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Thread: Storm Chasing. A tale of unsuccessful stalks and small doings this last roar

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    Storm Chasing. A tale of unsuccessful stalks and small doings this last roar

    I pull up into the DOC car park with the wipers battling to keep the windscreen clear of the downpour and the surrounding hills hidden by low cloud. Getting out of the car my boots sink into the saturated ground as I slosh back to the car boot and haul out my pack and rifle. ”There’s no doubt about it, it’s wet” I think to myself, [I’ve always been pretty quick on the uptake]. The tail end of cyclone Debbie had tracked down the country and was predicted to remain over my hunting spot for the next two days. I’d accommodated this in my plans by picking a hunting area with a hut to hole up in and access that didn’t rely on low river flows. The master plan is to walk in during the rain so as to be ‘Johnny on the spot’ when the wx cleared. I figured the stags would then get busy working their territory’s to scent mark them again after the rain. One positive side to the wx was that it may have put others off, as there were no other vehicles parked up.



    Organising my trips can be a major focus of my life for days, if not weeks before I set out. First securing leave from work and home [both establishments demand a rush of activity to ensure no loose ends are left]. I spend hours over maps choosing where to go, looking for potential camp sites, likely areas that might hold animals etc. Then selecting, gathering and packing the gear, buying and preparing the food. After all the anticipation, planning and prep when your boots finally hit the track there’s excitement and the relief that you’re finally underway. I’m sure like me, many of you readers will find peace and a simple pleasure just being in the backcountry. I relish how the stresses of my normal life ease from my shoulders with each step away from the road end. Connecting with the natural world, the wild and beautiful surroundings and the utter simplicity of the life is to me the ideal form of relaxation.

    The walk in to the hut is about five hours, albeit at my admittedly ‘unrushed’ pace. On most of my hunts here I camp out, however my wee tarp, in this weather, has limited appeal. This is an area of hills and gorgy creeks clad in dense bush. There is little in the way of open tops or grassy river flats, feed zones consist of spots where a broken canopy has allowed the growth of broadleaf groves. The bush, once you venture off track, very quickly throws up nasty obstacles and visability is restricted. Tight thickets of regenerating pole beech and nightmare entanglements formed by a combination of supplejack and bushlawyer make progress difficult and pretty damn noisy.

    Today though, I’m just cruising on the formed track only occasionally troubled by a fallen tree and taking the odd slide in the slick mud. I hit the sodden track wondering what the next four days has in store for me. I’m a couple of hours in before I come across any hoof prints and three hours before I hear a distant moan. The stags are certainly more muted today than they have been in previous years, presumably due to the rain. Often I’ll hear roars all day starting just a few hundred metres from the car park. Today there are only a few half-hearted moans revealing, as the day progresses, the presence of 3-4 stags all at a distance.


    So five hours on and as wet as a shag I’m pleased to see the hut. I have it to myself and take advantage of the copious space to hang my clothes to dry and spread my gear out. Into dry duds now, I explore the facilities. I’m disappointed at the amount of rubbish both in the hut and just chucked down the bank outside. There are dishes and a billy encrusted with the remains of a meal so it is hardly a shock to find the bench thick with mouse dirt. The wood shed was empty and I find the toilet door has been left open. The local possums have clearly found the toilet a convenient place to take a dump, although the evidence would suggest they have failed to fully grasp the operational intricacies behind the design of the human thunderbox. Huts being mistreated like this is a pet hate of mine, it shows some folk just don’t respect the place or have any consideration for those that are next to use it.

    After a flurry of activity tidying the place up, I cook some tea and take my culinary masterpiece outside [maggi mashed spuds and salami as I recall] to sit in the fading light under the veranda. I listen out for stags as I lay waste to the contents of the billy, but no one is mouthing off this evening. With the lack of action and after today’s exertions an early night seems a great idea so I clean up and hit the sack.

