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Thread: You Wanna Come?

  1. #1
    Member Dorkus's Avatar
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    You Wanna Come?

    It all started with a simple question last week “we’re going to Shingle Dingle next weekend, you wanna come?” My single word response was one I will regret for a while “yep”.

    Early on Friday afternoon we drove the mighty Colorado across the river and parked up, unloaded some unreasonably heavy packs and stripped naked before performing a ceremonial ritual to please the gods (something @199p insists on before every hunt). We got our legs moving and after what felt like hours we passed a DOC sign marking the end of the carpark, and somewhat pleasingly, informing us of a gentle 3hr stroll to the hut (meaning that even with some fat-boy allowance we would be there by 7pm).

    The regret started fairly early on as our expert guide (@BRADS) lead us up the wrong ridge and got us hopelessly and completely lost and set on a path up the worlds steepest and most unforgiving track on god’s green earth. Speaking of lost, about 30 minutes into the climb several things had been lost – about 43 litres of sweat from three seriously unfit hunters, at least one blown foo-foo valve and several of said hunters’ will to live. We pressed on expecting to reach the hut well before dark. As we rounded a bend in the track Brads screams at the top of his lungs in a girlishly high pitched voice “CAT! Shoot it, shoot it”. I unsling my trusty 7mm Rem Mag and flip up the caps whilst chambering a round as quick, silent and smooth as a well-trained Navy Seal. As the crosshairs settle it becomes apparent that the cat is in fact a pig of about 40lbs. How you can mix up a 40lb wild pig and a cat I’m not too sure, but Brads is a special kinda character. Before I can loose a round, the pig darts off into the crown fern to safety. I try to apply the safety catch but it won’t budge, on inspection the firing pin is forward. I lift the bolt to see an empty chamber, depress the rounds into the mag box and slide the bolt forward. On closing the bolt the firing pin slams forward resulting in a loud “click” – dodgey. I drop the floor plate removing the rounds and work the bolt again. “Click” – ohh that’s not good. I work the bolt for a third time and this time it doesn’t release the firing pin. I apply the safety catch and then release it “click” – bugger! “Yo Brads, my gun is broken” I say. Great! Now I have a 15kg paperweight slung over my shoulder for the rest of the trip.

    After the excitement of the pig/cat encounter and several hours of missing important track junctions, slogging uphill, sweating and cursing, we crested a small rise to look up and see what appeared to be a further high point at what looked to be about 300m in elevation above the track we were on. By now it was nearly dark and the map showed we had covered less than a kilometre and climbed only a third of the height we needed to get to the hut. We pressed on with a revised arrival time of 8pm.

    A few more hours in, we broke into semi-open country and found a sign marking a track to Spandex Hut – There was no track on the map so we were intrigued. Given Brads’ appalling navigation skills thus far we thought it best to push on towards Shingle, by our calculations we couldn’t be far from the hut anyway. By this time (about 7pm) we had all but run out of water (both Brads and I had none and 199p wouldn’t share any of the 7 litres he had brought) but knew we had broken the back of the climb. Oh how wrong we were! The ridge just kept on going, up, up, up. A ball breaking amount of up, and then only briefly interspersed with short sections of ankle breaking steep downhill. By 9pm, six hours in to the climb and any will to live long but evaporated from our dehydrated tongues, we were crawling slowly onward when all of a sudden a set of beady eyes reflected our torch light from the middle of the track. Next thing I know Brads is charging the beast like a meth crazed homeless man, violently swinging his prized Leki tramping pole. No sooner has the blood curdling screaming commenced and 199p is laying into the stunned marsupial with his size 10.5 leather clogs. It was all over in an instant, the speed and ruthlessness of the event left me breathless (or maybe it was the six hours of hiking up a huge-ass hill). The possum lay prostrate at our feet - Our first kill for the trip.

    We continued the soul destroying march under head lamps for another hour or so without water, powered on hopes, dreams and cramp-stop we arrived at the hut after a little over seven hours - dehydrated, bedraggled and aching from head to toe. Even the dog was exhausted! After a hearty meal of salami and cheese we crawled into our sleeping bags and it wasn’t long before the hut was shaking violently to the sound of duelling chainsaws.

