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gizzy-mike
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afew days in bush and a camp stag
Apr 5th, 2013 at 8:03am
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You never really know what to expect when you go hunting and when you plan a hunting trip months in advance all sorts of unexpected changes to the original plan can and often do happen, sometimes for the best and sometimes for the worst.

This is a story about how some averagely laid out plans turned out to be one of the best hunting trips I have ever had.

Early Feburary after several emails phone calls and text messages I had a week of annual leave booked, a place to hunt,  a couple of my good mates keen to join me and a very rough idea of what I wanted to do in April, hunt stags for the 2013 roar.

Easter crept up very quickly one mate had pulled out and before I knew it it was finally time to start packing for the trip, we had gained veichle access through a very large and remote east coast farm so luckily for us that factor alone saved 16km of walking with heavy packs.

We were hunting the Eastern Ureweras, and after walking for a way with heavy packs I had had enough, a likely looking grassy clearing high up on a ridge in the park became home for the next two nights.

It was roughly 4pm and camp was setup, a couple of tents and some gear strewn tidily enough around the edges of the clearing, the scene was set. Daypacks were loaded with afternoon hunting essentials, water, gps, survival equipment, wet weather jacket, some choccy bars of various nutritional value, and a knife amongst other bric a brac. A plan was made to check the local area out for the next day’s hunting, and of course our rifles came for the walk too.

It wasn’t long before some fresh deer sign was seen, and soon after we walked into a long grass clearing a stag bolted out from the left hand side followed by a hind, I never managed to put the cross hairs on him but he had a rack and god only knows how big he was. We tried speaking nicely to him but he was spooked, the hind did come back and have a look though, I let her live.

2 deer seen by 4.30pm on day 1, a good start maybe?

It soon became evident that the area we were in was alive with animals, as we walked and got further along our ridge top, several moans were heard on both sides of us, we both decided to investigate and started a full blown conversation with a stag that decided to not show himself after winding us very early on, on we carried and not more than 5 minutes walking later, a different stag replyd to Kurts tune he played on the roaring horn.

This time the wind was in our favour and it wasn’t long before we were clearly inside of a stags territory, we moaned and the stag moaned back in reply, we walked 30 meters and roared and the stag roared louder and closer again. As fate would have it this particular stag was clever, a young spiker still half in velvet and a hind came to us from down hill, all the while with the hind barking at us, we were still hoping for a more decent animal to present himself, Kurt had a bead on the spiker with his 308 and with a clear shot available took it, camp meat.


The thing with brand new knifes is its mandatory to test the sharpness out on yourself as Kurt did, I am sure there was more blood from his new gaping vent on his hand than from that spiker he had just shot. A quick patch up job with some of said bric a brac and we had back steaks, two back legs  and a front leg loaded and ready for the walk back to camp.

With the meat back on the main ridge we were originally on, we continued and realised just how dry it was where we were, underfoot was crunchy, there was no creeks, water was going to be a problem and for the ureweras theres usually no shortage of it, It was light enough still to scope out the terrain.



Several more stags were roaring and moaning right up until and well into dark, we backtracked and headed back to camp, for a hot feed, cold beer and good rest. In the middle of the night I woke to another stag going off just behind camp. He sounded close very close. Morning came quickly and although it did not rain my tent managed to give me a condensation shower and with a heavy dew a new day dawned.

Kurt decided to get amongst it early and off he went, my plan was to hunt my way back to the truck and get more water for camp, I roared as best I could on my way and had two stags reply to me at various stages to the truck and back to camp, when I arrived back  kurt was back from his morning hunt and it had been successful for him , he managed to roar up a nice 6 pointer and trooped the meat back aswell, he wanted to get all the meat back to the truck so he loaded up with the prior days meat and the mornings meat and off he went. A heavy full pack of meat was deliverd to the truck while I had lunch, salami and cheese sandwich with muesli bar and apple on the side.





While enjoying a rest at camp the stag behind camp started up again, so I went to investigate, I found scrapes and a stag pad and I gave afew roars to which he replyed. But no joy there. Back to camp and I fell asleep quite content with life.

Kurt had returned aswell and left his boots by my tent so I would know he was back, I told him about the stag behind the camp and how it was going off and that excited us into preparing for an afternoon hunt. I wanted to see the 6 point head he had shot so we cruised off to where it was and had stags roaring not far from where he had shot it.

