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Tips for the trophy chamois hunter (Read 3030 times)
EC
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Tips for the trophy chamois hunter
Jan 28th, 2008 at 8:45pm
 
A couple of wee tips worth knowing for those that head of in search of a trophy buck chamois, during their rut.

This first one would apply more so to the West Coast side, owing to the type of terrain etc, plus the higher numbers.

As most would know, the bucks will be doing their thing come mid May (rut). Once the hunter locates a group of chamois he/she will usually run the glasses over the group until the buck is found, once located the stalk will usually be planned and off will go the hunter/hunters.

First tip:
If  you have located a group with a buck in tow, OBSERVE before charging ahead. Using your binoculars, focus down below the group, search a little at that level behind the group also, always below, in or just on the edge of cover, etc.

The reason for this: You may get the chance to zero in on a much older buck sporting a much bigger head,, the older buck knows that he is no match for the younger, stronger buck, who's already holding the ladies. He will be following the group with one thing in mind, just maybe a chance ti grab one of those does, but there's no way he will want to tangle with that younger, stronger buck.

These older slower bucks under the circumstances will actually stick near a group for as long as they possibly can and can do so, right up till the rut finally ends.

Why would you only look below for an old buck?

The old buck knows that the younger fella wont leave the ladies unattended and out of sight just so he can chase him down through the scrub, the old dude's not too keen on getting a bashing. He also knows that if he was to follow the group from above, then he would be in deep trouble, the younger buck could be up to him in a flash and still be keeping a strong eye on the ladies, the country generally being more open.

Not every group during this time will have a big fella following, but you would be very surprised just how many do. Something ti remember.
---

At  this time of the year also, (May) the chamois bucks behaviour can be very strange indeed.
He can cover a  huge area at  this time, wandering from one valley to the next in his search for the ladies. He can also let his guard down as ti speak, he's got one thing on his mind only. One can encounter a buck almost anywhere at this time (anywhere).

Second tip:
If you spot one of these lone bucks at this particular time, then hide yourself behind something, large rock, etc. Now take off your cap/hat and wave it in the air to get the buck's attention, or give him a loud whistle, that will also stop him if he's moving. Don't show yourself though.

Once you have his attention, simply hold his attention, a wave of the hat, but don't over do it.
This will usually bring him down or across etc, to within range.
The buck is bemused,,he thinks its another chamois .
Many a time this decoying method has been used to lure in a buck.
Far too inquisitive, a little daft even, is our buck chamois at this time of the year.

Definately a game of who spots who first, in this type of country.
The clued up chamois hunter will sit and glass for a very long period, before moving only a
short distance to glass again.

...

(Example pic), where those older bucks live out their retirement, West Coast country.

...

To lure a buck in close can be just as enjoyable as roaring in a stag, it's the look on their face that does it for me.

...

One successful hunter with his prize, after spotting and then luring him in, from off the face in the background.

...

EC.


Original thread here.

[Edit: changed subject heading -- blackbunny]
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« Last Edit: May 7th, 2008 at 2:13pm by blackbunny »  

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Re: Tips for the trophy chamois hunter
Reply #1 - May 7th, 2008 at 5:19pm
 
Chamois behavior in snow.

Chamois are not bothered by snow. Over the summer they build up thick fat reserves and use these through the winter. They eat, but don’t require a lot and are quite happy foraging in areas cleared by avalanche,  windward snow free ridges, and sunny slopes with less or little snow on them.  
They will forage below the snowline and near the bush line on small trees if given the opportunity but prefer to be close to an area they consider safe such as high rocky outcrops. Their feeding times are reduced in winter due to their stratagem  to conserve energy, by moving as little as possible. Climbing up and down to avoid snow would spend energy, so they tend to stay put during times of snow.  

I have often observed them during heavy snowfalls moving down a bit, or upwards, to gain shelter from the wind on the lee side of bluff systems, where they will simply sit down and wait out the storm cycle, for days at a time if need be.  

The winter coat is so thick and downy, and provides such good insulation, that snow drifting onto them will not melt, more than once the first inkling that I have had of chamois being close by was when they stood up on my approach(on skis) and the snow slid off them. Never could one approach them from below, but sometimes a surprise approach from above is possible.  

Chamois will in deep snow run sideways to safety but rarely downhill unless the new snow is very deep and you have approached them from above. If you disturb them from below they will move up or across to a bluff, and I have seen them cover 500 vertical meters, on harder snowpack, in a bit more than the blink of an eye, to flee. This of course puts a lot of strain on their energy reserves.

Its often been stated that they have a sixth sense and dont get caught in avalanche. This might be true to a point but the many cadaver that come out in spring at the bottom of avalnche chutes tell another story..

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