Early February and a hot spell forecast for a few days with the freezer getting lean on venison it was purposfull strides towards the tops that had me sweating in the noon heat that day.Nearing five o clock saw me approach my camp site. I was dismayed to see the creek there completely dried up. After a fruitless half hour search for a campsite with water, I finally chose my camping ground. There was barely enough room to pitch my one man tent and then at least a couple of minutes from the nearest creek.What were my chances of seeing deer high up on the tops now, i mused while scoffing my dinner sometime later.
A couple of hours before dark, I took my rifle and binos onto a lip overlooking what in the past has been a very successfull gully the water I could see in the creek was flowing strongly. I was on the bush line looking over a large expanse of tussock area. Within a few minutes however heavy ominous looking clouds began to drift over head. Not long after the first light pitter patter of rain splashed down, there was an increase in momentum and finishing in quite a strong downpour. I manfully endured the 30 minute onslaught, which left me shivering in a cool s.w. breeze that followed.
It was an uneventfull evening with no sign of an animal.The following morning was warm as i made haste in the half light in the opposite direction of the night before. The sky was clear and the promise of a fine day was carved in stone. An hours travel had me overlooking the huge watershed that I had chosen for my source of meat.I finally settled down to glass the huge area and it wasn't untill twenty minutes later that I finally spied three animal over a 1000 yds away. They appeared to be adults although no sign of any antlers. I was hoping one at least would be a yearling of some description.I kept a frequent check on the animals as I glassed more of the country thoroughly to make sure I didn't bump any as yet unseen animals on my stalk.
They seemed to be all that there was out in the open so I planned my stalk and set off.
No more than 50 yds into it a lone chamois appeared over a spur to my right, aware of me he was angling down and across my position and making for the bush edge. His bone looked to be around the 8 1/2 " height so was of no interest to me at all and so i watched his progess, noting the fact that a shot would have not been at all easy, for he was constantly moving, and when he paused it was for a second only. I watched him untill he moved out of sight over a spur and into the bush.
It was well over an hour before I was nearing the position I had picked out to which I hoped to identify the deer and make a shot. I peered over the ridge and eventually found the deer lower down and further out than I had imagined. There was no way to descend the ridge to stalk nearer. Range was 300yds or thereabouts and steeply downhill. The binos identified three spikers. I wriggled down into the tussock clad ridge until I had a clear and uninterupted view. With the rifle atop my day pack, I singled out a target. The four power reticle was aimed low on the chest of one of the broadsided deer. The light trigger was tripped and the thwock of a hit was distinct mingled with the report of the .308.The deer dropped like a stone.The remaining two stood together uncertain.I took another with a similar shot and the third deer just went to ground.
Sometime later ,I literally had to kick it up and shoo it away, before finally being able to butcher the two amimals. It was a long arduous and waterless tramp back to camp, with frequent stops to rest and seek shade from that relentless sun.
Back at my campsite the afternoon was slow in passing the day burned on and on and the flies were prolific.I broke camp early the next day and with heavy pack lumbered upwards toward the main ridge. I topped the ridge and sidled for a time before reaching a large tarn. Tawny coloured Tussock stretched for miles in three directions the sky was blue and clear. I dumped my pack and rumaged inside to find my enamel mug, I walked a few paces to the waters edge and drank my fill. After the second mugfull I glanced up to the ridgline above and there sillouhetted against the sky was a young chamois.We eyed each other for what seemed an age. Now I would like to say that I watched the animal untill it moved off, but I did not. Instead keeping firm eye contact I retreated to where my rifle lay, picked it up and slowly sat down, found the animal in the sight and knocked her over with a shot to the chest at well under 100yds.More meat to butcher but at least now It was down hill all the way.