Exciting times

It was 3.30pm and we were hearing stags going off all over the place, we picked a likely sounding animal out and headed off for him, we roared and he roared back we closed the gap and roared some more and this stag opened up, we could hear he was perhaps 200 meters from us, we roared and he kept coming thrashing the bush as he ran, he was pissed off.
Quietly and steady we moved in through a massive stag pad above a small creek  in a grove of punga 20 meters at a time then we roared more, the stench of stag was all over the area. A couple more violent roars from kurt and the reply we got in return was inspiring.

I swear I nearly shat my pants when in from about 50 meters a freight train came through the bush towards me and stopped 15 feet away, the ground actually rumbled as this fulla ran in. I could smell him and see the steam coming from his nostrils as he peeked out from behind a punga fern, I could see one side of his face, half his antlers 4 maybe 5 points and some of his neck, I stayed very still Im telling you, I was in the open with a very angry stag on his turf and all there was between us was 15 feet of open space his punga and my 270, confident of a neck shot and having indentifed my animal I squeezed off the 270 and all hell broke loose.

The stag jumped and bolted the way he came from, I was confident in my gun and my shot but the stag ran on didn’t he. Kurt settled me down abit and we waited a minute or two that seemed like forever, when things went quiet we investigated and followed his tracks, I was looking for blood and found one small patch not far from the scene but that was all. No more blood and no stag. We searched and searched for an hour but no such luck.

I replayed it over and over and It was the perfect stalk without the result, I was gutted with the thought of him being out there wounded, but still happy at the same time with the thrill of it all. We walked out of his territory defeated and wondering.

Onto the next ridge and up up up we went, back to the tops again with dark closing in, out came the headlights and  bush bashing a ridge all the way back to camp. I forget how dark it gets so quickly sometimes, thank you whoever invented gps and led lenser. Back at camp and guns away, kurt cracked a can open and I joined him, we had a big feed to restore energy and sank 4 beers each before bed. Sleep came easy until 2am, the camp stag roared.

Down came the rain

Luckily I had set up my fly over the tent and enjoyed a nice dry space to enjoy some food in the morning, kurt joined me for breakfast and we planned the mornings hunt, with the drizzle and it being our last day we decided on an easy hunt, the stag behind the camp was still going off and myself being keen to meet him, a plan was hatched. We roared and the camp stag roared back.

Down the ridge behind our camp we went, 50 meters we went stopped and roared, the stag replyd,  it was open all the way and easy going with large natives and supple jack, the odd punga but mostly great visibility all the way down, each side of the ridge had deep punga guts and the bush was tight. We roared every 30 odd meters all the way down and had replys from not one but two stags. At the bottom was a small very nearly dried up creek, and a punga covered mound with a deer highway and fresh sign every where.

We went right and followed the freshest sign, but the stag was moving so we backtracked and crept up another trail through the pungas and into a beautiful open area, 60 meters visability easy under the tall natives in a 180 degree area. We roared and the stag came charging in from the left up high, he didn’t know where we were, he was trying to get around us to wind us.
Up came the 270, kurt roared and the stag roared back and boom went the 270, the stag jumped up and skipped like he was doing some kind of new dance and bolted away so I fired again, Boom a parting shot at his arse. Although I was confident the camp stag ran a good 80 meters through the open undergrowth and all went quiet, we both waited a minute and I was shaking with excitement, both kurt and I went for a look and I couldn’t see my camp stag, kurt yells out “here it is”.

I was stoked and admired the camp stag, he came up a nice tidy 9 pointer, the broad side shot was a little low and the second shot through the back leg didn’t help him either. Another stag roared not far from us and kurt was off to investigate, no joy there unfortunitly. I sat down with my trophy deer and had a moment with him, Buzzing was an understatement I was over the moon.







What an awesome way to top off a exciting few days with a good mate, the trip was perfect in every way, even the drizzle as we packed up camp didn’t dampen the mood. Thanks kurt for the fantastic safe 2013 roar trip mate, im looking forward to duck shooting now.
« Last Edit: Apr 6th, 2013 at 12:17am by gizzy-mike »  

ive lost enuf brain cells, they are now at a managable level.
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #1 - Apr 5th, 2013 at 3:04pm
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Good stuff Mike Cool
  

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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #2 - Apr 5th, 2013 at 8:39pm
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A action pack write up,well done Mike.
  