    Soon after I cease my stomping around the hut I became aware of scuttling of mice searching for whatever edible treats their new houseguest might have brought. They run around the bench rattling amongst the cutlery and pots etc. I lay smugly in my pit knowing I’d out witted them by hanging my food from the clotheslines strung around the wood burner and soon drift off. But within the hour I wake to suspicious noises emanating from somewhere near my hanging food stash. On flashes the head torch to reveal an apparently super agile, tightrope walking rodent perched on my food sack. A well-aimed ball of socks displaces him from his prize and he flies across the floor to his bolt hole. I get up and put a couple of crinkly plastic bags over the sack to act as an early warning system for any further incursions, but I hear no more that night and, thankfully, find my food supply still wholly intact the next morning.

    The rain continued through the night and in fact got heavier by morning, I relegated this as a lazy hut day. Knowing the forecast and having anticipated a day stuck inside I’ve ensured I have a heap of food, tea, coffee and fuel. I find a hut bound day quickly loses its appeal without such items. To help pass the time there is plenty of reading material in the hut, a variety of magazines and of course the hut intentions book which is always worth a glance.



    Outside the rain beats on the roof and the wind picks up. Every now and then it eases and I poke my nose out the door, but these breaks in the weather would never last. During one of the quieter periods I hear a roar outside –but this wasn’t a stag but rather a slip coming down somewhere across the valley. To be honest I like experiencing a bit of weather, one of my earliest childhood memories is, as a four year old, sitting in the lounge at home watching awestruck as trees were furiously buffeted and bent by the howling winds of the Waihine Storm. On a hunt a storm adds a bit of drama, a demonstration of nature’s power. The proviso is of course that I’m not stuck in a sodden tent that is at risk of being blown off an exposed ridge, no, such events are best observed from the warmth and security of a hut.

    The storms tempo waxed and waned all day. Collecting water from the river I found it was really high and the colour of mustard with its clay banks having collapsed and riverside trees were starting to teeter as they were undercut. I had to stand my water for a couple of hours just so I could decant all the silt. Although lazy by nature I must concede that by the end of the day I was a bit sick of being cooped up, I prayed that the forecasters had it right and things would ease tomorrow. Another day in the hut would be a big ask especially as far as the reading went I’d be reduced to catching up about Angelina Jolie and Kate Middleton in a couple of Woman’s Day magazines that graced the hut.

    By the morning things did look a lot better, the rain eased and the sky started to clear eventually revealing snow on the adjacent ranges which explained the chill in the air. I packed in the dark and was on the track by first light. It was great to be on the move again, out hunting and using my muscles and senses after my restful but dull day in the hut.





    There was a fair bit of storm damage evident, toppled trees, broken branches, small mud slides and here and there the track itself had slipped away. I headed to a favoured hunting possie which entailed my trekking up the valley for an hour and then climbing a spur to access the ridge I wanted to check out. Initially there was no sign and no roars but once I began toiling up the spur I heard a few quiet moans that then progressed to intermittent roars, but they were a long way off.

    I reached the ridge top and started stalking south east along it’s length. It’s a broad bush covered ridge with several spurs running of it, navigation can be tricky, especially so if the cloud drops to clag you in. I take a compass bearing and keep referring to it to ensure I don’t stray too far off course. The forest is as described earlier- tight, filled with thickets and lawyer and very noisy to travel through. I moved slowly following the easiest routes that coincided with the general direction of my bearing. I now have stags roaring to the left and right as well as one ahead along the ridge. All are some way off and the animals to the sides seemed a fair way down the steep slopes. The ridge top animal then was my best bet. I passed through two broadleaf groves as I proceeded. The first had plenty of storm felled leaves scattered about the deck, but there was little windfall in the next grove suggesting it had been fed on recently.




    The stag went quiet after about 15 minutes so I didn’t know how far ahead he was. But with deer sign becoming evident I slowed down to stalk more carefully. Every few steps I’d pause, ears straining for sounds of movement and eyes scanning the scene trying to penetrate the layers of foliage ahead.


