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  • 12 Post By stagstalker
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Thread: Seeking Sika

  1. #1
    Member stagstalker's Avatar
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    Jul 2018
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    Seeking Sika

    Ive managed to get in the hills a few times over the last week which produced some choice little hunts and late nights. The first afternoon was a raining miserable day but I hadn't been hunting much this year so was keen to go. It was a productive evening with @mawzer308 bowling over a tasty little eater followed by spotting plenty of animals. Unfortunately for me they were always on the move and every time I got set for a shot the little buggers didn't want to play the game and we ran out of a light.

    The next day I shot out on an evening mission with @WildBrad. It didn't take long and we laid eyes on a few animals including a group of promising young stags. With the promising young animals not being on the hit list while they try get some more age we spied a wobbly throw back character animal who would have been good to remove from the group. When we first got setup he was about 350yards and feeding away from us. Whilst Brad battled with the camera and rangefinder I battled with the uncomfortable shooting position. Every time he presented a shot we were either re checking range or just not good to go in our positions. Eventually the range became far enough that I made the call I wasn't happy with the shot in my position and we pulled pin.

    Moving further up the ridge we got to another vantage point and before long Brad spotted another two stags. A nice sized 6 pointer and what looked like an 8 pointer. We needed to close the gap a bit to re evaluate and get into shooting range so down a spur we went stopping at an opening about 350 yards away. On closer inspection what we thought was an 8 pointer was also a 6 as he was missing his trey tines. This same valley is where we got Brads big 8 last year who also had very small trey tines. Being a young looking animal we assumed him the benefit of the doubt hoping he will pop out some small treys in the future like Brads big fella and opted to line up on the traditional 6 pointer as the better management animal to take. Sure enough, by the time we were ready for a shot they had both sat down for a chew. After around 20 minutes of waiting and with the light fading we decided to give a few whistles to try stand him up. As we hoped, up he got. It was risky though as it also spooked him as he trotted towards cover before stopping for another look. Wasting no time I squeezed off on the 260 and sent a 142 LRAB behind the shoulder. I had subconsciously aimed behind the shoulder to allow for a bit of wind that had been coming up the valley but when the action unfolded the wind had dropped and it was calm which I failed to register in the moment. Luckily the point of aim for the wind hold was still a double lung shot and he went down nice and quick. We found him pretty easy and with just enough time to whip the meat off as it got dark. He was a fat bugger and luckily his tops had just hardened which was a bonus. I still generally consider it too early for sika stags at this time of the year as a lot of the others we saw were still soft so that was choice. Thankfully the Fiordland training paid off and the heavy walk out was no worries at all.

    The next day I decided to go back into the same general area from day one for an evening hunt with one of the lads from my team at work. I was quite keen to get him an animal being someone looking to learn the ropes and get into the addiction himself. It didn't take long and we spotted the first animal, a yearling spiker. Luckily for him he was safe from us. It was still early in the evening so he could be spared in hope of becoming a stag one day. To my surprise we didn't spot an awful lot of animals as this particular area is normally pretty good. With about an hour of light left to go I popped my head over into a gut beside us and spotted a hind. We quickly got setup but she fed back into some scrub only to re appear out the other side about 10 minutes later. Her shoulder was obscured by some scrub so we waited for a better shot. In true fashion the wind did its thing and managed to sneak our scent into her nostrils which sent her motoring down into the creek below and up the face opposite us at about 160yards. Luckily she seemed to be stopping every now and then while we scrambled to keep on her. Eventually she stopped long enough and Pen got a shot away showing a hit. The hind took off uphill but not looking like she was going to keel over anytime soon. She stopped again and once more I got Pen to get a follow up shot away this time resulting in a miss. About now I started to realise my errors. I had put Pen under too much pressure in an uncomfortable shooting position with an unfamiliar rifle trying to make a shot on a target that kept moving. I called him off the rifle and quickly got behind the trigger. The hind stopped and I sent a 142 LRAB into her shoulder and sealed the deal. At this point I then got Pen to keep visual on the Calf that was still hanging around as I grabbed another round from my pack. In true young animal fashion it hung around with time to spare and I sent another pill away securing her too. Thankfully it had all ended well and I apologised to Pen for the situation I had just put him in whilst explaining that it was my fault and to not feel bad whatsoever.

    It was a pretty steep ugly climb down and up to recover them but thankfully we got across and found them both right on dark. To my pleasure the calf was a female too which meant the ultimate conservation double for the herd. Its funny the extra satisfaction I get from shooting hinds these days knowing what I do through Cam Speedys top notch podcasts with The Educated Hunter and Sika Foundations videos. This area in particular holds high numbers and more males are shot than females which leads to counter productive results in the herd for stag quality, sex ratios and population management.

    It was another very late night by the time we got home and it was fair to say that after three late nights in a row I was shagged at work the next day. Plenty of venison for everyones freezer so a top result all round.

    Cheers,
    Dylan.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Tahr, tikka, Rusky and 9 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member
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    An eye for detail says Z9

  3. #3
    Member stagstalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR500 View Post
    An eye for detail says Z9
    Assuming you are talking to the top photo as the only one with something to work off I think your eye has let you down haha

  4. #4
    Member mawzer308's Avatar
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    Has been a good week for it alright. Got dad an 8pointer yesterday too. Let me know if you are going to stain the antlers, I've got some potassium permanganate you can use.
    stagstalker likes this.

  5. #5
    Member Nathan F's Avatar
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    Beaut skins too
    stagstalker likes this.

  6. #6
    Member ANTSMAN's Avatar
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    primo mate-yep Cam Speedy speaks le truth!

  7. #7
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    Yeah, lovely skins. Would indicate they have access to decent tucker.

    Shot a few Sika in the Southern Kaimanawas Waitangi weekend. Pretty small stature and washed out coloured skins. But the tucker available was not flash
    ANTSMAN and stagstalker like this.

  8. #8
    Member
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    Some nice animals there , the 6 is quite a nice head worth keeping alright. Looks like the days are numbered for your 284 and 7 mm Mag the way the 260 is performing, well done and more good training for the Southern Hills.
    stagstalker likes this.

  9. #9
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    you will enjoy the eating ...thems tasty wee beasties.
    stagstalker likes this.

  10. #10
    Member
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    Hamilton
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    Such cool skins
    stagstalker likes this.

 

 

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