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Normal Topic A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard (Read 2407 times)
NelsonLad
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A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Dec 16th, 2017 at 2:33pm
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Well, as I wrote in my last report, Canterbury is home to me now for the next few years. Hadn’t been out after tahr before, and Ashfishman and I had been chatting about heading into the hills for my first attempt on one of these stunning animals.

Ash’s ‘weekend’ falls on a Tuesday/Wednesday, so when my roster finally rolled around and the stars aligned, we high-tailed it outta town one morning, me post-night shift and wired on a strong double espresso kindly prepared by the missus.

Mackenzie Country was the destination, and on the way it was looking pretty grim – dark grey clouds and persistent drizzle. Ash reassured me though – as soon as we were over the Pass we’d know what we were dealing with weather-wise. 30 mins later and over the pass we were looking at blue skies, light winds, and a bit of high cloud cover. Damn it, the man was right!

Feeling chirpier as the sun came out, Ash demonstrated his 100kmph-on-a-gravel-road skills (faaaaaaark!), then his enviable 4WD prowess. This is one man who gets out into the hills – a lot! We reached our destination around 2.30pm, left the truck 3-ish – straight uphill, the tussock looking pretty lush for this time of year.



Ash had asked me how my fitness was before agreeing to take me out, and I’d told him it was reasonable. The bloke’s lean and fast in the hills, but I seemed to be keeping up without too much effort. He then proceeded to spend the next couple of hours regaling me with nerve-wracking tales of retrieving tahr from gnarly bluff systems, 14-hour days, falling down waterfalls and taking chunks of bone out of his ankle… You get the picture – I think he was mentally testing me, checking I wouldn’t break when the going got tough.

Cruising along in the tussock we stopped on a few hillocks to glass. No sign of tahr, but plenty of tracks across scree faces. Ash was hopeful though – he’d seen a tahr on every trip into this area, and out of the 150 tahr he’d shot in the past dozen years, 16 of them had been here. We made our way towards a rocky gut with a ridge on either side, Ash feeling confident we’d pick up a juvenile or two in the bluffs.

The going was pretty easy, and about 2 hours into it I spot a lighter patch in the scrub about 600m away. At this stage I’ve never seen a tahr before, and figure the blonde colour looks about right, but a bit of a quick glass and I wasn’t convinced. Meanwhile Ash was striding away up ahead, so I figured I better catch up. Once we were within about 300m of the suspicious area, I think I see a bit of movement. I slow Ash down, and we sit down to glass. Sure enough, there’s a black head amongst the golden patch, and behind the 10x42s it materialises into a juvenile bull tahr, looking pretty majestic with its hair being ruffled in the breeze.



I’m pretty excited at this stage, though struggle to find a decent rest. Meanwhile, Ash is busy telling me I’d better lie to you all on the forum and write that he spotted the tahr first! Leaning uphill with rifle across my pack I’m wavering around a bit much for my liking and the cross-wind is pretty strong, but the bull is starting to move off. Holding as steady as I can, I squeeze off over the shoulder… BOOM! The juvenile jumps in the air, certainly looking to be hit, however he heads downhill looking entirely uninjured while a mob of six or so more juveniles pop out of the scrub and follow him down.

Ash and I make our way over to where our bull had been standing, but no blood, and a reasonable grid search turned up no tahr. Ash didn’t hear the solid thump of the impact, so I’m hoping he either wasn’t hit or was just lightly grazed. Ash remains pretty confident that we’d get on to something else today, though I was feeling a bit gutted at this stage. He calls off our search and directs us towards the next ridge, reassuring me that the bluffs on the other side often hold tahr.

Sure enough, 200m or so further along the face and I see a young bull staring at me from behind a tussock uphill. I signal Ash down, get a rest on my pack, and take aim just below his head, aiming to neck him. It would have been a pretty easy to take him in the head, however having seen the jaw blasted off a goat by a mate earlier in the year after a misplaced headshot I wasn’t keen on sharing the experience. The neck and body were just obscured by the tussock, but once again I squeeze off. Next thing, the tahr is running straight at us! It stands between us, less than 100m away looking pretty confused. Ash and I both think my shot must have been a hit given how the bull is acting, but we line him up anyway to make sure he doesn’t go bolting off into the tussock, never to be seen again. Ash was quicker than me on drilling him as he took flight, with a bang-flop from Ash’s 7mm08.

With the second shot, the mob this guy belonged to pops up on a distant scree slope. I find a nice rest, and rest my sights over a very tasty looking juvenile a bit over 200m away. “Want another tahr for meat, Ash?” “Yup!” comes the response, and bang-flop, my .308 drills the bugger.



The two of us are ecstatic at this stage – two tahr down on my first tahr trip, and I can see that Ash is grinning just as hard as I am! Our first tahr turned out to be blind in one eye and half-blind in the other, hence the odd behaviour – only one bullet hole found in that one, so Ash’s to claim. We popped over to retrieve my tahr, which was what Ash called “a meat hunter’s trophy animal” – a 2-year old juvenile bull, in absolute prime condition, perfect for the freezer.

After a quick butcher, and an easy stroll back to the truck, we had two tahr back at base camp in < 5 hours return. Ash reassures me that this was his easiest tahr hunt to date, but I’m not convinced. I have to wonder whether his tales of scaling bluffs, and being attacked by native falcon high on cliff-faces are all figments of a deranged imagination…

That being said though, I’m absolutely over the moon to have taken my first tahr with a legendary tahr hunter, who (to be honest) is actually more understated than I could have thought possible. Cheers, Ash. Until next time!
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #1 - Dec 16th, 2017 at 2:47pm
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Good stuff, nice pics.
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #2 - Dec 16th, 2017 at 6:36pm
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Great write up, making it look easy.
  

