CamD - I reckon we need to use this lockdown to plan & prepare for the second annual Puketeraki mission!
    Tahr, Trout, Brian and 14 others like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    West Auckland
    Great story! Go, you good thing!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Prebbleton (Christchurch)
    It certainly was a great few days with @mopheadrob and @CamD. Great location and company. There will definitely be a 2nd annual trip, and 3rd and 4th....
    For readers of this Rob has completely understated the efforts he went to attempting recovery of Cam's first deer. It was a massive effort for the first night. He's also understated our concerns back in the hut. It's fair to say we were getting 'worried' when the 'it'll take a couple of hours' time as exceeded and we could get no answers on the kiddie radios we had with us. But we stayed controlled and sensible recognising there was nothing we could do, or searchers, if we did press our PLB. Any actions needed to wait until closer to day break. We knew Rob had skills, a PLB and if I recall correctly first aid and emergency blanket with him. As 2 hours became 3 then 4 a plan started to be made. Cam was very relived when a crackly radio message was received about 1:30am as he'd been planning how he'd break the news to his sister how his first deer had lead to injury or worse of her husband. Quality radios or inreach would have been useful and reduced the stress, however Rob's skills and our calmness meant it was all fine. If shite had happened Rob had a PLB and so did we. We also all had NZ Topo50 on our phones plus a paper map and compass. Preparation is everything. Shame the prep hadn't covered my scope which later tests showed it was well off. Pork would have been nice. Recovering my binos after 24hrs in river was awesome though! https://www.nzhuntingandshooting.co....4/#post1108712

  4. #4
    Member stug's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Oxford, Canterbury
    Well done, it’s a nice spot in there.
    mopheadrob likes this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Southern Alps
    Good effort and results guys.
    mopheadrob likes this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Great story @mopheadrob! Reading through that I was wondering whether these might be the miraculous reappearing binos I’d read about on another thread. Great recovery there! Thanks for the inspiration though- I’ve actually got a couple stories I’ve been meaning to share but haven’t got round to doing. I’ll make sure to get one of em up soon.
    uk_exile likes this.

  7. #7
    Member CamD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Tai Tapu, Selwyn District
    I am late to the party replying but agree with all @mopheadrob and @uk_exile said. It was an amazing experience and has motivated more plans and adventures.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Pixie Z View Post
    Great story @mopheadrob! Reading through that I was wondering whether these might be the miraculous reappearing binos Iíd read about on another thread. Great recovery there! Thanks for the inspiration though- Iíve actually got a couple stories Iíve been meaning to share but havenít got round to doing. Iíll make sure to get one of em up soon.
    Just spent a few days in St James area and we had a disappearing Go Pro that failed to reappear so know how you feel.
    mopheadrob likes this.

  9. #9
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    oh well maybe all is not lost,Dusty Fog has a pair of binos having a long bath up the rangitata somewhere,either that or a snooze in the tussocks. enjoy your venison,you fellas sure earned it.
    mopheadrob likes this.



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