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Old May 19, 2017, 18:44   #1
Andy the Aussie
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And done with another week away..

Just got home last night from the place where I go to nominally hunt Fallow Deer but also hogs as well (as they are well fed). I arrived up there last Friday evening and given I was a few hours later arriving than usual I didn’t get much more than the essentials unpacked for the night and tried (failed) to sleep in Saturday morning. So my first venture into the bush was late afternoon Saturday. This hunt was mostly about trying to cull some does (there are lots of deer here and we are trying to stave off the owner and neighbours starting a poisoning campaign by shooting several hundred each season). The rut (when the best hunting for big bucks is nominally available) started when I was there five weeks ago and ended a couple of weeks ago, this property is the epicentre of it but nonetheless big bucks are cunning and know how to live long productive lives. So I was not really expecting too much in the trophy hunting stakes this far after.

I rode out to the back country mid afternoon and stopped at a small creek crossing and glassed up into the other side of the small valley I was heading up. I saw a couple of little bucks back in the trees as well as a number of does, I figured I would hunt higher the first couple of days and go have a look at them later.

So Saturday I put in a loooong uphill walk leaving the bike on the creek flats and climbing up high. Saw plenty of does and some young bucks. But always waaaay over the other side of the gully to where I was. Shooting distance (250yds in a straight line) but a bastard of a downhill back uphill walk to recover meat. So I left them be and thought I will just go up there another day.

On getting back down onto the flats I came back past my bike and walked down a little further as I could hear some hog sounds out on the creek flats. In the half light I made out a small mob of hogs cross the track and stop in the tussocks, one stood MUCH higher than the rest so I squeezed that last bit of light out of the scope and took and offhand shot at that higher head from around 40yds. I heard the hogs cross the creek and then run up the opposite bank to where I was but there was not nearly enough light to take a shot through the trees. I walked down to the spot I figured they were but could not find a thing, though I did think the shot seemed OK. I walked back (around 100yds) to the bike and packed up and started the ride back out. Fortuitously it was back past where I had shot, so around 10yds past where I had already looked I spied something in the corner of the headlight. He looked like a big lump of a thing and a closer inspection confirmed he was (with a bullet hole in the side of his head !!).



Not a great pic but this one gives a better idea of the size of him…



…not much in the way of fangs however. I needed to use a flashlight to allow the camera to grab a focus for the pics as it with pitch black by the time I got all that unpacked.

Sunday I woke (2.30am) with a splitting headache, I suffer such maladies regularly, especially when I head away, it’s like the stress leaving the system or something, as there is always one that keeps me awake half a night and ruins much of the following day. So Sunday morning was a wash. Late Sunday afternoon I was feeling OK and went and walked up the other side of the gully that I had been the evening before (where all the deer were) and of course discovered that they too had changed sides !!!! I did manage to shoot a couple of small does and snapped the best cuts off meat Before heading back down to the bike on the creek flats AND repeating the hogs on the track scenario !! Didn’t manage to get a shot in though. Early night to bed Sunday.

Monday I was up before light and took a LOOOOOOONG high walk into a big gully that I have neglected for a number of years. Here I saw a bunch of does and a small buck but none in the right spot to take a shot and I was not in the mood to put in a stalk just for more meat. I did see a HONKING big sow down lower and decided that I would head out that way. Somehow she pulled a disappearing act on me, no idea at all where she went. So I trudged my way out listening to one of the other guys that was in at the same time as me giving something a hard time with his new 9.3x62mm Tikka. I actually had the binoculars on a medium sized and a small buck as he fired three quick shots out a couple of gullies over and the bucks didn’t blink ! The larger was already suspect of what I was and I though the booming would set them off but they just packed up and wandered away. With that I made my way down and took the ride back to the hut.

So Monday afternoon rolled around and I decided to head out again but to hunt over the other side of the valley where I had seen some small bucks and a bunch of does as I headed off to the higher side on Saturday. Leaving the bike back along the creek flats I trudged across some long open flats and up into the foothills of the range at the back, a gentle walk by any standards but a nice way to spend the afternoon. Waving the binos around I saw a small gully that had a few does, some spikers and a couple of little bucks down low. I plotted a way there that let me keep the wind to my face and the rise of the ground between me and them, it was all fairly open so I was also moving tree to tree so as not to make too much impact as I crested. In the distance I could see one bloody doe was suspect but still not spooked. I figured I was going to stalk in under 100yds on the deer I was looking for. Turns out I got to around 40yds and propped next to a tree and took a good look at them. What I thought were does were actually spikers so they were safe as was the small buck I could clearly see. I did however realise there was one tucked in under me that I could not get a look at. So I was tossing up waiting him out or stalking in further, at this distance there was not too much chance of getting closer however, so I waited for a bit till he started to feed out a bit. And then, despite the time of year and odds being against it, I realised he was in fact a pretty good buck, and the more I looked the better he got !!!!! He was however starting to make his way across the flats he was on (green very area in the pics below) to where I would loose sight of him. Braced off a tree and took a quartering shot on him from about 45yds. He took about ten unsteady steps and crumpled in a heap. He was gone by the time I walked down. And he looked better up close…!!!!





