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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Chasing Sika - Beautyy (Read 9305 times)
clinchey
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Chasing Sika - Beautyy
May 4th, 2013 at 8:40am
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Piling our gear into the back of the ute, it seemed like we were moving into the bush permanently with gear hanging off our packs from every strap and pocket. Pulling up in the carpark, we shouldered the packs and began the bash through the bush, only 15 minutes in and we spotted the first deer of trip as a hind stood on the opposite side of a side creek and it soon bolted. 15 minutes later and another hind was spotted 25m ahead and that soon spooked along with another hind to our right. Stumbling across several rutting pads and a wallow we knew we didnít need to walk much further so the first area we found that was suitable for a campsite was claimed. We soon began unpacking and within an hour, camp was setup and we had a quick lunch.

That evening Marc went across the main creek and sat watching some terraces. It didnít take long for a spiker to be seen feeding in a gut ahead of him. Not long after a hind and 2 yearlings fed up to him but spooked when they spotted him curled up in the undergrowth. He also managed to roar a stag in but he couldnít see the head so let him grow. I headed up behind camp and had only been hunting 20 minutes when I heard the unmistakable sound of the AJ Caller from the face above me. Well buggar that, so I started cutting across away from the caller and was standing on the edge of terrace when an animal was crashing around above me. A hind and fawn soon came crashing down towards me and passed only 8m away. They were safe. I stood still for an extra few minutes when more sticks were snapping above me. Soon enough a blaze orange hat walked out from behind some trees so I called out and we had a quick yarn and soon carried on our separate ways. Nothing else was seen and the roaring was reasonably quiet still. The southerly had well and truly kicked in and not much sleep was had that night due to the cold and the stags having a bit of karaoke in the darkness. 5am the alarm awoke us and we were out of camp by 6am. We planned on hunting together and hunt the terraces up the valley. Making slow progress we soon found an appropriate place to give a roar. 25minutes later I heard sticks snapping behind me and I assumed it was Marc. I wasnít paying attention to it so when I finally turned around I manage to see a spiker turn and bolt back the way he came. Carrying on hunting we soon came across where two creeks met and the centre spur was quite open. Giving a few roars we waited 20 minutes before stalking on. Wed gone 50m when we were climbing out of the steep sided gut only to get whistled at by a 6 pointer 30m away and watched him race out of sight. Further on we sidled and found another place to roar from. I sat 30 odd meters to the left of my brother and he got on the caller and we waited. It wasnít long before we heard the footsteps of an animal below us. Unfortunately it was a small four pointer so my brother watched it walk through the pepperwood stand below him until it came to 20m , it spotted him and took off retracing his steps. By then it was getting on towards lunchtime so we snuck our way back to camp and was back for lunch. That afternoon we were tossing up where we were going to hunt. We decided to hunt above where I had been the previous night. Sidling up along the terraces we were just cresting the edge of the terrace into a creek when a hind bolts and lets out a few whistles. After crossing the creek we started cutting up the spur and after trying our best to keep quiet through the thick undergrowth we were rewarded with a nice spur to stalk along but silent stalking was difficult with dried beech leaves underfoot. The left hand side of the spur was still thick but on the right hand side we had up to 60-80m of visibility in places. We hadnít gone far when we started coming across scrapes, then a deep squeal from the edge of the thick undergrowth put us on high alert. We gave a few roars and seconds later we spotted a four pointer dashing through a gut ahead of us somehow spooked. Nothing else turned up so we carried on up and had only just past where the four pointer had been when we spooked a group of hinds. Frustrated with ourselves and the dry leaves underfoot, we crept further forward. I was just passing through a tricky piece of undergrowth when I heard the hiss of my Marcs voice ĎDeer..!!í Halting my movements, a hind passed through 30m ahead of us. We gave some mews trying to entice a stag. We noticed good visibility 10m to our left so we decided weíd give some roars from there. My brother stopped while I walked slightly ahead for a different view. I just reached a mound and gazed at the ground to look where to sit when I glanced up and instantly I saw the neck and head of a deer 70m up the spur peering down at me from behind a white tree trunk. There I stood motionless, daring not to move. I thought I could see the nobbles of a spiker but to confirm it I lifted the tikka and even with the scope on 3x power a slight flick of its head revealed two sets of tops towering above him. By then my heart was trying to jump out of my chest as the safety came off. The crosshairs began to wave from left to right, up and down. I began to apply pressure to the trigger and I was sure it was about to fire when I noticed the crosshairs were sitting on the other side of the tree trunk, a meter from where they were supposed to be. I had to look away, which bought back memories of 3 years earlier I managed to miss a big 8 in this same valley due to the dreaded buck fever. Intent on not letting history repeat I placed my check back on the butt of the rifle, slowed my breathing and squeezed off the shot which felt good. Looking up the spur after the echoes faded I noticed the stag kicking his lasts having not taken a step. You Beauty! Putting another bullet up the spout I wasnít letting this buggar get away! We were both pretty excited as we closed in the last few meters towards the beast. We were ecstatic and it was awesome to be with the brother to share the hunt!