    With no evidence of any animals I switch my attention to picking the best route ahead. I need to avoid a myriad of noise making obstacles, underfoot are the fallen beech branches and twigs that snap at every step while the dense bush means to progress I need to push through entwined branches, tight thickets of juvenile beech, with some areas also laced in clinging vines of the hooked bush lawyer. I search for a clear spot to place each foot and take high steps to clear the noisy brush and fallen branches, I need to nudge fallen twigs away with the toe of my boot before placing it. To maintain my balance I keep my strides short, I move slowly, cautiously and part the undergrowth I need to slip through with as little movement and sound as possible. Stealthy travel in this dense bush takes all my attention, there is little chance of noticing any animal while I’m focused on moving. So I adopt a routine of moving 5-6m, stopping and have a good look around for sign and animals and listening for movement. Move and stop to look, move and stop, this pattern is repeated over and over as I slowly advance.

    ‘Stalking’, actually trying to close in on an animal, I find a really intense experience, a disciplined process - absorbing but fatiguing. Without wanting to get too ‘New Agey’, I’d say with the focus that’s required it’s almost meditative. You need to be totally attuned to the exercise, maintaining stealth and alert observation. The senses of sight, hearing and even smell all come into play. I’m alert for sign, pellets and prints are the most common and the most obvious, I evaluate them as I pass -stag or hind?, fresh or not? Antler rubs might be evident, a tree trunk with it’s pale inner flesh exposed and at times you will get a whiff of stag denoting where an animal has been scent marking.



    A stag might let out a low moan or a more aggressive roar. I strain to locate the direction and estimate the distance of the source. With each vocalisation I build an impression of what’s going on. Are the stags stationary or on the move? are they getting more stroppy with each other or is one or other of them retreating?

    Inevitably every now and again I screw up, a foot is misplaced onto a loudly snapping branch or a tree limb catches on my pack and breaks as I pass. When I compromise myself like this I stop alert for movement from any deer I may have spooked. The wind has picked up so I try to time my moves to the gusts to help mask the sound of my progress.

    A prolonged stalk is draining and my concentration wanes. While trying to silently advance I overbalance with my foot precariously in mid-air and pitch forward at the risk of falling. To save myself I slam the foot back on the deck, cracking a couple of brittle branches as I do so and only just managing to remain upright and muffle the exclamation "f*cken idiot’’. This is a subtle clue for the mighty forest ninja to sit down and chill until energy and focus return.

    The lack of roaring worries me but I continued on, hoping he’ll start up again. After a lengthy period of silence I try a couple of roars myself. No reply, but I sit down for a snack and to see if any animals are coming in to check out my roars. No action. I elect to move on again and start to notice dried mud splotches on some of the sapling leaves, I must be getting near a wallow. The pool itself suddenly appears as a gleaming mirror surface starkly contrasting with the surrounding dull bush tones. This is a wallow that I’ve visited on previous trips. Surprisingly it doesn’t appear to have had recent use, I had thought this had been where my stag had been roaring from. This is real anti-climax to the hunt, the stag has just shut up and ghosted away. A little bummed, I have a late lunch break and make a plan for the final day of my trip.



    There’s a stag on a nearby bush saddle that I’ve been after for several years. A couple of summers back my nephew had shot a 10 pointer near Bush Saddle Stags wallow. We thought this might have been our boy, but the following roar there was a stag defending the territory again and judging from his sign he was about the same size as the original. I can’t be sure but I like to think Bush Saddle Stag lives on. Tomorrow I will check out the saddle for him.

    Shouldering my pack I backtrack along the ridge and down the spur. I hear a few more roars as I descend but none are feasible stalks. I cross the saddle in question and set up the tarp in my usual camping spot. Even as I pitch camp a neighbouring stag [we’ll call him ‘Westie’] started working himself up and Saddle Stag replies intermittently with agitated roars from his turf. Things go quiet again and I retire to bed.