…..needless to say I was pretty bloody happy !!!!!!!!!!!

More later.
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Originally posted by GOVT1911
You could do some searching and find a nice TLC and do the same thing, still saving a bunch of $$ and end up with a nice, comfortable CAPABLE rig...

(Jiminy Christmas, did I just recommend a 'yota?!!??)
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Old May 19, 2017, 21:16   #2
Andy the Aussie
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So it was then time to snap some pics and get to work taking the cape and head off. That all went swimmingly and I have to say that I have done this job in far worse locations including once where I had to tie the buck off to a tree to save him falling away down the gully as I worked. This took about 40mins all told by which time I was happy to stand upright and stretch my back out. Doing so I spotted a few “does” out across another gully (around 150yds) and figured I would close to around 100 so I could see a little better in the fading light and maybe drop a nice easy meat cull while I was at it. I did so only to once again discover those “does” were spikers so I left them alone. I did spot a few very small hogs between me and the deer that I was going to crater but decided to get on with pack out that buck.

As I walked back toward where he and the rest of my gear was I did notice some movement in the tussocks on the rise above me. I got a bit closer and saw that it was in fact a good sized sow that had walked in on where I was and so started “Hogmageddon 2017” ! I smacker her and walked up to level ground and saw a big brindle boar spin around to face me… bang.. and then four small hogs took off at the run….bang….bang….bang….reload…..swing and lead…..bang….. !

Her…



Boar without flash (so close to the actual lighting here)…



With flash….



And three of the four following shots….



The fourth was about 35yds away and was a great bloody mess so I didn’t bother dragging it down to the pile for a pic.

Once the pics were snapped I packed up and swung the head/cape up on top of my pack for the long trudge back to the bike. Once I got close it was pitch black and yet there were that group of hogs AGAIN crossing the track near where I had dropped the boar earlier, I did get my rifle off but it really was too dark AND my bike was down there somewhere.

Once pack up I rode back down to the hut and unloaded. None of the other guys noticed the rack over the bike and as I was there one asked if I had got into a mob of hogs, “yep” I answered “oh and this little guy” as I deposited the head in the light of the verandah….
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Quote:
Originally posted by GOVT1911
You could do some searching and find a nice TLC and do the same thing, still saving a bunch of $$ and end up with a nice, comfortable CAPABLE rig...

(Jiminy Christmas, did I just recommend a 'yota?!!??)
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Old May 20, 2017, 04:33   #3
Andy the Aussie
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….so yes, I did sleep pretty well that night, even had a celebratory drink or two with the guys in camp !!! Next day (Tuesday) was spent sleeping in a bit (well 6.45) and then finishing the cape and cleaning up the head and cutting the skull. Literally took all day and resulted in me making friends with a whole bunch of Magpies that were swooping in on the meaty little morsels that I was trimming off and throwing over my shoulder. Then came salting and the final clean up. Pretty much a whole day gone.

Wednesday saw me hunt up the creek behind the hut for a bit without much success. Wednesday afternoon was a loooong walk along the bottom of one whole end of the valley, starting near where I shot the buck and out further. Saw plenty of does and actually spent some time “play stalking” some young bucks that were way out in the open just to see how close I could get. The answer….20yds !! I really should have had my camera out of the pack but alas I did not. I then came across one of the largest rutting pads I have seen, around 40yds diameter and trampled to dust, every tree out to around 80yds around had been thrashed !! I would have loved to have seen it when the deer were in a few weeks ago. Dropping down a bit lower from there I sat out over a group of around 35deer, a mix of does, young bucks and spikers. Again I neglected the camera and just took it in. Two young bucks were play fighting for about 15mins just below me. As dark crept in I took two does and grabbed off the best cuts before starting back toward my bike (parked in the same place along the creek) and yes…like clockwork a small group of hogs crossed in front of me in the pitch black just near the bike…..stupid critters.

I had a sleep in Thursday as all the other guys were packing up and leaving so I stuck around to lend a hand (and enjoy a sleep) and then went out for an early hunt. Too early as I saw bugger all ! At times I wondered if it was the same place. Out of interest I swung back past the gully where I shot the buck to see what was left, it is telling that after 2.5days there was only…



….. mostly eagles and foxes I suspect. Just goes to show if you fall and become incapacitated here the future is not so bright for you !!

I get back to the hut before dark (so no hogs crossing) and got my bike loaded up on the trailer as it was time for me to head back Friday. The hut was most peaceful with just me, the fire and about 1/3rd of a bottle of rum…! Sadly civilisation called….
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Quote:
Originally posted by GOVT1911
You could do some searching and find a nice TLC and do the same thing, still saving a bunch of $$ and end up with a nice, comfortable CAPABLE rig...

(Jiminy Christmas, did I just recommend a 'yota?!!??)
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Old May 20, 2017, 10:47   #4
L1A1Johnno
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Cool Home

Andy

Your reports make me miss home more every day. But I got SLR's here

Decisions, decisions


Happy hunting matey


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Old May 20, 2017, 23:32   #5
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great report. i gotta get out more. life is short.
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