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Black Watch Alpine

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  1. #1
    Member sako75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    shooting the gap

    This roar was to be different to any other in a couple of ways. Firstly our good mate John was unable to make it so my brother’s 14yo son, Braden, took his place. Secondly no two trips are the same.

    The usual pre-roar planning went without a hitch including the long range forecast which showed only one day of rain for the coming Wednesday.

    Meeting my brother Craig and Braden at the top of the Bombay’s at 5.00am on Saturday 31st, I said farewell to my wife who then had a 1hr drive home and a week of peace to look forward to. We met our other good mate Ian in Rotorua then on to Murupara. A couple of flights in the Jet Ranger got all four of us and our gear to the hut in good time. Game on.

    First duty was to evict the resident rat and clean up his mess which included throwing a mattress outside that stunk and sweeping up the shredded mattress inner. We have been to this hut 8 times in the last 10 years and never seen it like this. Rat bait will be on the list next year.

    After a quick strategy talk, Ian and I were soon out the door kitted up and pumped for what lay ahead.
    Our style of hunting together is full of sign language as for the most part of it we will be 40-60m apart depending on the density of the bush. This is where blaze orange really comes into it. The one in the front scanning ahead and the other dropping off to search both sides whilst keeping the other in sight. Periodically we swap positions to give the front one a mental rest. Despite my roaring efforts (which sound perfect to me however truth be known they probably sound like a cat been given a thermometer without lubrication).
    We meandered our way up to the “Crossroads” then took a left turn. I watched as Ian raised his rifle to scope further ahead so stayed put to avoid any distracting noise. He lowered it for a moment then put the scope back to his eye????? (later found that he was winding up the magnification) Then came the clearly audible “dead mans click”!!!! “you dickhead” I said to myself as he casually lowered the butt and worked the action. Stock back to his shoulder and scope to the eye. Kaboompah. He turned back to where I was and the smile said it all. A quick nip tuck job on the spiker and all three of us were back on the track heading for the hut as the sun was going down. The Port that night was a victory salute to Ian.

    Sunday morning saw Ian and I once more out the door and heading for a ridge in another direction. There is a reason why I like climbing slow enough so that I don’t build up too much sweat and the strong Southeasterly on the ridge top that gave us a chilly reception is the reason why. Still no roaring to be heard. This was not in our pre-roar planning. The hills should be alive. As we travelled NE along the ridge, I gave the occasional roar. Not too aggressive. Fresh rubbings here and there. Better still a fresh stag turd. Ian was less than 10m behind me so a hand signal was barely needed, more of a habit. Approaching a large tree about half a meter round I noticed a buildup of Pepperwood. Oh well, at least deer like them. Boxing around the tree “holy shit” 10m away a stag walking straight at us, out of the Pepperwood. Blocked by the tree I looked back to see Ian at my 5’oclock and 6m away with the scope to his eye. He looked at me and I mouthed “shoot him”. “you shoot him” was his reply. WTF? I worked the bolt up and back down, click clack, “shit that’s loud”. Raised the stock to my shoulder and leaned to the left as the scope came up. Simultaneously the stag moved in the same direction and we came eye to eye barely 3m apart, 2m from the muzzle.
    It was at this moment that Ian saw the stag for the first time. He didn’t see the stag which must have passed below his line of sight when he had been looking through his scope at a bit of discolouration on a tree 30m ahead when I told him to “shoot it” hence his reply “if you want to shoot a tree then go right ahead ya dickhead”.
    What made the stag bolt we will never know. Starring down the barrel of a Sako 75? Probably. Me partially obscured by the tree? Possibly. Or did he walk into the SE scent trail of Ian at the same time?
    As the stag bolted, I made the dumbest, most stupid actions of my hunting life. One I regret doing. I lowered the muzzle end of the rifle a 5 or 6 inches as I tracked the stag making his escape. At the 2’oclock position from our faceoff in a gap between the trees, I squeezed off a shot. This was not an aimed shot. I was pointing the rifle at the front end of the fleeing deer. It was a reflex shot, a desperate shot. By all rights, the bullet could have hit the body of the stag anywhere or gone straight over the top and clean missed. At worst an injured animal never to be seen again. The sight of the stag hitting the deck at 7m and momentum carrying it out of sight into the bushes was one of disbelief. The look of astonishment on Ian’s face was priceless. I think I muttered “WTF”. It had been 15-20 seconds from when I first laid eyes on the stag. Was he coming to see what the screaming cat in his patch was all about? Was he just looking for company? The bullet entered the left eye and did a few circuits inside the skull where it stayed. Yet I shot it from it’s right side. Go figure that one.
    The victory port that night was all the more sweeter now I had one on the board.

