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Normal Topic The test continues (Read 3999 times)
Victor
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The test continues
Nov 14th, 2014 at 12:50am
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This is a sequel to the first yarn, found here:
http://www.fishnhunt.co.nz/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1360122298

Constructive criticism encouraged!

>

My better half and I have been together for nearly four years now. Her old man hasn’t shot me yet, but he’s tried to lose me in the bush while hunting a few times. After saving his life on our first trip in the Kirkliston Range I thought I’d passed the test. I’m starting to realise that ‘the test’ is ongoing.

And I’ve certainly come close to failing a few times.

One cool spring evening we were overlooking a grassy flat in the Blue Mountains, killing time while waiting for a fallow to walk out. We’d swapped rifles so that I could examine his Mauser action, and he could look with disdain at my synthetic and suppressed Weatherby. After pretending I’d figured out how the bold worked, I signalled for my rifle back.

“The ‘Golden Hour’ is approaching,” I thought to myself. In preparation for this soon-to-arrive fallow I decided I’d get my eye in by dry firing at a tree stump 150 yards away. Get comfy. Line up. Slow breathing. BAAAANG!

That was my first REAL lesson in firearm safety, and also how to remove skid marks from my pants with a stick.

Fos has been a patient and dedicated mentor. One recent trip nearly pushed us both over the edge, mostly due to dumb planning on my part. We’d been choppered onto the tops overlooking the Wilkin Valley for a few days of deer and chamois stalking. No deer were seen, due to some irritating WARO activity overhead. We did find a good number of chamois though, and we took a couple of does for meat before heading down into the valley.

With packs fully laden we began the 1100 metre decent. It looked straight-forward on the map, and it was only about five clicks line-of-sight to our next camping ground – easy! The thing about the hills around Mount Aspiring is that they seem to be made up of an endless number of small bluffs and terraces, rather than a consistent slope. This made for a challenging eight hour semi-controlled fall, and left us too knackered to hunt the last day. Needless to say Fos now doesn’t trust my map reading.

Only once has he threatened to leave me at the carpark though. We’d met up before heading up the Hopkins Valley in the winter just gone. I was amped for what was only my second tahr hunt. We packed my gear into his truck ready to head away.

“Where’s your rifle, Vic?” asked Fos.

“At home.” I admitted. “I’m taking my new camera instead…”

He didn’t talk to me for most of the bumpy drive up the river bed. In fact, he only warmed up after he secured himself a decent winter bull tahr skin as a trophy. But I reckon he’s secretly chuffed with some of the snaps I got. Who knows, maybe he might come to accept my new found love of photography. Or maybe I’m just failing ‘the test’!

One day Fos might manage to lose me in the bush or nudge me over a bluff. But I take that risk. He’s shown me a lot of what he knows about the hills, and I’m looking forward to learning the rest.

Keep the test coming, I say!

  
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bazz
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Re: The test continues
Reply #1 - Nov 17th, 2014 at 8:49am
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That photo is worth framing.... Wink
« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2015 at 8:29pm by Fordy »  
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