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Normal Topic Got away for a few days. (Read 678 times)
Shankspony
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Got away for a few days.
Dec 2nd, 2019 at 9:20am
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I dont have a whole lot of time to put together a report, so will post some bits and pieces as I get time.

Our original plan had been a hunt through the Ruahines. The weather however, made that slightly undesirable. A quick scan of the weather charts and the east coast seemed to be our best bet. A call to a mate over there at the last minute and we had a spot, but with a warning. The wind is wrong! going to be hard hunting. Oh well, at least we wouldn’t be spending five days in a tent with wet arses.

Andy picked me up from Te Kuiti and a 5 hour drive later we pulled into the farmers driveway and checked in with him. His report was similar to what we had been told. He’d had his cattle up the river clearings, so probably not alot coming out there, but a few up by the pines and best bet to hunt them in morning as they headed back to cover, but that the wind was wrong for that. Also some on the the clearings back in the native, but again hard to approach with this wind.
For me all that meant was we were going to have to turn things on their head, even if it meant some big walks to get the wind right. Can only try!

With our gear packed away we had time for an evening hunt. Not wanting to disturb the area too much straight off, we headed to the clearings the cattle had been on to get the lay of the land and take a look at the open river banks through the native. The area is a mix of pine and native regeneration, with some stands of mature native in areas. A lot of Kanuka and tight scrub with not a lot of chance to get close by bush stalking, but some key areas of open swamp and clearings to target quietly at peak times of the day. We decided to use the Kanuka and river bank for travel.
Half way up the clearings in a small bush edge depression, we spotted two young stags. It was quite open and yep the wind was going to be an issue with the only route open to us being across the open ground. We did quite well though, approaching close to bow range when a third deer barked at us from 40 meters up in the Kanuka. Hunt stuffed! But a good start none the less with an enjoyable stalk and I always love getting in close to deer even if it doesn’t come off.
We spent the rest of the evening on a bluff top looking over the lush grassing river bank which we could see half a k of before it turned a corner. Nothing showed surprisingly, so we headed home in the dark for a early start next morning.

The long twilight of an east coast morning caught us out slightly, and we rose to an already lightning sky. Coupled with morning full moon and we felt we had been caught with out pants down a bit due to amount of light at 500am. Still we made our way back up to the bluff and found an animal trail around and down to the river bank were we sat to glass and have some breakfast. We were busy munching on a muesli bar each and discussing our options when Andy whispered that a deer had just walked out 100 meters from us. Sure enough a Hind was busy feeding just up to our left.
You saw it Andy, I said, go get her! Andy is new to bowhunting and had yet to shoot a deer, which was to be one of our goals for this trip.
off he slipped and I set up my camera and filmed her a bit. I looked up and got that moment of excitement when I managed to spot Andy slipping in quite close to her, through a gap in  the trees. He had to be within 30 meters! I refocussed on the deer, expecting to see an arrow at any moment, but time dragged on. My excitement / anticipation levels were rising!
It turned out he had slipped in to 20 meters, and there was a little mound in between the two of them. He set up there waiting for her to feed around the mound and offer a 15 meter shot, which she did, but just at that point the bloody wind eddied  and like that the chance was gone.
We met up again and had an enjoyable discussion going over the hunt before continuing to hunt and explore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWJI20cJsxE
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #1 - Dec 2nd, 2019 at 11:08am
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Fickle old wind. Sometimes your Allie and as often not.   Smiley
  