A few photos later and we began butchering him and he was in good nick with a good layer of fat layering his rump. I was rapt with him as we bashed our way back to camp that night in darkness. He recently got scored at 168 5/8, so close to the magic number but just makes me want to get back out there for another one! The pressure was off and sleep came easier that night. The next morning we again woke in the darkness and trampled out of camp just as it became light enough to see. Lunch was in the daypacks as we snuck across the creek and up onto a big pepperwood terrace up a side creek. Sneaking along the wind was swirling and we werenít surprised to have an uneventful morning. We climbed and sidled our way up the face with fresh sign littering the forest floor. By the time it reached midday we had reached where we wanted to be. We were sitting above a massive flat lying saddle and ridge leading several hundred meters out in front of us so we decided to wait till a more prime time to hunt it so had a bite to eat and dozed off for a snooze. We were awoken by raindrops falling, the forecast said it wasnít going to amount to much so we tried to stick it out but began to move down onto the saddle. The drops got heavier and heavier until the light showers became consistent rain so we decided it wasnít worth the wet gear so put the hammer down back to camp. We had just reached the river terraces as I followed behind Marc bashing our way through the moss covered undergrowth. An unexpected halt and his hand came up to stop me. He quickly turned his camera on and began videoing something ahead of him. I removed my camera from its case and snuck a step forward and spotted the deerís rump parked under a beech tree 20m away.

It was looking rather depressed hiding under the tree and it got a hell of a fright when Marc let out a few mews when her and her friend behind her bolted off into the undergrowth. Carrying onto camp it was mid-afternoon so we hid from the wet and had an earlier bedtime that night. We awoke the next morning to clear skies and due to the wind overnight most of the water from the bush had been blown off the leaves so we werenít going to get too wet. We headed straight up behind camp, the higher we got the steeper and thicker the bush became and with an uneventful morning we came to the conclusion the better hunting was to be had lower down.

Sidling across face we saw some good stag country on the map so decided to head for that. Sidling through some steep and tight guts we decided to stop for some smoko in a clearing in the sun. Sitting there, we soon began to hear something moving around above us. It then went quiet but Marc was adamant there was an animal present. Finishing off our snacks we began bashing the final short distance to an open ridge. We hadnít gone far when Marc spotted the orange glow of a deer enjoying the morning sun amongst the ferns 20m below us.

