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Belated hunting report

orchidmanorchidman Posts: 8,438 Senior Member
While away on our annual goat hunting trip BH, D and I got some texts from the owner of the farm we cull all sorts of vermin including deer off, to say that there were 2 Red Stags  he wanted removed......
He had texted us for the last 6 weeks of 2021 telling us about them but despite many visits to the property we hadnt seen them. So we get home late on sunday spent mon/tues cleaning gear etc and I am getting ready tues afternoon to do a charter wed with a 4am start. Then the ph goes......"Want to do a quick trip to see if we can get the reds?"......"Yep, but I have to be up at 4am so I dont want to be back too late"........ " No problem, if we dont see them in daylight we will come home"......
After a mad scramble I pick up BH in the Suzuki and we head off to meet D ( our hunting buddy) at the property. We planned to go sit on one of the highest points a wait till the stags came out where the owner had seen them.
We arrived and climbed to our 'lookout' around 5,30pm and settled in to observe. In my scramble to get my gear sorted out I left my hunting boots behind and only had a pair of sneakers which gave me zero grip on the steep ridge we were on. By 7,30 we had seen nothing.....every half hour or so I would get up to stretch my legs, walk to the other side of the peak and look at the south end of the property. BH elected to have a snooze while D and I were vigilant in glassing the area...
Just as the sun was about to disappear I had another look to the south and saw a brown animal at the far end of the property about 1400m away. Told the guys and a closer inspection with the bino's revealed a red stag at the top of a scrubby slope near the southern boundary!  We knew that heading over on foot would use up what was left of the light so we elected to head down the slope to the Suzuki, make a mad dash to the other end of the block then stalk in hoping we would make it while there was still enough light to take a shot..... The other two jogged down the steep slope while I did a form of controlled crash/fall and we all piled into the Suzuki. ( Its a two door Grand Vitara 4wd) D gets in the back and I take off down the rutted farm tracks.......It was an interesting ride lol.
We finally get to a position where we can stalk in to a vantage point overlooking a steep gully and the slope beyond and grabbing our rifles we stalked around the side of a hill to where we hoped to take a shot.
By this stage the sun had disappeared and we knew we only had about 15 mins before it would be too dark. I set up on my pack while BH and D glassed the scrubby slope. Bingo!  Bh located the animal and pointed it out to me. It was quartering away to my left at around 140m away....because of my eyesight problem and the low light I elected to take a shoulder shot and placing the cross hairs on the crease behind his left shoulder I sent a 120gr Sierra on its way. At the shot the stag hunched up and took a few steps as the sound of a solid hit came back to us.......
D said " I can see the other Stag" ......BH said " Well shoot it then" ....and D sent a 140 gr factory load out of his Tikka 7mm08 on its way........WHOMP!....and his animal dropped to the shot. Mine was still standing side on so BH dropped it on the spot with a neck shot ( which in the low light  was darn good shooting)
While they crossed the steep gully to start processing the animals I headed back to the Suzuki to try and get as close as I could to pick the deer up. By this stage it was pretty dark.....BH forgot his headlamp so I gave him mine....
 By driving a circuitous route and crunching through the scrub and over fallen logs I managed to negotiate the gully and slope and ended up about 30m away from the first animal. ( at one stage I had the Suzuki over on 2 wheels and only a quick turn stopped it from tumbling down into the gully)
Without a headlamp I wasnt much help to the other 2 so I waited until they dragged both animals down to me after dressing them out.
A cold coke went down a treat and then we rearranged our gear. piled the 2 deer in the back, D climbed on top of them and we had an interesting ride as we negotiated our way back to D's truck. By this stage it was around 11pm.
Took this pic when we unloaded the Suzuki at D's truck......
The head on the right is D's deer and has 13pts. Its his first red deer and he was stoked!.
The other head is a 10pt'r. Both heads are symmetrical with the exception of a small extra point on the brow tine on D's head......( at the base of the right hand side in the pic)
Although they are both in velvet the antlers are hard underneath and should strip out easily.
Finally got them into BH's chiller at 12.30am and I headed home to get ready for the charter.
D and I both took identical shots with both projectiles taking out the lungs and heart before exiting in front of the offside shoulders through the chest....
Bh and D skinned them while I did the charter and both carcases were taken to the butcher to turn into steaks, sausages and salamis.

So much for an early night! Next time I am going to keep my damn mouth shut..........    

Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....


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