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Normal Topic Fiordland Roar (Read 2646 times)
EJL
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Fiordland Roar
May 24th, 2018 at 2:10pm
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It’s been a while since I posted a hunting story so here’s a bit of a summary of this year’s Fiordland trip.
Our normal crew for the trip is a mate I’ve hunted with for about 30 years (Ron), my nephew, whose been coming along for about 18 years (Robbie) and my 19 y.o son who has been the relative newbie (although the only one to shoot a mature stag last year). My son didn’t come this year so just the three of us, staying on my boat for a week.

After the long drive down from Christchurch, fuelling and launching the boat it was a short night’s sleep before heading away. Got to the first valley after lunch and headed off for a first hunt. As would turn out to be the norm for the trip, I bumped into a stag only an hour after leaving the boat. A very scruffy, spindly 6 pointer came across a tussock clearing to my roars and stood in the middle 100m away looking confused and dopey. I saw camp meat and the Browning was getting agitated after a few months off so a slug through the neck solved both problems.

Day two it pissed down, something that Fiordland is very good at, so with plenty of time ahead of us it was a quiet boat day. I’m not great at sitting around in a hut, tent or boat for a day so by the end of the day all the knives were sharp, rifles clean, boat tidied and hunting mates getting pissed off with me not being able to sit still.

Day three and away from the boat not long after first light to head up the valley. Robbie and I travelled together up one side with the plan that we’d make a plan after an hour or so. After that hour or so we neared a small clearing that always has a bit of sign on it so I suggested to Robbie that he put one up the spout and we stalk in. I gave a couple of roars to see if anything was about and a stag replied almost immediately from the bush on the other side of the clearing. Game on. Maybe not, Robbie ejects the round and says “you go after him”. After an argument of a couple of minutes, “you go, no you go etc etc” the stag was getting fired up and heading our way. Right then, I’ll go. A quick sneak to the edge of the clearing and the stag’s coming across it at a trot full of bad intentions. A moan to stop him before he enters the bush again, and bang, he’s down. A reasonable sized stag with thirteen points, which sounds great until you see how “compact” the antlers are.


Still, the first 13 pointer I’ve shot in Fiordland and a heap of meat only an hour from the boat so it’s butchering and carrying for the rest of the morning for me. Bloody good of Robbie to offer me the shot too, his logic being that he’d shot an 11 and a 12 at the back of his farm a few weeks earlier.
By now the venison supply was starting to look OK.


Over the next couple of days there were some close encounters for the other guys and plenty of hinds seen but no stags shot. Then it was time to move to a different valley. As soon as we got there and set up the anchor and mooring line a stag started roaring just inside the bush off the beach. He sounded mature so this time it was Robbie and Ron doing the “you go, no you go” thing. Robbie went and dropped a mature stag on a slip just above the beach right on last light. It had the oddest antlers I’ve seen for a while and was only four points but very wide, definitely on the decline.
Another rain day confined us to the boat, with the back deck looking a bit like a Chinese laundry by this stage.


Although I’d shot a couple of stags I was still looking for a close encounter with a roaring stag. There’s no hunting experience better than trying to outsmart a cagey roaring stag in thick Fiordland bush in my opinion. If he wins, so be it, all respect to the stag and it’s still a thrill. If you get the opportunity for a shot then there’s satisfaction in that whether you take the shot or not.
Once again, just over an hour from the boat, roaring intermittently as I went I heard a roar from a spot where I lost the battle of wits with a stag the year before. He was only about 100m away I guessed and potentially game on. I decided the best approach was to stay quiet and slowly stalk in for a while and see what develops. It took me 25 minutes to cover about 70 or 80m and he didn’t make another sound. I was sure he hadn’t winded me and didn’t think he would have moved off so I gave a quiet roar aimed away. An immediate response from about 30m in thick cover. Trying to piss him I off I waited for another 5 minutes or so then gave another quiet roar. Instant reply, a bit more annoyed this time. A couple more goes like that and he was getting pretty fired up. I usually roar using a piece of alkathene but I had an AJ roarer in my day pack with the remote around my neck. Cunning plan, I’ll drop the day pack, move off and distract the stag towards the day pack sound while I circle round him. Turns out the stag was a bit more cunning, I’d only gone about 5 or 6 metres away from my day pack when I head a huge WOOF behind be. I spun round to see the stag had circled the other way, crept in and got right to the day pack and got a hell of a fright when he got my scent. I immediately roared and couldn’t believe my luck, he stopped about 15m away presenting a shot in behind the ribcage to the vitals. Bang flop.
An awesome hunt against a worthy stag. Technically a ten pointer, although really just a big eight with a couple of snags.


