hunting link

On the tops

On the tops

Winter time

Winter time
Time for doing


'Begin doing what you want to do NOW ! We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake'

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

N.Z.F.S. echoes from the past

More from the diaries......... 2
My next recollection takes me down to the Rimutaka ranges, in the Wairarapa. Employed now as a hunter for the N.Z.F.S. It was winter again, but this time we were on goat hunting operations. After being dropped off at the road end by the then ranger in charge, [Vince Duckett] with instructions to meet up with Earl Marshall Who’d already been in for a week? I set off in good spirits; pack on, rifle in hand, and a brand new adventure round the bend of the river.
Earl turned out to be a tall rangy, young and very fit type who was enjoying his first season as a hunter. He was, with some relish, looking forward to the summer and getting a look at our block in the Tararuas.
Goat shooting, I found can at times can get quite hairy [no pun intended.] I was to find out how so, one mid afternoon, high above the ????? River. So high in fact, that the river way below resembled a very thin ribbon of blue. There in the bluffs and crags was I, hot in pursuit of one of our smelly friends. Blindly following where he would lead, when I noticed that I was now being very careful where I was placing my feet and hands. So much so, that I stopped, glanced down and with some consternation noted that the ribbon was directly below me. Save for some 20-ft. of severely sloping ground heading in that direction.
Just after the thought occurred to me, [what in the hell am I doing here?sort of thought] my feet had lost what little traction there was available to me at the time. I started to slide, gaining momentum too quickly for any other reaction, other than a blood-curdling, scream. With formula 1 like acceleration I cleared the edge and soared into vacant space betwixt crag and river. I parted company with my beloved Mauser .270, but instead of hitting water miles below; as I fully expected. The fall fortunately was broken by shingle, deep loose shingle. I estimated I’d fallen, around twentyfive to thirty feet ,and it took me some minutes before I was able to locate my half-buried rifle.
Everything looked fine scope wise, a dent or two, some blue lost, but otherwise the steel Pecar 4 power was just fine. The Mauser likewise, some dents and scratches but otherwise ok. How it was going to shoot however, I was yet to find out. My leg was deeply cut, high on the right thigh, requiring a few stitches. There of course was no Doctor [never mind the fact I didn’t have an appointment] on hand; I would just have to let nature take its course. Earl and I were to spend the remainder of the winter in the Rimutukas, camping together and most times sharing the goat tails.

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view from "Riverstone Cabin"

view from "Riverstone Cabin"
Hope River