    We awoke early the next morning to the sound of a North Easterly gale and rain lashing the hut. It was a welcome relief to have an excuse for a slow start. After a leisurely breakfast and packing up the hut, we donned our jackets and headed off to put our recently formed plan into action. The plan was to wander back along the way we had come to the unmarked track and down the spur to Spandex Hut on the river flat below. The boys had seen some big slips that spanned the height of the ridge and appeared covered in rotten rock and shale, the plan was to use one of these as a short-cut to the river.

    After several hours of backtracking we arrived at the non-existent track to Spandex and followed it down and around a small basin and onto an adjoining spur. In the head of the basin was a nice clean, cold creek which we didn’t bother stopping to fill our water bottles from as we were heading down to the river after all. I mean, how hard can a little walk downhill be right?

    Once we had crossed the creek and made our way up onto the adjoining ridge, we followed the non-existent track until we came across the first of the large slips the boys had observed on a previous trip. Only now did they accept that looking through binos from 3km away probably wasn’t a good enough recce to use as the basis for a plan. It was clear from the top, that due to the vertical nature, rocky outcrops and sheer bluffs, any attempt to use the slip as a short-cut would certainly result in a very quick trip to the bottom - however chances of survival would be somewhat slim.* With Plan A a no-go, we continued along the track down the spur. As we continued down, the surrounding bush opened up to groves of broadleaf and fresh sign became abundant. The whole area screamed deer, the dog was winding like crazy and even 199p could smell deer. I suggested that they wait there while I go and shoot a deer, the nice guys they are duly obliged and sat down to check their FaceBook feeds.

    With the dog in front winding keenly, we slowly pushed along just off the ridge. There was sign everywhere and I was certain there were animals in the immediate vicinity. As we crested a small rise the dog locked up staring into the scrub, there, not 50 yards away, a yearling hind looked at us curiously. Now is a good time to remind you of my less than ideal armament arrangement. I am holding a 7mm Rem Mag with a 21.5” barrel huge suppressor and a VX6 3-18 scope – Not the perfect bush stalking gun on the best of days, but remember, today mine has the added challenge of a mind of it’s own. The bloody thing is liable to go off at the sight of a live round so this is going to be sporty. The hind is still watching me as I point the muzzle at her, slowly slide the bolt open and thumb a round into the chamber. I ease the bolt forward expecting the thing to slam-fire. Bugger me sideways, silence. I come up on aim and as soon as the crosshairs settle on the big bit I close my eyes and jerk the trigger like an excited schoolboy who just discovered Porn. The hind takes two steps down hill and rolls over dead.

    199p and Brads offered absolutely zero useful advice or assistance whilst I butchered my quarry (considering they have shot hundreds of deer and this is my 10th*ever). The buggers even insisted I carry the whole lot myself – pricks. With the back steaks and back wheels in my pack we pushed on down the spur.

    By now we had been walking for about four hours and the terrain was becoming increasingly steep. Now if the track up from the carpark on Friday afternoon was the steepest, most unforgiving track on god’s green earth, then this was an evil incarnation of a descent into the fiery pits of Hell. A near vertical slope adorned with loose rock and tree roots perfectly engineered to trip and break a weary, overburdened hunter in half. With knees creaking and muscles screaming, we meandered our way down the Devil’s staircase, gingerly testing each hand and foot hold as we descended. More than once flora giving way, unable to support our hulking frames. Bruised, bloodied, tired and twisted but not beaten, we finally reached the bottom. We were pleased to be greeted not by the fires of Hell, but by a crystal clear, cold stream and a cosy hut - An entirely welcome sight after another seven hour slog.