Shot a few deer,caugth some big trout and salmon
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #3 - Apr 6th, 2013 at 12:21am
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cheers guys, it was a buzz, I have added the photos into this report for the roar comp now  Wink
  

ive lost enuf brain cells, they are now at a managable level.
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #4 - Apr 6th, 2013 at 12:42am
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Gud stuf Smiley
  

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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #5 - Apr 7th, 2013 at 6:56am
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good stuff mate my brother got a 13 pointer friday and a tasty hind today. gee you having a  good 2013 trophy snap now a stag whats next.

well done though
  
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #6 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 4:27am
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Bloody exciting read and a great result mate.  Well done.
  
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #7 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 8:39am
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Fantastic trip by the looks Gizzy, bloody good report and pics, thoroughly enjoyed that, thanks.
  
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #8 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 10:46am
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nice one gizzy, congrats mate Cool
  
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #9 - Apr 21st, 2013 at 3:39am
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Seeing as Mike wrote an awesome story, I wasnt going to ad to it. But as it was such a great trip I had to make a mention also.
As Mike said, plans were causally made a few months earlier. We had 2 plans, one was Eastern Ureweras, and the other was Waioeka Gorge Area.
Luckily we were able to get access through a mates place to the area we wanted to go.
Despite the forecast saying rain two days into the trip we were keen as.
One of our mates had to cancel, so Gizzy and I hatched the final plan.
The drive was good, the usual banter and piss taking when Mike sees a deer 300m off the road at midday. As it was on private property it was left alone, but it was good to see. A good sign perhaps?
A quick catch up with our mate and it was off the the bush! it was great to be back in the area.
ON arriving at the park. Packs where quickly rechecked and we were off.
We had not gone far when we could hear the occasional moan.
Finding a good spot to set up camp, tents were set up. Hunting Gear checked and it was decided to go for a area recon.
We had not walked far when I put out the meanest roar ever....which probably sounded like a gay spiker looking for a husband  Grin Grin
We got several replies from all over. We kept walking along the track and a few roars later we zero'd in on a stag to go have a look for.
The bush, while pretty open was a bit crunchy underfoot as it was so dry. We stalked along putting  out the odd "moan" to which we got replys! 20 mins in the bush, we heard some twigs snaping and noise! DEER!! While the stag was still several hundred meters away, something was close! Then I saw movement and a spiker stepped out. Looking at Mike, I said I have a shot. I was thinking it was a bit late, the stag was still a wee way away so I thought some camp meat would be a great start to the trip. I lined up a nice spiker, who was side at 30-40m and the Kimber .308 did the rest. A nice shoulder shot and the spiker was down. Turns out there was another deer, a hind or spiker that took off and barked at us for the next 10 mins while we cut up the first deer. We looked at each other, and agreed there are a few animals here.

Now, as mention in Mikes part....the new knife was tested on my finger. At the start I was like "shit...oh well just a nick"...about 30 seconds later and it was all on! turns out it was deeper then i thought. My medical kit happened to be in my pack at camp  Roll Eyes so Mike made a rangi version and it was enough to stop the blood but she sure was throbbing.
Carrying the meat out to the track we left it there to collect.  we carried on a wee way and ended up walking into a spooking a 6 pointer which bounded off! A quick moan and a hind came out!
Maybe my roaring was starting to sound like a more "manly deer"  Grin
As it was starting to get dark, and hearing several stags in the valleys we went back to camp excited about tomorrow.
Guns unloaded, and put into out tents. Dinner was cooked while a quiet beer was enjoyed with the discussions about the day so far and tomorrow! A good feed and a plan was hatched. A yarn on safety and identification was included also.
I was keen to get right into the bush, and I was up at the ring of the alarm....pitch black! hmmm, wee lie in....still dark! WTF! Whens it going to lighten up a bit!  Grin
Knowing we didnt have to go far, I waited til it was light enough not to have to use my headlight.
Mike and I went our separate ways.