    Last year I had heard these same two animals sparking off each other. On that occasion Saddle Stag had settled things by charging into Westies territory and chasing him around for several hours. The two years prior to that Saddle Stag did not, seemingly, have his neighbours so openly challenge him. His habit then was to remain quiet all day and then in the small hours roar mightily from the saddle, just letting folk know he remained in residence and to not even bother to come looking for trouble.

    Well this year, as I lay in bed another stoush developed but I’m not sure that Saddle Stag was as in control this time. It started a couple of hours after dark, I woke to hear ‘Westie’ roaring as he made his way up into Saddle Stags territory. Saddle Stag was pissed at this intrusion and angrily roared from further up slope both animals were impressively intimidating. It sounded like Saddle Stag dropped down to intercept ‘Westie’ and the racket continued as the pair worked their way down valley over an hour or two with Saddle Stag ultimately holding his ground. I find witnessing such encounters really exciting. I lay there keenly listening, trying to interpret what was unfolding above camp and once it was over it took a while to get back to sleep.


    I was really amped next morning, I had an appointment with Saddle Stag, my long-time nemesis. I was ready for the stalk well before it was light enough to move. Sitting outside my bivi I munch on a couple of muesli bars waiting as the forest slowly reveals itself in the half light. Finally I’m able to make a move and pick my way up slope. All is quiet, no moans no roars. I move very slowly doing what I can to avoid making too much noise. I know Saddle Stags territory pretty well by now. There’s a small creek in a gully to my left. ‘Saddle’ often positions himself here as the gully assists in amplifying his roars. Well ahead off to my right is his wallow, my plan is to stalk up to this bath and stake it out for as long as the wind remains in my favour.

    Eventually I hear a couple moans from ‘Westie’, now back in his territory. This evokes a reply from ‘Saddle’ which revealed he is ahead and to my left, likely on the opposite side of the creek. The bush was too thick to cross the gully at this point so I slowly continue my ascent while carefully scanning to the left. Neither stag continues their conversation so after 10 minutes or so I let out a moan myself. ‘Saddle’ replied with a roar almost immediately, I’m always thrilled when my calls are accepted as the real thing by a stag, it’s a real buzz. ‘Saddle’ seemed to be still ahead of me but perhaps now on my side of the gully. I moan again hoping his answer will allow me to more accurately pinpoint him, but this time there is no reply –I worry that he had sussed me out and can just about sense his distain. Still he might be sneaking in to check me out so I sit down to await developments all the time worrying that I have blown it.

    Nothing happens, nothing heard, nothing seen. I guess 20 minutes or so pass and I decide to keep with the plan and check out his wallow. I was getting close now and more sign is appearing with several rubs spotted and the pungent smell of stag wafting to me occasionally. As I progress uphill another shouting match develops between saddle and another challenger a few hundred metres ahead, somewhere near the wallow. Buzzing again I try to temper my desire to close the gap with the need to maintain stealth in this noisy thick bush. I gain an area that’s a little more open, that I recognise as being about 100m from the wallow. I scan all around but see nothing, advance five or six meters stop and scan again with my ears straining for any sound –nothing. I keep slowly moving forward repeating this cycle.

    Then a moan emanates up to my right, from the rim of a steep drop off leading down to a major side stream. I close the gap cautiously, expecting to see a stag at any minute. As I near the lip I hear an animal about 30m ahead pushing through the bush as it descends down into the side valley. I peer down through the bush but can’t discern any signs of movement let alone an actual animal. Concealed behind a tree I let out a low moan, hoping to entice the stag uphill again. There is a well-worn trail dropping from the lip down into the valley about 10m from me and it sports some crisp prints in the mud. This has got to be where he went. I wait for his return and contemplate descending the trail after him if he doesn’t show up.



