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  • 7 Post By phillipgr

Thread: You've got to be in it...

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    2,176

    You've got to be in it...

    I had had a grinding few weeks with the tail end of the uni semester keeping me from heading out hunting. Needless to say my first day of freedom had me heading up the hill. The area I hunted isn't one I have been hunting for long so I am still building up a good knowledge of the area so that I had options no matter which direction the wind was blowing. As luck would have it, it was blowing the wrong direction for my spot of choice, so I went exploring some new country. Unfortunately it didn't pay off and I got stuck in some pretty thick bush, not seeing any of those cheeky Reds. I was rewarded with finding this gem though:

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    Things like this make those 'hard' days on the hill as good as any other and remind you what its all about. It was a good first day of the uni break.

    Two days later I was back up there and this time the wind was blowing the right direction for my spot of choice. I had an excellent stalk, it seemed as though everything was in place and all I needed was a silly deer to pop its head out where it shouldn't be. Turns out that small little detail wasn't to be but not to worry, my fitness was building again and I had time to get back out there. I also found this primo wallow which needless to say I'll be returning to

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    The next hunt I had planned was one in Sika country. Sika are a joy to hunt; they are cunning, vocal and the numbers on offer are pretty good so a typical day's hunting usually involves a good few encounters. Oh and they are a lot more practical for the carry out!! As it would happen, bad weather shortened my hunting plans for 5 days to two quick road end hunts. The first hunt was a chilly one, leaving my cheeks a bit numb and making me sound like I was talking with gob-stopper stuffed in my mouth. Two flashing white rumps were seen disappearing into the scrub and no animals were shot. The second was in much more enjoyable weather, but unfortunately no more animals seen.

    A week later my luck was set to change. Having another poor forecast for the week, I waited a few days, and with what looked like a patch of acceptable weather, I headed back up to the Red spot that had one up on me from the first two hunts. This time I was in for three days. Solo winter hunting can be a bit miserable at times, but with a short break in the weather giving one of those fine, crisp winter days, and one of these cranking, spirits don't stay low for long.

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    I walked up early on Thursday and spooked one on my first evening hunt. Back to the hut and it wasn't long before I was curled up in the fart sack making the most of the peace of an empty hut and the full sleep those long winter nights bring. The next day was a trialing one. The wind held direction for an hour, enough time for me to get in position for what would've been a good stalk and what do you know, it did a full 180 and I had to turn to plan B. Plan B was to explore a new area and, like some recces inevitably turn out, it was a bit of a waste of time. The sign was there, but the bush was far too thick to make stalking a fruitful exercise. I did fit an hour of good stalking in at the end of the day, but no animals were seen or spooked. The next day I was well rested and up before dawn. The weather had packed in a bit during the night but I had a feeling it wouldn't be so bad where I had planned to hunt, being less exposed, so I packed up my gears from the hut and headed that direction. The plan was to drop my pack and pick it back up at the end of the day for the walk back to the car. Walking at a fairly swift pace I'm lucky I saw it, but anything horizontal sticks out like a sore thumb when you're bush stalking and that's what I spotted. Through the trees into a little clear patch was a suspiciously hairy looking log. I raised the rifle and watched it through the scope for a while, thumb ready to drop the bolt, but I couldn't get a positive ID with it the way it was. I'm not sure if it was a change in the wind, or it heard me, but in a flash the young Red spiker swiveled its head around to be staring directly at me. And that was the last thing he did; I quickly dropped the bolt and gave it one in the neck. It disappeared and I walked over to where I had seen it standing to find it hadn't moved an inch. I've shot three deer like this now and they have all dropped on the spot; I'm growing fond of the neck shot Here he is:

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    Sometimes you put in a huge day on the hill and see nothing, other days you shoot one from the track 10 mins from the hut, but after all is said and done, there's only one way to win it, and that's to be in it.

    Hot barrels
    Yeah nah bro

    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt.

 

 

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