How he didnít hear us I donít know but he was feeding unaware of us so I got the camera out and began flicking off some pictures. Even mews from my brother didnít seem to bother the silly little spiker, so we let him be as he fed out of sight. We snuck our way onto the open ridge and it opened right up with great visibility and we were sitting at the head of several guts. We roared and waited. Nothing approached us so we started the trudge back towards camp. The bush was open so we werenít in a hurry. We decided to have one last roar from the open spur we were on. Again the caller reared into life and we sat still. 5 minutes passed and then all of a sudden out of the pepporwoods 40m below us in the gut, I spot a 6 pointer step out of the pepporwoods and then immediately turn and bolt back into the undergrowth and out of sight. Just goes to show stags will come into the roars throughout the duration of the day as it was now midday. Content with the end of our hunt we headed back to camp for lunch. That afternoon I headed down the creek and planned on hunting up onto the big low lying ridge we didnít manage to hunt properly due to the rain. Sign was everywhere so my pace was super slow. I carried on stalking the converge between the hills and terraces. The regenerating beech was tight but visibility was up to 30m and it was quiet stalking. I slowed my pace as sign became abundant. Iíd just cruised out into a bit of an opening when a stick snaps to my left. Waiting, I heard nothing for another 5 minutes when another stick, then another and then I spot movement in the trees 40m moving left to right. Bringing the scope up I could make out an animal. Lowering the rifle, a hind soon walked into the open 25m and began walking towards me, followed by a yearling tucked in behind her. They came to within 10m when the hind stared straight at me kneeling beside a small beech pole and she wasnít happy. Darting 5m to the left she stood broadside, too easy I thought so I let her go and she finally departed for safer pastures. Sidling along further I decided to start cutting up. Id only just crested the first spur and was looking in the first gut, it was open short pepporwoods with scattered broadleaf. A magnet for the sika so there had to be something in here. I stood patiently for 10 minutes but nothing was seen or heard so I took two steps closer and I hear a deer crashing off, another step and I spot a hind trotting up the hill and then it stops and begins mooching around again before walking off. Carrying on up, I crested the main ridge without anymore action until I spooked a hind and then 100m up spooked another 2 hinds from about 5m away. I had about half an hour left of light and the stags started firing up so I parked up in some cover and let my own roar go. I had visibility up to about 80-90m in the gut below me. I got an instant reply across the gulley, waiting I soon roared back. 2 minutes later he replied again, along with another stag closer towards me. I considered going over to them but I knew it would be dark soon. Staying put I heard one more roar from him then silence. I was expecting him to appear any minute. Time was running out, and then something whistled at me from just out of sight. I had been completely motionless, in cover and the wind was blowing consistently up the face so im still confused as to how it detected me. It was now dark so I got up and departed back to camp. I managed to see another two deer on the walk back, one being a 6 pointer in the headlight and also spooked another 3 that I didnít see, so this was definitely a spot to return to. Marc hunted up the terraces that he watched on the first evening but nothing turned up. We discussed tomorrows plans over dinner; Consistently throughout our stay a stag had been heehawing in the same gulley I had shot my stag earlier on so we decided to have a crack at him this morning. Sidling through some terraces we found an open spur and stopped for a roar. The wind was swirling but all we wanted was to hear our stag roar. Half an hour passed with nothing heard or seen so we stalked on. We hadnít gone far when an animal spooked to our left across a shitty little gut. I started with a few mews and quiet roars to try entice the animal back in. It didnít take long until we spotted him circling above us about 70m away up the open spur ahead of us. Unfortunately it was only a spiker so we watched him until he darted out of sight still unsure of what we were. Further up the spur we went until we gave some more roars and finally a response from our stag. We snuck closer and parked up and roared. He soon replied but was further than what we thought. He was across the gulley on a small terrace. We had to cut up and around above him to get the wind right. The going was tough through tight guts and thick undergrowth. Each gut was a clearing but was loud going with dead fern around our waist height. It took about an hour to spook our first deer, as we crossed an open clearing. Marc spotted a large animal and movement of another so we mewed so try get another look at the larger animal. Nothing appeared so we carried on up onto the spur they were on. Marc quickly hit the deck and raised his rifle so I gave a mew in hopes that the deer would stay still for a shot. Not a bad setup hes lugging around either..

Unfortunately the stag which my brother had seen was on the move up the other side of the gut and never gave an opportunity for a shot. Disappointed with the missed opportunity we carried on determined to get the stag across the gulley. Getting across the other side we had the wind right and we came across several scrapes and the bush began to open up again. We roared, but nothing. By then it was midday but we were hoping for another midday stag to come in. We carried on up to the ridge which I had camped on previously. We then cut back down onto where the stag had been roaring. The bush was crap and steep so we sat on an outcrop and roared. 10 minutes later and a deer came to within meters of Marc and took off. I began mewing trying to make him hang round for Marc to get a view of him. He hung around for a good 5 minutes being with 10m off us in the thick scrubby undergrowth. It soon went quiet so we carried on in after him only to have him spook 50m further around the face. Had one of us been sitting 3m into the thicker stuff we wouldíve seen him but thatís how our luck was going this morning. Another hind was spooked on the way back down to the creek and on the walk out along the creek a hind and yearling bolted across in front of us but left no time for a shot. 2.30pm we reached camp so I stuffed some lunch down my gob and was soon geared back up and off to the spot I saw plenty of deer.
  