    These thoughts are interrupted by a sound 100-150m away on the face up to my left, ‘Saddle Stags’ turf. What was that sound? A shrub being thrashed maybe? I sneak in towards the source, eyes on stalks and listening intensely for more clues. I reach a point that offers a semi open view that encompassed the wallow. Here I sit all but motionless for 45 minutes waiting out my nemesis. I’d have stayed longer but the wind began picking up as the morning went on and seamed to blow to all points of the compass. I let out a couple of moans but this draws no interest from either animal.

    When I finally decide the game is up I amble down to inspect the wallow [I’m due to walk out today so I’m not concerned about scenting up the place and spoiling the hunting]. The wallow was cloudy with use and had prints all around it. I wonder in fact if the sound I heard earlier had been his sloshing out of the pool. The steep bank dropping into the wallow is still wet from splashes and tiny rivulets are draining displaced water back down to the pool. Saddle Stags rubs are evident on a number of the surrounding trees – the gouges stretch about 170cm up the trunk.



    Well that was the end of my hunting for this trip, again my old foe has kept a step or two ahead of me. But it seems he is increasingly having issues with keeping his neighbours in line. I wonder how long he will be able to keep his turf and hinds from the challengers. Is he starting to lose his edge? Each trip is a learning experience and I gain a fascinating glimpse into drama of the rut in this valley.

    My failures do sting my ego though, it’s a frustrating exercise year after year [coming out without even seeing an animal for Christ’s sake!!]. I find repeatedly hunting the same animal with the same non-results exasperating.
    But I recognise that if I had had the luck [or skills] to have shot saddle stag in the first year or two then I would have not been able to piece his story together from my years of interpreting his sign and overhearing his roaring encounters. It’s all conjecture of course, but its developing into a real drama, a thrilling story of a king initially at the height of his power but now beset by power hungry rivals who seem to becoming stronger and more of a threat. There’s been times, plenty of times, when I’ve thought ‘’bugger this, there are easier places to hunt’’, but at the same time an autumn passing without a trip in here would seem a real loss. I know I’d wonder how Saddle Stag was getting on –leaving the challenge at this point well I just couldn’t do it. I need to see it through to see how the story ends, I’ve invested too much just to turn my back on it.

    I needed a spell of hunting in a less claustrophobic environment. So after a day at home I head into a valley in the Lewis Pass area. Plenty of bush here too, of course, but you also have the river flats and open tops to look over. This time the walk in is completed in sparkling sunshine that followed an overnight frost. But again the forecast featured plenty of rain with Cyclone Cook due in a day or two. I meet a tramper heading out. He had shared a hut with a party of hunters the night before last and that they hadn’t seen a deer in the week they’d been there!!


    I reassured myself that I would be a full days walk from them so my area was unlikely to have been covered by that party. No roars or moans heard on the way in but at the 5 hr mark I start coming across prints on sandy river flats. At one point I smell stag amongst the open matagouri bushes. I have a clear view and there is no sign of a beast, so I guess one had peed amongst the shrubs. I stop briefly at a hut for a break again I notice rubbish in the surrounding bush I feel my hackles raise as I go and check it out. But this rubbish is very dated and includes a large rusty milk powder tin I’m guessing from the culling days. My attitude changes this is historic rubbish this has some interest, some value. It’s funny how the same sloppy behaviour that I was cursing during my hut stay last trip now I interpreted as having provided an interesting treasure.

    [/img]

    Last year I’d been in an adjacent valley, we’d found little sign in the flats but observed animals on the tops. So I set up my camp in an area that offers good access, via a series of spurs, up to the tussock and scree. After sorting out camp and having a meal I climb to a knoll and spent the last 2 hrs of light glassing the surrounding tops. There are some pretty likely looking deer spots, tussock tops with easier contours and shrub colonised slips and avalanche slopes. I have a good view of the ranges each side of the valley so I was pretty hopeful of spying anything that emerged. But nothing came up. Half an hour before dark I start to backtrack down to camp, as I descended I’d regularly pause to sweep the bino’s over the tops again.



