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'

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roar time Take 2

Part 2
A week has gone by this time the forecast looks more stable. The roar this year will have to take a back seat to an area I have badly wanted to explore for a few years now, and who knows this area might produce as well.
It’s now day2 and I am back in residence with Hennessey up and water collected. The weather is fine and settled. This time glassing from camp does not produce an animal and the afternoon goes by with no action. Day 3 A cold night has produced ice covered tussock and my hands soon become numb after numerous pull ups on the steep slope.
It takes an hour of climbing before I top the ridge behind camp, an hour filled with anticipation, for the view over this ridge has only been seen before only on a map and never confirmed with my baby blues.
At last I top the ridge and I am rewarded with a fine view of tussock stretching far and wide. Gullies, creeks, spurs, tarns and rock faces, all need to be minutely inspected with my binoculars. I search around for a likely looking spot in the shade, where I can sit down and scan the country ahead.
It was perhaps 40 minutes later that the colour red stood out from it’s tawny surroundings,at the same time I was aware at last of feeling the warming rays of sunshine on my back, as the sun begun to climb the morning sky. The red colour turned out to be a hind and alongside her materialised another two animals, looking very much like hinds as well at this range. The range was extreme, maybe a mile or more. I dismissed the animals and began my search closer to my position, but frequently rechecking on their position from time to time. After a substantial amount of time spent re-examining the country in front of me, it became evident that these three animals were the only ones I could find.
Even at this extreme distance I could see that the animals progress would soon be halted, by what looked like from here as a huge non negotiable chasm., so I scanned some more with the binos to try and ascertain an alternative route that the animals might chose, after some minutes it became obvious that they were making progress parrelell with the chasm, and at the same time dropping in height and heading toward the bush edge.
I quickly mapped out a route that would bisect theirs and took off on a very long stalk. There was not much need for stealth at this range, more of need to close the considerable distance involved as quickly as possible.
I suppose the range was in the vicinity of 800yds when I slumped to the ground and produced my binoculars to recheck on my redskins. Now I could see one at least carried some antlers, or more to the point spikes for he was only a spiker as further inspection confirmed. It looked for all the world as if a spiker was holding two hinds during the roar. Tut tut where were all the macho ones? I watched the trio for around ten minutes as they picked here and there fussily , occasionally reprimanding one another and then frolicking together in child like play. All the time they seemed consistently to be making for a sharp scrub covered spur that gave way to bush and eventually leading to an open tussock terrace and eventually a sparkling fresh creek.
This is precisely what I gambled on. The fact that they had spent all morning on the tops, they were now more than likely very thirsty. They were ready for some water. Taking no chances I found a deep water course and dropped altitude using this vehicle. Combined with the very high tussock, I was able to keep well out of sight as I continued on my course.
I eventually found a rock that was over looking the tussock terrace at the foot of the spur opposite. I took off my pack and levelled my rifle. The range was around 150yds and I lay in wait. Occasionally I would glimpse a body through the heavy bush as the animals made progress.
At long last a hind materialised out of the bush, the spiker was about to follow, when suddenly he looked over his shoulder and waited. The second hind appeared behind him and he waited for her to catch up and then pass him. Hind 2 was now in the open, I waited for the spiker.
Finally he showed himself, like some wily old royal stag, cagey to the last. The cross hairs settled on his shoulders for an instant. The shot struck and his front legs left the ground and arced high above his head, he then crashed sideways to the ground.
The remaining hinds barked and carried on a bit before finally departing, into the safety of the bush.
Day4 had me packing up camp and sidling my way out, up the big rock scree into the saddle. I was in deep shadow and making good progress. Some movement across the scree drew my attention to 5 chamois moving uncertainly in the sunshine. They were looking my way but unable to ascertain what I was due to the sun in their eyes.
I glassed them carefully and picked out a buck with a nice set of hooks. Not incredibly big but a good downside curve going I estimated around the 8” mark.
I levelled the stubby .308 over a handy rock and took the buck in the shoulder.
No sign of a roar this high up, but satisfied that another piece of country and been seen and covered.

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view from "Riverstone Cabin"

view from "Riverstone Cabin"
Hope River