Pain is temporary, Quitting is forever
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clinchey
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #1 - May 4th, 2013 at 8:42am
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Cutting across the creek I began stalking. I had just taken a crap under a log when I crossed an open gut when an animal spooked ahead of me in the open. I was questioning myself how I didnít see her. I thought I heard an additional animal further past the first, so sneaking further forward I found a deerís bed right where the animal spooked from. It was behind a log so explains why I didnít spot the deer before it spotted me. I took another 2 steps when another deer whistled ahead of me. I took a couple slow steps to the right and spotted what looked like a deers head and neck through the bush. Looking through the scope the head shape soon whistled at me. We had decided that we needed a meat animal so the safety came off and just as I did so the cheeky b*tch turned and bolted out of sight. Forgetting about her, I continued stalking and soon reached the regenerating beech and again the sign was thick and fresh so the pace was slow. I crept up into the first gut and it was perfect for a stag, it plateaued out with a stand of smaller pepporwoods and larger pepporwoods around the fringes. I stood observing but nothing showed itself so I took a few steps and then a lengthey 6 pointer bolted from the taller stand of pepporwoods across some open beech but I couldnít keep the crosshairs on him. He also alerted another deer to my right. Further up, the bush really opened up and the stalking was impeccable. I stopped to watch a large opening and sat there for 30 minutes until it began to get late. I soon heard an animal moving around just out of the clearing but I couldnít sight it. I passed through the clearing when I heard an animal crashing around back towards the clearing. I took 5 steps back and watched a 4 pointer meander above the clearing but it didnít leave me enough time for a shot. Leaving him I carried on sidling as darkness closed in on me. The wind was blowing straight down the face so I didnít pay much attention to it until a spiker spooked from 20m. I roared and mewed until it was to dark to see so I removed my headlamp from my daypack and carried on. I then spooked a stag from 5m away in the darkness, mewing I thought I heard him stop so shined the light where he was and he wasnít there. It always amazes me how quietly they can move through the bush! I spooked another 2 deer in the darkness on the trip back to camp. Marc headed up to the big pepperwood terraces that evening and spooked a spiker within the first 5 minutes of hunting but didnít manage to get a shot off and later on roared in a stag but didnít get a look at his headgear. He couldnít get a shot at him either so arrived back at camp empty-handed. We decided weíd walk out the next day so the next morning was meat morning. Up early again, it was a cold and slow start. I decided to return to where I was the previous evening but hunt higher up earlier on. I found an elevation where the bush was open and sign was again thick and fresh. I had to take a crap so buried that behind a big beech and carried on. I took 2 steps and stopped, waited and then took another 3 steps and stopped. Then movement to my right caught my eye. Glancing over I spotted a small 4 pointer mooching around 30m to my right. He was feeding towards me so I stood still. As his head passed behind a beech tree I raised the 7mm08 and he appeared out the otherside but still didnít offer a clean shot. I noticed an opening to its left and it didnít take long for him to cruise through broadside. Unfortunately for him he walked straight into my crosshairs and all I had to do was squeeze off the shot. Booom! He bolted directly across above me and the distinct sound of an animal thrashing in some pepporwoods gave away a successful shot. I sat down and had a muesli bar and then went and found him just up the hill.

Boning him out fully I headed back to camp with a pack full of meat. Marc headed up the valley but saw nothing apart from another hunter who hadnít had any luck either. We packed up and headed back to the truck and it was a welcome relief to drop the backs into the back of the ute. It was a great week with 43 deer seen, many more spooked, lessons learnt and quality time with the bro.   
   
  

Pain is temporary, Quitting is forever
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Nick.m
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #2 - May 4th, 2013 at 9:49am
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Fark you write alot, well done anyway bro that head has some real character!
  
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whirinaki
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #3 - May 4th, 2013 at 9:49am
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Epic ! Well done mate
  
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #4 - May 4th, 2013 at 10:07am
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Great read mate, nice tidy head.
  
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #5 - May 4th, 2013 at 6:33pm
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awesome read mate top effort...
  
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #6 - May 4th, 2013 at 7:51pm
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yep, good read. Keep them coming. Smiley
  

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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #7 - May 4th, 2013 at 7:53pm
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More value than a magazine article right there!

Smiley
  
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #8 - May 4th, 2013 at 8:26pm
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Great write up. Very nice stag. Cool
  

Leave young sika stags to grow!!!
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #9 - May 4th, 2013 at 8:33pm
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Nice trip and a primo stag. Cool Cool
  

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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #10 - May 4th, 2013 at 9:02pm
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good man clinch Cool Cool
  

It is much better to Hit the Animal in the right place, with a Rifle you can shoot well, then to hit it poorly with a Large Calibre..John Nosler
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #11 - May 4th, 2013 at 10:13pm
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Great write up and very nice stag, well done
  
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #12 - May 5th, 2013 at 12:27am
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Great story, ripper stag, well done clinchey and brother!
  

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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #13 - May 5th, 2013 at 1:32am
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Nice looking head mate, well done.  Wink
  
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Re: Chasing Sika - Beautyy
Reply #14 - May 5th, 2013 at 2:33am
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Shot Blake, good read bro!
  
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