Gerrit is on holiday and celebrated his 56 birthday not so long ago. One of his presents from his wife Evelyn was to be a days hunting with me. We decided on a goat hunt and duly set off from home at o7.00hrs. on the 17Th January.
We planned a full leisurely day with day packs filled with lunch and snacks. Gerrit has little experience of hunting but wanted to taste the Kiwi way of doing things.
We arrived at out destination and headed into the hills. The rest of the morning was spent climbing high into the bush. There was scant sign around and the scrub was wet after a night of rain. We topped out at 11.30 and goat droppings became common on the animal trails we were following.
A series of bleating off to our right caught our attention and we slowed to a halt. Unfortunately the wind was blowing behind us and the scrub looked impenetrable anyway. So we decided to climb a little higher and skirt around in a semi circle to look for more accessible country on which to drop down on our quarry A series of bleating off to our right caught our attention and we slowed to a halt. Unfortunately the wind was blowing behind us and the scrub looked impenetrable anyway. So we decided to climb a little higher and skirt around in a semi circle to look for more accessible country on which to drop down on our quarry.......We spooked a black and white nanny shortly afterwards and the last we saw of her was here white backside markings bobbing in and out of the trees making her steep descent into another catchment.
Thirty minutes later we found what is best described as an eyrie. It was an open area about 10ft by 4ft. It was situated right on the edge of the bluffs with a fearsome drop straight down on the rocks below. It gave us a tremendous view of the surrounding countryside so we decided to stop awhile and do some serious glassing. A few minutes later I spotted a large Billy goat some 5ooyds away feeding on a grassy slip. We watched him for a few minutes until he ambled off the slip and sought the sanctuary of the cooler bush. It was by this time around noon and although we could hear bleating quite close by we were more inclined to rest up and chew on some energy bars.
The sun beat down relentlessly so I suggested to Gerrit if we found some running water it would not be a bad time to have a bite to eat and cup of tea.
We made our way off the bluffs and down into the bush until we found a nice shady spot by a stream. We wiled away the afternoon talking about this and that and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of our surroundings.
At four thirty it was time to climb the spur away from the creek and go find an evening goat or two.
Five thirty saw us atop a large flat rock with a commanding view of the open areas around us. It wasn’t long before a nanny and two kids appeared on the bluff terrace directly in front of us.
I asked Gerrit if he wanted to take a shot and he nodded in the affirmative. The range was 201meters. We laid our day packs on top of each other to provide the rest he would need.
With fingers firmly in my ears I said fire when ready. At the sound of the shot the nanny and two in toe bolted across the face....a miss I called to Gerrit. They slowed and the nanny came to a halt...try again I urged. At the sound of the report I could see the goat was hit. It stumbled but then surged forward and then was lost to view in the bush.
We waited ten minutes and then I gave the good news to Gerrit that we were going to climb up into those bluffs to find the animal.
Around forty minutes later we edged across the narrow ledge the animals had taken in their escape and were nearing the bush where we had last seen her disappear into we then heard her anguished cries. We hurried on and despatched her where she was lying up.
The initial shot we found was a couple of inches back from being a good shot.
The rifles zero will need to be checked.