I got to the spot where I wanted to head in, and let out a long moan. BOOM! replies straight away! Setting the compass, marking the track on gps I snuck into the bush. The first 50m was pretty thick stuff but then it opened up to beautiful open bush! Sneaking along, doing the odd roar I had several replys! I couldnt beleive it! Mike and I timed it all right!
Working along in the bush, I got into a spot where I could go left, right or ahead for a stag. I went left. Moaning every 30 odd meters, this boy was getting a bit riled I was getting closer, But he wasnt moving in.
Eventually I must have got right on the boundry of his area and after a roar from me He came crashing through the bush! Trying to get behind me, he presented himself sideon at 40-50m, I could see he was a 6 plus pointer stag, and I decided I was pretty rapt with having him come in I took the shot. The Kimber again did its job and the stag dropped on the spot! (loving the .308 after 15 years with a 270).  Smiley
After taking a few photos (Mike posted them) I set about taking as much meat as I could carry. All the while there was a few stags going nuts! I did the odd roar to get them going hahaha.
Carrying the meat back to camp, the bloody flys had decided our camp was a great place to hold the Urewera Annual Fly Convention!!  Angry  Grin
I wasnt prepared to have tjhe meat wasted, so quickly skinning the hind 1/4 opf both deer, front 1/4s  and back steaks, I loaded my pack up. Just in time for Mike to Arrive to help me actually stand up!  Grin
I lugged the meat back to the truck which took an hour, and got it safely into the chilly bin. Being keen to get back, I ran back to camp which took 20 mins! Being a bit knackerd at this stage, I had a feed and a bit of a nap!
At about 3, both of us got up (seperate tents  Grin) and I said we should go back to were I shot my stag, as there was more in the area.
Of we went, and getting to the 6 pointer, a few roars were put out. Nothing. We carried on a bit, and nothing at all. An hr in, finally we got a reply!! He was a fair way in the distance so we closed in. AS we were coming in, so was he! The distance quickly closed.
Soon we were only a few 100m apart. I put out a roar and flippen heck!! A freight train come barreling thought the bush! Mike snuck 10m to my right and I keep moaning (and shaking haha) and it stopped next to a tree. I couldnt see it, but Mike could. Being confident he let the .270 go and whack! A hit! He crashed off and Mike and I stayed put to let him thrash it out. It sounded like he was down, so we went in. Finding a bit of blood I was certain we had him. We spent an hr searching, and guttingly had to concede defeat. I HATE losing animals, but as it was getting dark, we had to make tracks.  Cry
1.5 hrs to camp, guns away and a nice room temp beer was had while we had a great yarn about the excitement over today. What a trip so far! Dinner was had, and it was decided to go for the stag that was not far from camp.
Stags going all the nights we were there, was pretty cool to hear!
Up not so early this time, breaky was had. and we were off.
Following Mike, I gave a few roars but no replys. HMmmm had the "Camp Stag" gone? Had he smelt the cooking going on not much above where he was?
Again, nice open bush and we got to the bottom of the spur. No roars from anywhere, lots of sign but Ole Camp Stag was keeping quiet.
Sneaking up the other side, we had a sit down and then As I roared...."rooooaaaaarrrrrrrrrr!!!!" from not far away!!
Mike and I looked at each other with a "blimmen hang" look on our faces! He is here!
we worked our way back the way we came, and snuck up through some scrub, with some awesome looking open bush coming into view! Settling myself down, I gave a new roar and the stag came crashing along abouve and to the front of us! he was moaning away, and then come trotting along to get behind us! He stopped above us, side on looking at us! Mike had a good spot to shoot from and this time the .270 did the job! A definate hit!! but he still ran along way the the way he lept at the shot I knew it was a good one!
Settling oursleves down, I made sure I made a good ID on the last spot I saw it fall. We went looking and I found it right were I thought it had dropped!
Handshakes and smiles all round Mike had a got a bloody good stag! We were stoked!!
With another one roaring away I went and had a look but no joy. I came back to help Mike cut the deer up, do the photos and we had to lug the meat all off 400m to camp hahahahah.
We had a bit of feed and more handshakes and smiles, and talked about the hunt!
With the rain arriving a few days late, we decided to end the great trip and head back to truck.
It was a really really great weekend! And to go hunting with a top mate makes it awesome!
Thanks Mike for the awesome hunt bro! And bring on duckshooting!!!

Smiley Grin Grin


« Last Edit: Apr 21st, 2013 at 10:16am by Hughesy »  
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gizzy-mike
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Re: afew days in bush and a camp stag
Reply #10 - Jun 1st, 2013 at 8:55pm
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WHEN does the comp close Smiley Smiley
  

ive lost enuf brain cells, they are now at a managable level.
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