    View from where Ian was looks deceptive but explains why he couldn't see the stag

    Shooting the gap

    Final resting place. Note the clean underbelly

    Monday I took Braden for a look up another ridge top that I had never been along before yet it was so close to the hut. The wind was gaining strength and coming from all points on the compass. Very little sign about and again no roaring to be heard. The warmth of the Port at night was comforting.

    Tuesday we woke to light rain. Another item not in our pre-roar planning. The long range forecast was one day early. Craig and I had a good look around in the umbrella of the overhead canopy. Still not a sound to be heard. What has happened to the roar? Are we a week too early? The stag I had shot was nowhere near ready to party with the girls.

    Wednesday and the forecast was true to form. Heavy rain so we had a hut day. Pity the poor lads camping 26km North of us. Tomorrow will be a good day. The cloud will be gone and the chill morning air might get a bit of roaring action going.

    Thursday dawned to another wet day. Craig and I decided to make the most of our time and continue along the ridge where I had shot the stag on Sunday morning. The canopy had become saturated and was leaking like a sieve. Was not long before were wet through. An uneventful day and yet to hear a roar.

    Friday dawned with intermittent drizzle and our last day for Craig and Braden to get on the scoreboard. They had spooked a couple of unseen deer throughout the week. Ian and I spent the morning breaking down his spiker then cleaned up the meat from my stag. Maggots made us lose over half the meat from mine Grggggghhhhh
    We went out for a late afternoon walk back to the Crossroads where Ian had shot his spiker on the first day. I took a right turn this time and did my best to roar in one last time. No replies. Ian had another spiker in his sights but too many trees did not give an opportunity for a shot.
    Our last night and we lit the fire for the first time and finished our remaining beers and the last bottle of Port.

    Saturday the chopper arrived in the drizzling rain at 9.00am and it was off to BK in Rotorua

    Would I take another shot like I did? No. The speed of how it unfolded was a great rush but it was a totally uncalculated risk. I got lucky and don’t want to be caught in a situation where my luck runs out.

  2. #2
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    AT least you had positively Identified your target
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

  3. #3
    The Scope Whore ! Philipo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Palmy Nth
    Good report Sako I know shooting Deer off the cuff like that is frowned apon, but shit thats one shot you will be talking about for years

    And regarding that first pic, yes by the looks of it you were very excited as theres a horn sticking out'a the front of ya trouses Blahahaha
    Shoot it, root it & then BBQ it !!!

  4. #4
    MEB is offline
    probably drunk MEB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Blue shoes are GAY. No matter what.

    Other than that - yer there to slay them Stags. I think at 10m It's positively Identified. Great shot - don't knock it.
    EDIT: Very Very GAY shoes
    Last edited by MEB; 19-04-2012 at 02:17 AM. Reason: Really gay shoes

  5. #5
    Member sako75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Philipo, do you not hunt with a penis gourd? Google it and see what your missing. Still bouncing off the walls reminiscing over the shot of a lifetime
    MEB, I hear what you are saying about the shoes. I only ever wear them in the bush. Never wore my boots at all this roar or the last. Apart from the gay colour, they are comfy, quiet and reasonable grip. Prefer them over boots especially in the dry. Even the sly Greendog wouldn't hear me sneak up on him

    saved you some time



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