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  • 8 Post By veitnamcam

Thread: North Veitnamcam

  1. #1
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    North Veitnamcam

    It started with a text some months earlier from Neckshot asking if I would be keen on a fly in trip into the Kaweka's.
    Would I? Well of course I would!
    The months slowly ticked by,Id sold some stuff and had my funds sorted, then with a few weeks to go we had one guy pull out.
    I texted KiwiGreg who was in the states at the time and he was keen for the trip so all go again.
    It was a very long short week waiting for Thursday to fly north, greeted by a smiling neckshot at palmy airport we were into the rolla and off to Dannyvegas.
    A feed and a few brews and in no time it was morning, back into the rolla and off to east kaweka helicopters.
    Pretty good flight in, gear sorted, then Kiwigreg and I headed off down the ridge to glass some open slips/claypan country.
    Nothing was seen out in the open,it was bloody cold and miserable so we had a bit of a look around in the bush. The amount of sign in the bush was absolutely staggering!!!!! These south island boys had never seen so much sign in one place and I grew up on a deer farm! However it was all from 2 or more months ago.
    Back to the hut for a debrief, Some of the guys had got onto some fresh sign but just moving threw not living in the area.
    Talked some shit had a feed and a few drinks and sorted out where everyone was going tomorrow, Greg and I planed to bush stalk the lee side of some gullys out of the cold barstard wind.
    Soon enough someone decided it was bed time and by the time I had gone outside for a leak, stoked the fire etc there were 4 guys snoring their heads off! I thought they must be taking the piss nobody goes to sleep that quick but alas they had.

    Keen for the first full day of hunting we all headed off, Greg and I hunted threw some awesome bush with once again staggering amounts of old sign. Hunting the lee side low enough to be out of the prevailing wind but high enough to be out of the back eddy's down in the creek we had the wind in our face and mostly quiet stalking conditions, after a few hours we finally come onto some fresh prints, we had to drop down and cross a tributary to stay on the lee side and this was the way she was going. Greg had been stalking along behind me as far back as visibility allowed and thought he saw something move down in the creek but couldn't be sure.
    Prints carried on to the spot he saw movement, she couldn't have caught our wind so probably saw us first, I tracked her up out of the creek for some distance and she didn't appear to be in a hurry from the sign but alas after a while she turned around and I could see no point in tracking with the wind up our arse.
    We carried on hopeing to find some more fresh sign but no.
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    While there was obviously the odd deer hanging around here the hundreds that had left there shit behind in the summer had to have gone somewhere but there was nowhere close to base with lower elevation,we hatched a plan to boost it well down river in the morning and hunt a nice looking northfacing ridge at much lower elevation and headed back to the hut.

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    Jase had been squealed at and couldn't get a clear shot and was clearly pumped, disappointed and knackered all at the same time.



    Another great feed and more drinks and shit talked, half the Kawekas cut split and stacked during the night and in the morning we were off.

    Dropping off the end of the main ridge in the morning there was a fair bit of fresh sign on the coldest wettest steepest shittyest south facing bit,must have been out of the wind last night? and the creek had been used as a highway this morning.
    It was shaping up to be a beautiful day and I said to Greg we would be mugs not to check out some open country, there has to be some deer warming up in the sun after the weather we have had. It was unanimous and we aborted the original plan and climbed into broken clay pan/tussock country.
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    We had both left binos and range finders at the hut having planned a big walk and bushstalking but could still use gps to get a range accurate enough out to 400odd. We stopped and watched likely looking spots working our way around making sure to stay inside a line from Otutu tops and mount Meenie to ensure we were not poaching.

    Working threw a patch of bush to look down into a gully head I had about a meter of tight pole beach to get threw when the katabatic filled my nostrils with the scent of stag! I mentally cursed bringing my elberstock instead of small daybag as it made horrible scraping noises trying to get threw that meter of poles, I considered taking it off but thought I would make just as much noise doing that.
    Free at last I crept out with a slight breeze in my face almost certain I was about to see my first Sika stag, a fantastic small warm tussock gullyhead unfolded before me but no stag, gutted he must of heard me
    Greg headed around to get a look into more of the area and I stood watching and listening, I heard a crack in the bush off to my left, could be just a stick falling out of the canopy. Nup there goes another one.
    I peered into the bush as hard as I could but couldn't pick him up anywhere, Id almost given up when I heard another crack getting closer to where we had come out of the bush,Fuck! is that Greg or a stag? I had to move to find Greg, yep there is his orange NZHS beanie he is still sitting on that point.
    I hear one more crack as the stag cuts our trail and scent and he is gone.

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    Well at least we knew they were out enjoying the sun, we carried on and at another likely looking spot I headed down to get a better view a Greg headed around just a bit more.
    It wasn't long before I thought I heard a wistle like Greg was telling me to come over there then FARKEN BOOM! The 6.5-375(I think?its hard to keep up) had spoken,I looked below me on full aleart expecting to see some Sika run past but no such luck.
    Yelled out "did ya get it?" and headed round.
    I went looksies while Greg stayed in his shooting spot to guide me to where she was,no blood was found and a clean trail outathere

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    From there we cut back round into the bush to find an easyer path down and came across the most awesome gully open and full of broadleaf with a short cropped grass floor,at least two other deer had high tailed it outa there at the shot.
    A fair bit of sharp elevation changes and we were climing back to the hut,awesome bush and fresh sign here but the wind was an eddying bitch.

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    Had a good stock up of wood for the hut another great feed and talked some more shit, the weather turned to shit overnight and in the morning we were all sure we would not get a pick up with thick fog/low cloud and high winds but approaching pick up time the fog/cloud cleared and the wind stayed and when I saw a black bird bouncing its way up down left right and sideways towards us I knew it wouldn't be a boring flight out

    Back to Neckshots for a feed and shower and this time it was my turn to snore

    Jase the top bloke he is gave us mainlanders his car to get around in while he went to work so we could get about and see some other forum members.

    As a first time Sika hunter hunting in the winter some things I took away from this trip are that Sika appear to be very mobile compared to a winter red,It appeared to me that they would move to wherever was sheltered and once it warmed up they covered lots of ground hoovering up leaf fall. Feed is everywhere in the Kaweka bush, down here you only get pockets of broadleaf.

    It was a great trip with great guys.

    Big thanks Neckshot for the invite and the hospitality
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

    308Win One chambering to rule them all.

 

 

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