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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #3 - Dec 17th, 2017 at 10:28am
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A mostly accurate report, with a few details quite differently stated from reality!
I'd asked him how his fitness was due to previous experience with unfit buggers needing an ambulance to get them back off the hill.
No difference with Ben really.   After about 200 metres from the truck I had to slip him in to the rifle scabbard on my pack and haul his immense fat arse up the hill.  You can clearly see from his pic that's he morbidly obese.
And the only reason he saw those Tahr first is because he was using his elbows to lever himself up on my head from his resting position atop my pack.  Bit of a birds eye view, so to speak.
And our first encounter with a Tahr lead to a massive barrage from his .308, such that I headed back to the truck to get a shovel to dig him out of the brass heap. Took half an hour, and I dig pretty quick.
He did spot the second Tahr all by himself, but I let him.  I'd actually spotted it when we got out of the truck, but I didn't let on.  I wanted him thinking he'd done it all by himself and, as the animal was 2km away, I thought he might not believe me if I'd told him I could see it without binos'.
He did dead on drill the 3rd animal he shot at, but by that time I'd run it down and caught it by the horns.   After I hobbled him and gave him a bashing he lay still enough for mister long range to bust his shoulder from about 5 metres. He wouldn't come any closer as he said "Those big nasty horns look a little bit scary".  Pretty poor shot though;  I know he was aiming at the head.
Walking ability and marksmanship aside, he did alright.   Thought it would be a good idea to hunt up there with a doctor, given my previous heart flutter incident in the same area.  How was I to know he's a Gynaecologist and obstetrician?   Turned out quite handy for an immature khunt like me.
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #4 - Dec 17th, 2017 at 10:54am
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Nice Ash.  Cheesy
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #5 - Dec 17th, 2017 at 11:13am
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Good stuff! Cant decide who is funnier though  Grin Great to see blokes from forum getting together to pass some knowledge and have fun together  Cool

Tahr is on my long-term list, still new to hunting...never ever seen it or tasted it! Whats the meat like?
  

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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #6 - Dec 17th, 2017 at 11:33am
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Pete82 wrote on Dec 17th, 2017 at 11:13am:
Good stuff! Cant decide who is funnier though  Grin Great to see blokes from forum getting together to pass some knowledge and have fun together  Cool

Tahr is on my long-term list, still new to hunting...never ever seen it or tasted it! Whats the meat like?


One of the nicest tasting meats you can pull off a hill.
That 2 year old animal I hog tied for Nelsonlad would be perfect.
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #7 - Dec 17th, 2017 at 6:52pm
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Smiley
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #8 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 7:21am
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Smiley
  

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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #9 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 9:00pm
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Grin Grin Grin
Ash, that is the funniest shit I've read for a long time.
  

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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #10 - Dec 19th, 2017 at 8:26am
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All true too!
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #11 - Dec 19th, 2017 at 9:11am
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Brilliant - you just can't make that stuff up  Smiley
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #12 - Dec 19th, 2017 at 9:27am
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Scaling bluffs Cheesy,HC and I watched Ash one day scaling,climbing a very high vertical 200mtr bluff bloody tahr would struggle to climb.HC said fkd if I'm going to retrieve the mad bastard if he falls off the cliff. Grin Grin.

  

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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #13 - Dec 19th, 2017 at 11:38am
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Trout wrote on Dec 19th, 2017 at 9:27am:
Scaling bluffs Cheesy,HC and I watched Ash one day scaling,climbing a very high vertical 200mtr bluff bloody tahr would struggle to climb.HC said fkd if I'm going to retrieve the mad bastard if he falls off the cliff. Grin Grin.



And I came to know of that spot off this forum
Always think of you and HC when I'm up there.
Got my first in the bluffs above the two Ben and I  took.
Thanks guys.  Magic place.
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #14 - Dec 20th, 2017 at 7:55am
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Awesome. Great stuff Ash and Ben.

Who doesn't drive at 100 kph on gravel? I thought that was the minimum speed limit not max Lips Sealed Grin
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #15 - Dec 20th, 2017 at 1:14pm
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SF90 wrote on Dec 19th, 2017 at 9:11am:
Brilliant - you just can't make that stuff up  Smiley


Err...actually Ben made up almost his entire version of events without recourse to fact or actuality.
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #16 - Dec 21st, 2017 at 10:23am
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Thanks for posting great read.
  
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Re: A Blind Bull for the Blind Bastard and a Young Bull for the Young Bastard
Reply #17 - Dec 22nd, 2017 at 11:26pm
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ashfishman wrote on Dec 20th, 2017 at 1:14pm:
Err...actually Ben made up almost his entire version of events without recourse to fact or actuality.


Oh - I know about doctors, I actually met one once whilst queuing up to kiss the Blarney stone. Had been cutting old man gorse and was cooling down with one of your SI brews when he told me I could do with a wash and needed a mole cut out the side of my head and because I was pissed - I agreed.
Halfway through cutting it out I commented it hurt a bit, so he thanked me for telling him, gave me another jab and it didn't hurt anymore. Then we went to the pub and got thoroughly pissed and he told me about a Unicorn he'd seen in the Tasman Park.
I rank doctors very highly, but I was of course referring to your accurate correction to his statements regardless of fact or actuality.
  
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