    Then maybe 15 minutes before dark as I was picking my way down slope I saw a blur of rapid movement on the river flats below. Whatever it was, it was travelling in a large loop at pace. I initially thought ‘hare’ but it seemed too big and yet it was smaller than a deer. I got the binos up in time to see a fawn gallop across my line of sight only to disappear amongst the dots and stands of matagouri. I sat down and tried to pick it up again, searching the flats I spied a hind and then another standing 50 m away with the fawn. I imagined mum was telling the youngster to cool it as it’s antics could draw the attention of some a-hole of a predator. I’ve seen this behaviour before, young animals taking joy in being able to run about in the open after emerging from a long day trapped in the bush. Actually I guess it was similar to how I had felt this morning hunting in open river valleys with their extensive vistas and sunshine after my frustrating and claustrophobic trip to Saddle stag’s valley.



    These guys were at some distance on the other side of the river and so were safe from me tonight in the rapidly fading light. The trio moved into the partial cover of the matagouri and began feeding I kept glassing for an accompanying stag but to no avail. In the dim light I picked my way down to camp, regularly looking up to check out the flats. My last view of the deer was of the two hinds staring in my direction before trotting off into cover. That night I hear a couple of moans from over the river, so the girls do have a boyfriend in attendance.

    Next morning I extensively glass the opposite flats but no deer are spotted, so I stalk up the flats on my side but again to no avail. Returning to camp mid-morning I spot a single deer in almost the same spot as the other animals had been last night. I only have a brief glimpse as it trots into the matagouri, I don’t make out antlers but the impression was certainly of a large bodied animal with a thick neck. It takes me 20 minutes to cross the river and get to the point that I’d seen the animal. I scan the matagoui flats but no animal is evident. I’m doubtful that it will still be about given the speed it had been travelling and I wonder if I had already been rumbled. Still, I walk down the flats on the alert, peering into the matagouri stands and the forest edge. As you would expect with the deer I’d seen last night there was plenty of sign about. After about 20 minutes I notice an unusually red-brown matagouri trunk among all the other grey trunks. This trunk was bent like the hind leg of a dog …or a deer. As I watched the trunk picked itself up and moved - yes it was definitely a deer’s leg.



    The animal is not shootable due to all the matagouri standing between us and it is now briskly walking away. As I watch it drifts briefly through a small opening that enables me to make out a set of antlers. Looks like an eight pointer or so. A fairly modest animal but still a target for me given I’ve never managed to shoot a stag in the roar. To intercept him I’ll have to make up some ground. Therefore I elect to take a risk and move directly across the open flats rather than sneak through the matagouri. That of course was when it all turned to custard. Half way across the flat I see the stag has turned and is heading back in my direction. I’m caught out in the open with the stag head on to me staring, trying to make out what I am. I can’t even raise my rifle without spooking him so I stand stock still hoping he’ll relax or look away and so enable me to get into a shooting position. The standoff lasts 3 or 4 very long minutes but suddenly he gets sick of the game and in two bounds is swallowed up by the bush.

    *** BUGGER!!***



    That evening I suss out a good possie to spy on these magical flats, but nothing turns up –perhaps not surprising given I’d walked all along the flats leaving my scent.

    Well that was the end of my hunting as the rain came on with Cyclone Cook making its appearance overnight. Another trip without any tangible reward no meat, no set of antlers, but at least this time I’d managed to see some animals. I trek out next morning with a sense of urgency, I fear the rivers will come up and leave me trapped. They quickly gain volume and velocity and I have to high tail it to get to the crossing points before they became impassable. Two hours down from camp I haul out from the final dicey crossing. From this point I could relax as there were only minor side streams to contend with.





    So my roar this year started with one storm and ended with another. I’d had some exciting stalks in a variety of situations, listened to some violent and thrilling roaring battles, snuck up through difficult country to within 30m of unseen stags, watched the social behaviour of deer that were totally unaware of my presence, spotted and stalked a stag all amongst the wild backcountry we are so lucky to have on our doorstep. I drive home totally refreshed and very thankful for my experiences. Sure there is a degree of disappointment at not securing an animal and my lost opportunities –but there’s always next year eh.