    We settled in and made ourselves comfortable before grabbing a pack and a rifle and setting off down stream. Before long we had found a large slip with plenty of spring growth and a good line of sight from the river. There were even a couple of nice trout in the nearest pool to maintain our interest while we waited for the golden hour before dark. We didn’t have to wait long. Within 10 minutes of sitting down glassing, a big bodied animal appeared, feeding it’s way out into the open. 199p settled in behind the 300 Norma (the weapon is a thing of beauty, a sight to behold!) and let a 225gn projectile fly at ridiculous velocity. Watching 199p and Brads work, from ranging the animal, setting up for the shot and killing with ruthless efficiency was like witnessing a special forces sniper team at work. At the shot, the stag tumbled and fell to the river bed below making the retrieve rather simple. I provided expert advice while 199p butchered the stag and Brads stood around with his finger up his date. With the meat stripped from the bones we dragged the carcase into the bush and away from the river before heading back to the hut for a well earned feed of salami and cheese and a good night’s sleep.

    Sunday morning dawned drizzly but quickly cleared. We had breakfast and cleaned the hut before shouldering heavy packs – Mine and 199p’s were heavy, 199p’s heavy with venison, mine with a little venison and about 40kg of rocks that Brads had kindly packed for me. Brads’ pack probably weighed in at about 4kg after having eaten 23lbs of salami and 14 wheels of camembert over the weekend and a notable absence of any rocks whatsoever. We made our way down the river under a blazing late spring sun. As we walked I educated my companions on the likely whereabouts of trout in each of the pools and shallow reaches. It wasn’t long before the boys were spotting fish all over the show and little attention was paid to the abundance of surrounding slips and clearings. After a couple of hours walking, we stopped for a short fish and a drink. A welcome chance to drop packs, and after several hints (I wondered why the boys were calling me Rocky) I finally clicked and found my extra cargo.* Brads even managed to catch his first trout!

    A couple of hours later we were pretty bloody knackered so needless to say the mighty Colorado was a sight for sore eyes. We ended the weekend having spent over 17hrs walking with heavy packs and covered more than 23km (according to Google Earth, I’m pretty sure it was closer to 100km). We saw seven deer (killed two), two possums (killed one) and close to 20 trout (killed one). A bloody good weekend all round with a couple of genuine good blokes. I said I regretted my decision to join them but in all honesty if they asked me to do it again tomorrow, my answer would be a single word "yep".

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    hillclima, Shootm, Tahr and 35 others like this.
    "holy sh*t, there's a deer"

  2. #2
    Member Dorkus's Avatar
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    pics

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    hillclima, Shootm, Tahr and 11 others like this.
    "holy sh*t, there's a deer"

  3. #3
    Member Dorkus's Avatar
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    more pics

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    hillclima, Shootm, Tahr and 11 others like this.
    "holy sh*t, there's a deer"

  4. #4
    Member Willie's Avatar
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    That was a cracking read. Sounds like you all had some fun! well done.
    Sarcasm: lowest from of wit, highest form of intelligence.

  5. #5
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    After you sift through all the waffle that was a good read
    Shootm and Boaraxa like this.
    Werawhakaui?

    Rule 4. Identify your target beyond all doubt.

  6. #6
    Member stug's Avatar
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    Great write-up! Good stuff on getting the animal. Have you worked out the issue with the trigger/firing pin?
    veitnamcam likes this.

  7. #7
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    ...more drama than the rubbish on TV - good read Dorkus.

  8. #8
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Jesus you clowns sure know how to make a meal of an easy spot.
    Munsey and BRADS like this.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  9. #9
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    A good read and a good trip by the sounds of it.

    Sent from my SM-A320Y using Tapatalk
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    Chicken Intolerant.

  10. #10
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    nice story dorkus ! looks like a great spot .

  11. #11
    Member HNTMAD's Avatar
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    bloody awesome
    Hamish
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  12. #12
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    That was an awesome read lots of fun and games along with some hard yakka. Good going on the deer and a nice trout,at least you won't go hungry, well done to you all.

  13. #13
    Member 199p's Avatar
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    Awesome report bro
    You missed out the rambo moment but all the good bits are in there.

    Such a great trip bro shame about the size of your backstraps try shoot the big one next time

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    Tim Dicko likes this.
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  14. #14
    Terminator Products Kiwi Greg's Avatar
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    Well done

    Great to see the 300 getting used

  15. #15
    Member Tahr's Avatar
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    Good times. Memories that will last you lifetime.

 

 

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