While I was butchering the stag a hind wandered along a trail with her nose to the ground and only noticed me when she was about 5 metres away, she got a hell of a fright. Another pile of venison to take out.


Pleased to get back to the beach, those legs aren’t designed for heavy carries.


By now the antler nest on top of the boat was looking OK and we had plenty of venison to take home.


Time for a few drinks to celebrate another great trip with great mates.
  

Impossible is nothing.....................
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EJL
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #1 - May 24th, 2018 at 2:23pm
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Also.. can the next person who reads this confirm whether the photos are up OK or not havn't done this for a while and I'm not sure if they loaded properly.

And - it reads as if I shot the hind and I don't know how to amend that, I didn't, that pile of veni is just from the stag.
  

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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #2 - May 24th, 2018 at 2:41pm
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Thanks for the story, pictures are up and yes it definitely did sound like you dropped that hind. I can see why you didn't, so much venison.
Well done epic adventure.
  
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Tom N
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #3 - May 24th, 2018 at 3:56pm
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Awesome set up mate, well told story, with plenty of action by the sounds of it.

Love myself a good Fiordland Roaring red stag, you can't beat that close action.
  

“A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.”
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EJL
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #4 - May 24th, 2018 at 4:19pm
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Tom N wrote on May 24th, 2018 at 3:56pm:
Awesome set up mate, well told story, with plenty of action by the sounds of it.

Love myself a good Fiordland Roaring red stag, you can't beat that close action.


Cheers Tom, agree. It's more the action I love than the kill although the antlers on the shed wall and the venison in the freezer are great reminders of the hunt. I haven't pulled the trigger on last two year's roar trips down there so I don't feel too bad about being a bit greedy this time.
  

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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #5 - May 24th, 2018 at 4:27pm
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Another great adventure! 😎

Cheers for the post EJL.  Smiley
  
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #6 - May 24th, 2018 at 7:22pm
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Nice........ you make it sound too easy!
  
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EJL
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #7 - May 24th, 2018 at 8:37pm
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Max wrote on May 24th, 2018 at 7:22pm:
Nice........ you make it sound too easy!

The first two were fairly easy, right place at the right time. The third one took a bit more patience. I could write about all the stag chances I've stuffed up over the years but that would be a much longer story. It was just one of those weeks where everything fell,into place. I always say that a tough or unsuccessful hunt is just a down payment on a good one, I got paid out this year.
  

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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #8 - May 24th, 2018 at 10:51pm
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Boat based trip,sounds like me.Great trip n photos guys.
Well done. Smiley
  

Shot a few deer,caugth some big trout and salmon
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #9 - May 25th, 2018 at 8:50am
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Wicked adventure! I am not much of a trophy hunter myself but would be very pleased with that 13 pointer  Cool

Only as a land based mammal I would be throwing up all over the boat  Grin
  
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #10 - May 25th, 2018 at 1:18pm
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Cool report, nice setup having the boat as base camp.
  

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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #11 - May 27th, 2018 at 9:43am
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Looks like you have got a good set up on the boat, can't beat a Fiordland trip, cheers for the report
  
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #12 - Jun 29th, 2018 at 4:52pm
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awesome writeup,the boat setup sure would make life easier and having decent warm dry bed to crawl into each night would be bliss. thank you for taking time to share it,fiordland is the last frontier for this Kiwi and a wap is one of the last to tick off the list.
  
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #13 - Jul 1st, 2018 at 10:43am
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what an awesome time! cheers for the story
  
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Re: Fiordland Roar
Reply #14 - Jul 1st, 2018 at 1:39pm
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Cheers for posting, it sounds like epic adventure!

Interested to hear how you broke the mat down in the third pick?
  
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