  2. #2
    R93
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    That read like a good book.

    Was there a reason you did you not concentrate on the saddle stag with your second trip?

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    Quote Originally Posted by R93 View Post
    That read like a good book.

    Was there a reason you did you not concentrate on the saddle stag with your second trip?

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    Giday R93,
    I usually have a week to 10 days available for hunting in the roar and while there is plenty of action at that spot, I find hunting there a real challenge, mentally taxing and very frustrating. You, almost literally, can't see an animal until you are standing on top of them. I can follow the logic in making a concerted effort to take on 'Saddle' for my whole roar, but after a few days at that difficult game I end up feeling a bit claustrophobic and that I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I am always defeated by a combination of the Saddles senses and the noise i inevitably make when trying to close in on him through the thick bush. After a few days I start to dream of views that extend beyond 20m and the possibility that I will at least see an animal if i head to more open country.

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    Great yarn, cheers

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    Well written, I enjoyed that, was right on your shoulder, thanks!!
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  6. #6
    R93
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    Quote Originally Posted by footsore View Post
    Giday R93,
    I usually have a week to 10 days available for hunting in the roar and while there is plenty of action at that spot, I find hunting there a real challenge, mentally taxing and very frustrating. You, almost literally, can't see an animal until you are standing on top of them. I can follow the logic in making a concerted effort to take on 'Saddle' for my whole roar, but after a few days at that difficult game I end up feeling a bit claustrophobic and that I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I am always defeated by a combination of the Saddles senses and the noise i inevitably make when trying to close in on him through the thick bush. After a few days I start to dream of views that extend beyond 20m and the possibility that I will at least see an animal if i head to more open country.
    Is there any other way of approaching him? From above for example?

    I know it's can be frustrating when they go quiet especially when you are close but try to refrain from giving him your location if you get close and he goes quiet again.
    Sit in a likely spot and wait him out if he is worth it. Could take all day. (I read a book or my kindle)

    Also learn a fawn call. That will most of the time stop him if ya spook him or get him closer if you have him going and he won't budge.
    Don't beat yourself up for being a bit noisy either. Deer don't sneak around the bush much. People put way too much emphasise on it imo.

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    I appreciate the advice R93. I do 'mew' now and again as I'm stalking and I have come around to the tactic of staking out his turf/wallow but the swirling wind [that is typically here after mid morning] has proved problematic.

  8. #8
    R93
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    I chased a stag for 3 years in a similar situation. Wind was a killer.
    I got a shot at him my first time in on him and fluffed it.

    I am 99% sure my old boss shot him from the machine in a basin where he spent his summers.

    Sad end to a magnificent Otago stag.

    I hope ya get your one.

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  9. #9
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    I was out in the tail of the same storm. It was raining almost solidly while we were out there. Probably could have stalked fish there was so much water.....

  10. #10
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    The best roars hands down when they go quite is the balls out HU HU HUUUURRR gets them fired up everytime

  11. #11
    R93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boaraxa View Post
    The best roars hands down when they go quite is the balls out HU HU HUUUURRR gets them fired up everytime
    How does that go again?😆

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    WallyR likes this.
    Do what ya want! Ya will anyway.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=R93;600947]How does that go again?��

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    Haha you no I thought I was prepared for that but iv just finished listing to some footage & its mostly just to keep them going I could upload it to youtube for a larf my part sounds pretty crap but you can hear the stag doing what im meaning..if you get my drift ! I don't sound anything like the graf bro,s ...im better

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    Actually poor timing but I think that could make a cool thread ...mite take it a little further & make a comp

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    Good read footsore, you are certainly onto them so sooner or later you will nail a stag in the roar, success isn't always the way a hunt ends but you still have the memories of the hunt.
    R93 likes this.

 

 

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