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Thread: When life throws you a lemon...

  1. #1
    Gold member Pointer's Avatar
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    When life throws you a lemon...

    I don't usually write reports, but with that nice roaring horn up for grabs I better put something down. Hope you enjoy!

    When life throws you a lemon...

    I had booked two weeks off work off over Easter, but for once, not for the roar. I had the wagon packed, the dog primed and myself chomping at the bit for the long drive to 90 mile beach for the Pointer and Setter club dog trials they hold up there annually. However, lady luck is ever fickle, and the once-trusty Nissan sheared all the dog teeth of the rear diff locker, distributing pieces of metal all through my diff, hence no transport. To top it off, Gisborne was for the second time in as many weeks isolated by road once again. Slips through the Waioeka gorge, flooding on the north coast road, slips on the Napier road. What to do, what to do...

    You know the answer. Beats going back to work doesn't it? As the pack is always in a semi-ready state, it was a case of replenishing the clean change of clothes at the bottom of it and asking my lovely partner to drop me off. Since I had no 4WD transport, and the roads out of Gisborne were closed, it limited my options to basically one spot in the eastern Raukumara that is easily accessed by car. Certainly a popular part of the park. However beggars can't be choosers so we were off.

    With all the recent rain we have had in the past month, the district is basically sodden. The clay and silt soils of the Raukumara were no exception - think knee deep mud for most of the three hour walk in, and where the mud ended, the bush lawyer started. Camp was made on the first night high in a valley head, ever fearful of more rain as forecasted. Not a single moan was heard, not a single animal seen. Completely devoid of any recent sign, a plan was hatched to pick up camp and head over the ridge tomorrow, to keep and ear out from the ridges.

    What a difference 500m makes! Having picked up camp, the next morning found me making the hard slog up the northern side of the valley to the ridge line. The moment I reached the top, in between my gasps I counted three stags in the immediate vicinity going absolutely nuts! The two on my side of the valley were nowhere near as wound up as the stag on the opposite face. He had one of those deep, guttural, growling roars to him, the kind that make hairs in all places stand on end. As the wind was badly swirling, the two on my side shut up pretty quickly, which I can only assume meant they had winded me. I was disappointed in this, as the area up wind in the valley floor was where I wanted to head that afternoon, eventually setting fly there. Even 'Noisy' as he had been christened didn't have much to say. Camp was made just off the ridge line, and after a fruitless hunt, night two fell apon Noisy and I. At Three AM I was woken by Noisy, yodeling his head off! Such sounds in the night make you smile... 'you'll keep' is the thought that comes to mind. He continued this until dawn, when I left camp in search of the Pavarotti of the East.

    The problem with getting to Noisy was where he was situated. It turns out that he was only another 500m up the valley, and thankfully the dawn winds were strong enough to aid my approach undetected. However, in the tiny gully head he sat at the top of, which I named 'Hell on Earth' was completely lined with bush lawyer at the top, and blackberry at the bottom, which lined a long, muddy bog of a creek at the bottom of the gut. This was going to be fun...

    There was another problem. Hinds. Everywhere. No wonder the old bastard was making so much noise! There was one snarky old hind who intently watched me climb the opposite side of the gully, without a single bark. I liked to think she was turned on by my professional roaring, but I feel my partner was more correct in saying when I got home, that it probably more to do with the fact I probably stunk like a stags arsehole by now. How uncouth!

    After spending three hours of the morning trying to cover the 300m to the top of the gully head, it was evident Noisy wasn't going to move in on me. He was roaring incessantly from the other side, and even though only fifty metres separated us, it was that full of Bush Lawyer I couldn't even pinpoint where he sat. I had no choice but to go in on him, and there was no quiet way to do it. So, no more sneaky pete, I covered the remaining 40 metres around the head onto his side of the gully. Hearing him move, I tried to gain upper ground on him in case he disappeared into the next watershed. Scrambling through the scrub to gain height, to my relief I heard his movement down off his pad into the bottom and into the bog.

    Thats when I first saw him, albeit only briefly. Enough to ascertain he was worth shooting, "three on both tops, there he drops" is the rule around here. As he hit the bog, I gave a small moan, and he reconsidered the effort, and turned to face me, heading back up to his pad where I stood. The time he took to reappear from where I last saw him at the bottom, to where he reappeared 20m away from me felt like an eternity. However, at the pace he was coming in on me it would have been seconds. In full view, I raised Hannah Montana and drilled him in the base of the neck at 15m.



    Standing over the fallen warrior, to my surprise I couldn't help but feel saddened. Here I am, standing over a stag that I will probably spend a lifetime trying to beat, after an amazing five hour stalk to get to him, and I couldn't help but look down on the battle scarred old beast before me with a mixture of reverence and remorse. Such a majestic animal, with a eight beautifully formed points on one side, and with three missing tines on the other leaving five, would have made a very heavy sixteen pointer if he hadn't lost some bone in the battles so evident in the scarring around his face and neck. An amazing result for a very intense days worth of stalking. So why was I feeling this way?

    I am sure I am not alone when I say that sometimes one just gets the feeling that it is not meant for you. I will happily knock many more stags over in my time, yet looking at the grand old brawler of the bush lawyer, I felt a deep respect and reverence for him. All I can hope for, is that his sons roam the same hills with the pride he wore, and I hope we can meet again some day so I may honour them in the same way.


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    Last edited by Pointer; 13-04-2012 at 12:06 PM.
    Philipo, puku, Normie and 7 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Great yarn mate. He certainly looks like an old battler alright. Sounds like a hunt you'll remember for years to come, and so it should be. Well done

  3. #3
    Caretaker jakewire's Avatar
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    Surely a Roaring Horn contender there.

  4. #4
    Gold member Pointer's Avatar
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    Thank you both for the kind comments, hope you enjoyed the write up!
    distant stalker likes this.

  5. #5
    Member falconhell's Avatar
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    sweet write up and a shame about the broken tines.

  6. #6
    Gold member Pointer's Avatar
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    Thanks Falconhell, I'm still happy with him. It's more what he represents than what he is
    distant stalker likes this.

  7. #7
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    Great story, not much like a roaring Red Stag to create memories for a life time. Cheers.

  8. #8
    Member upnorth uplander's Avatar
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    way better than going up north to pretend youre hunting pheasants ay bro, Spots pointed a few deer at muriwai

  9. #9
    Member Tahr's Avatar
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    Good. A head and animal of great character. One to be admired.
    Well done, great stalk.

  10. #10
    Member Malhunting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshC View Post
    Great yarn mate. He certainly looks like an old battler alright. Sounds like a hunt you'll remember for years to come, and so it should be. Well done
    Well well look whos turned up.

  11. #11
    Gold member Pointer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth uplander View Post
    way better than going up north to pretend youre hunting pheasants ay bro, Spots pointed a few deer at muriwai
    I was looking forward to the trip north, but such is life. I think the outcome as you say is way better I will use spot on deer eventually, he would do it no worries

    Thanks all for the kind comments gentlemen

  12. #12
    dog chaser distant stalker's Avatar
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    I like the way you think POINTER - especially the comment - Its more what he represents than what he is
    Philipo likes this.

  13. #13
    Gold member Pointer's Avatar
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    Thank you HH... I was wondering if anyone would take something from that

  14. #14
    The Scope Whore ! Philipo's Avatar
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    Yes a good yarn with a good message mate, especially for new hunters
    Shoot it, root it & then BBQ it !!!

  15. #15
    MEB
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    Mint write up and great bit of bone too. Nice one Pointer, surely a contender for the horn. I hope to give you a run for your money on the write up but am well short on the points.

 

 

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