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Normal Topic Leo's First Stag - A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar (Read 1887 times)
HandR
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Leo's First Stag - A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
May 12th, 2015 at 9:31pm
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This year’s roar has been highly memorable for a few reasons, especially the two most rewarding/exciting hunts of my 20 years chasing Sika.

The plan for this year’s hunt was hatched last April when we decided to rebook our Kaimanawa public block. The crew for this year’s adventure was Brett and John, two mates who have been hunting this block with me for the last few years, Diesel, John’s Visla, and my 12 year old nephew Leo. As I have posted previously, I have been introducing Leo to hunting over the last three years and he has been hanging out to shoot his first deer. The forecast for the week was crap and we had visions of being stuck under the tarp reading for the majority of the week. I was also super keen to try my new Kimber Mountain Accent/DPT combo on something other than paper.



The trip in


Camp – we were prepared for crap weather!

Day 1 - Somehow Helisika’s Squirrel seemed to make it in under the clouds and pooring rain to our high camp site.  The rain promptly stopped. Whilst it was overcast all week, it hardly rained again. The only problem was almost no wind for the entire week, making hunting a little tricky. That afternoon I managed to tip over a small, well indeed very small, hind and got a hell of a ribbing from the boys about having shot Bambi. As I explained to them, the younger they are the more tender they are. I rationalised it - they were clearly jealous of my supply of fine “venison veal”. Anyway - on the board day one, pressure off, better luck tomorrow guys!

Day two - the boys called in a nice solid five point Sika stag, with John ultimately getting the jump on Brett in the race to tip it over, much to Brett’s chagrin.

Ledge looking happy with himself

Day three was a little uneventful, although things got really exciting the next day.

Day four - Leo and I headed off down river and climbed up a ridge about 100m above the main creek. Our roars were promptly returned from down river, although by then the breeze was starting to blow down river which was problematic. We opted to sidle around the face through the bush, reducing our altitude with the aim of coming up underneath Bambi. Moving up onto another ridge an hour later and we could hear consistent single calling and mewing. Unfortunately the breeze was still not playing ball and we needed to drop down almost to creek level before finding the valley the animals were in without winding them. As we stalked up a small side creek, the animals were roaring and mewing almost continuously, although were still probably 100m away. We started hitting some real clag. Leo and I sat down, pulled out the AJ Caller and let her rip. For the next 15 minutes the roaring and mewing continued, although a little more sporadically. We were sitting on a steep face and looking in different directions when I heard the hammer on Leo’s H&R single shot get cocked, followed by “boom” half a second later. I pivoted 45 degrees around to see a very solid 7 pointer rolling down the hill about 40m away. Leo, after three years of trying to pop his cheery, was stoked. It was an absolute privilege to be there when he shot his first deer – it makes all the hard work worthwhile. I showed Leo how to gut the deer, which he did. We then hung it in the tree and butchered. Leo then proceeded to carry the meat back to camp - a fairly heavy load to say the least for a 12 year old. The biggest animal of the trip for your first deer - putting the boys to shame. Not bad!


Happy fella


Leo does the surgery


Still can’t put that head down!

Day 5 - we were out for much of the day, although basically got onto nothing, apart from a couple of distant whistles as we were winded in the variable breezes.

Day 6 - I ended up hunting on my own, as John took Leo for a hunt. I opted to head North on what was a slightly misty day and quickly heard animals roaring in the distance. I tried to roar an initial stag from a few hundred metres, although he wasn’t budging and seemed to go quiet. I continued on down the ridge. Once again I started to hear roaring and headed in the general direction through relatively open bush. I went into ‘Serious Ninja Mode’ over the next couple of hundred meters, although he appeared to be moving away slowly. I managed to get within about 100m of him (or so I thought) and he was roaring and mewing very consistently. Over the next half hour I moved probably 50 – 100m towards him coming out onto a beautiful terrace above a small creek. It probably took me 10 – 15 minutes to go along this terrace and he was nowhere to be seen. Bugger. Once again he started roaring, this time from a terrace above the creek in front of me. Whilst the face up to the terrace was quite steep and scrubby there were a number of gaps in the clag, so I dropped into the small creek and started to roar. I was hoping he would try and come down the face and I would be able to have a crack at him. After 15 minutes he was staying put and I thought “OK mate, I’ll come to you”. I crossed the small creek and started noisily moving up the face. I was about a third of the way up and passed a totally impenetrable scrubby patch about the size small house. I head some sticks moving on the other side of the scrub - probably less than 10m across - and I knew he was near. At this stage the wind was almost non-existent, although periodically it would come in from a variety of directions. My senses were on total overload and any moment I was expecting to get winded and hear him crash off to safety. As it was a steep face I decided the only possibility of getting a chance at Bambi was if he was to come along the lower side of the scrubby area, so I positioned and let out a quiet mew. A minute later I heard a little bit of movement, then saw the tips of his antlers, followed by his head coming round the corner of the scrub. At this stage he about was 3m away and a meter lower than me. I briefly thought about bulldogging him, although saw his long pointy single antlers and decided I didn’t feel like becoming a shish kebab. Reason suggested that 150 grains of lead through the skull was a better option, so that’s what he received. He was a solid bodied mature stag with only two long points. Ultimately it was an absolute rush to dance with this old boy, outfox him and nail him from so close. I have shot numerous Japs inside 20 meters, but never this close. This whole stalk took place over approximately an hour and a half and was the absolute essence of Sika hunting. Anyone who has chased Sika in the roar knows how exciting they can be!



Bit of prime venison, including the small tender one to take home!

Day 7 - we flew out of the hills in the middle of the day and the boys headed back to Auckland and Wellington.



Still can’t put that head down!


Happy Diesel who loves flying

Leo and I opted to stay in Taupo with a buddy before resupplying and heading off into the Kaimanawas on Friday afternoon to our bivvy. I won’t bore you with the details, but I nailed a solid little Sika stag on Saturday prior to myself, Leo and Tony (Leo’s Dad who walked in on Saturday) pulling pin on Monday AM given the Northerly storm. At least were able to add another head to the Tree of Death!


Well that is the story of my 2015 roar. Certainly they weren’t the biggest heads in the world, but it was a fantastic week with 2 stella hunts which I will remember for a long time. Three shots and 3 dead deer for the new Kimber made the purchase well worthwhile. I’m pleased Mrs HandR approved my capex request.....

HandR Out!
« Last Edit: May 14th, 2015 at 8:33pm by HandR »  
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Re: A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
Reply #1 - May 13th, 2015 at 2:19am
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That is another wonderful account of what hunting is, and can be about.

These forum roar competitions are a great opportunity to read about others great adventures, thank you for participating..
  
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HandR
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Re: A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
Reply #2 - May 13th, 2015 at 3:01am
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Cheers Iceman!
  
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Re: A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
Reply #3 - May 13th, 2015 at 8:28am
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Premo  Smiley Great seeing the next generation getting into it
  
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Re: Leo's First Stag - A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
Reply #4 - May 15th, 2015 at 12:15am
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Cool
  

It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right.
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Re: Leo's First Stag - A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
Reply #5 - May 21st, 2015 at 8:16am
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Very nice Leo.  Cool
  
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Re: Leo's First Stag - A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
Reply #6 - Jul 4th, 2015 at 10:17pm
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Well done Leo,wish Id done those trip when I was young. Wink
  

Shot a few deer,caugth some big trout and salmon
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Re: Leo's First Stag - A Very Memorable 2015 Sika Roar
Reply #7 - Aug 11th, 2015 at 6:13am
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Grin
  
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