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  • 9 Post By hillclima

Thread: Disorganised Thar hunt

  1. #1
    Member hillclima's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Hawkes Bay

    Disorganised Thar hunt

    Being up in the North Island I don't get to chase Thar that often these days, but as I was in CHCH on Friday, a plan was hatched with Wildman and Dave to go chase the woolly beasts. Well, when I say plan, we knew we were going hunting somewhere, but not sure where. Our normal spots weren't available so were fishing around for options. We weren't worried as had plenty of hunts changed in the past due to weather so we just waited to see what the forecast would bring. Few beers on Friday and we discussed out options, come Saturday morning we still didn't have a firm plan so we looked at the forecast and options, then decided since we'd never been there we'd explore the Godley for a change, so off we went in Wildman’s mighty Cruiser

    Camp for first night

    First day hunting we saw about a dozen thar and a young chamois just out of the river bed, all the thar were high up as bugger all snow about. The rut was obviously in full swing as most of the bulls were displaying classic rutting behaviour. Dave had headed further up the main valley and shot an 8 1/2 Chamois that committed suicide by running out in front of him on the valley floor and stopping at 150m to present a nice shot. While we’d had a good day nothing had grabbed our attention so we moved further down the Valley to Red Stag Hut. A quick hunt that evening and a few more animals were located but nothing within chasing distance.

    Nice View in the morning

    Next day a plan was hatch to head across the river to have a look at some likely spots, although the sanity of it was questioned when wading the Godley in the frozen morning air. But pretty quickly thar were spotted, most were just above the snow line in the photo below so would require a bit of climbing. One mob consisted of quite a few nannies with at least 4 young bulls hanging round. Wildman got a glimpse of something bigger but it didn’t reappear. But it was the most promising mob so they were the target for the day

    Plan was hatched to climb up a tussock fan and get above them, after about 2 hours climbing we were thwarted at last 50m of steep frozen ground and dodgy snow

    So we dropped back down and went around below them and up another scree on the other side of the bluffs they were in. As slogged up the hill trying to keep up with Wildman we came on them again up in the bluffs above us

    All peaceful soaking up the sun

    Deciding to take the Bull, I setup, they were 300yrds on a 40 degree slope. I let off a shot, and got no reaction...thinking I had missed I was going to leave him as moved to a less ideal spot, but then we noticed a stagger in his step so sent another one his way which resulted in a cartwheel off the bluff and a big fall, he fell out of sight and me hoping he was retrievable and undamaged . The nanny he was with also presented a shot so she went on an even bigger tumble down the bluff. Then all the remaining thar on the bluff went running in all directions, with a few running down towards us as they sought to follow the shot ones down the bluff. Would have made great footage, but camera was packed away as nowhere had been flat enough to leave it setup!

    Climbing up to animals

    View from the top where nanny ended up

    Where bull ended up, knarly gut above another drop

    Close up of bull, horns had taken a bit of damage, and one was mostly smashed off and only just hanging on. A quick measure and he was pushing 13, stoked!

    It was getting on in the day so had to make haste to get animals dealt to and get out of there, On way back to a the nanny where Wildman was a shot rang out, another animal had committed suicide by standing on the ridge 100m away whistling at him. Packs were quickly shouldered and then the long slog down the hill began. After an even deeper crossing (too lazy/buggered to walk to any further to shallows) we got to the cruiser just after dark.

    Back at the hut we had a welcome brew, devoured the feed Dave had cooked up, had some whiskey, talked some shit and reflected on a mint couple days in the hills. Who needs to be organised to have a great hunt!



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