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #2 - Dec 2nd, 2019 at 8:17pm
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We decided to see what was around the bend in the river. I was leading and looked up to see a small opening that looked like it lead to a terrace above us. Gotta go look, and glad I did as it was indeed a K long terrace with open Kanuka and grass underneath with small clearings under the trees. Ideal bowhunting! I stalked my way up a deer trail on high alert. The area just screamed deer. However we got to the end and a lead back to the river bank with no sighting. The concentration of that period stalking was such that I needed a break, so told Andy to take over as the river bank had another terrace with lots of grass and cover. He did but just as I was leaving the clearing we had just stalked, I looked back to see the shadow of a deer move between the trees some 60 meters away, heading for where we had just been. Immediately I dropped down and got Andy’s attention. I nocked an arrow and assessed the situation. If he kept on his path, he would both cut our wind and our ground scent. We did have quite a few trees between us. Even though I had to stalk right across the open ground and in a hurry, so with no time to loose, i got up and, making the most of the times his head was hidden, moved in as quick as possible.
Everything was going well, and soon I was at 20 meters. I saw him move behind a tree and drew back the bow while he was out of sight, expecting him to appear just over 20 meters from me.
he did, but was in a dip and all but his head was obscured by heavy scrub. I let the bow down again, thinking I would have to start following him, when he appeared quartering away and on alert. The game was shortly to be up. I drew, anchored and released an arrow.
What happened next was confusing. I felt positive about the shot. I tend to know if I have had a poor release or let myself down somehow. However I thought the arrow seemed to dip just at the last second and go through some scrub I thought it should have just passed over. The deer raced off 40 meters and stood for a bit, then did a mad helter skelter lunge in random directions before disappearing. My gut reaction was I had somehow shot under it, but its reaction made me think I might have killed it.
It took a bit but we found the arrow with no blood on it, and no dead deer, so we went back and ranged the shot. Id thought 30 meters, the tree behind where it had been standing and where we found the arrow was 37. My guess was it was maybe 32-33, and id received a little deflection when the arrow passed through the scrub which caused the dip in flight I saw.
It had been a good chance and despite enjoying the hunt, I was a bit pissed at myself for not capitalising as I should have.
with the heat rising and the day getting on, we decided to take to the Kanuka and work out the lay of the land from up high and find a route to target the top clearings the next day.

We did that, and worked out a 3 k circuitous route that would bring us onto the clearings next morning with an acceptable wind. With that done our day was almost finished and we headed back to camp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAVW-oR32g0
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #3 - Dec 2nd, 2019 at 11:33pm
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So close, good camera work.
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #4 - Dec 3rd, 2019 at 6:30am
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We were determined not to get caught by the early dawn next morning, and so a short night sleep saw us up and out the door at 430, food and gear packed the night before.
We had a 200 meter climb to the ridgetop and a bit of a circle to bring us in on the clearings, but we got there bright and early and spent some time covering the last half k quiet and carefully. There had been no sign up through the scrub, and it was very dry and food scarce.


The clearings are in a big C shaped hollow of about a square k, and hold alot of water, swamp etc with some stands of podocarp and Tawa up the sides. Its a magic spot that just screams deer, and hunting. We felt we would be back into deer soon and sure enough I looked down to see what looked like a big pig feeding 60 meters off in the gloom. Checking with the bino’s revealed a Hind. We watched her a bit, but there was no practical way to stalk her in the position she was in. We didn’t concern ourselves with working out a plan and she moved off while we continued on with our original intent.
We reached the stream that feeds this area. Andy took the lead as we approached the clearing. Straight away as we came out, Andy picked up a massive stag just 40 meters from us, head down feeding away. Gear slipped off and all he could do was follow it. Because they are in velvet, we had agreed to not shoot anything with trophy potential, which this area has plenty of. This stag was big in body! and Im really pleased that although Andy had yet to shoot a deer, he held off while trying to assess its head. Ultimately sneaking in to 20 meters with a broadside shot available, yet not taking it as the stag had his head behind trees. Time is not your friend like this, and sadly the wind changed for a split second  and we never got to see what he carried, while another 3 deer bounded off as well.
My turn to stalk now and half an hour later we were heading up a swamp clearing under cover of some Kahikatea. I did not realise just how long the Sedge type grasses in the swamp were, until I spied two spiker heads 40 meters from me. They were working there way across the swamp and try as I might, I could not get a clear shot even though i worked my way into 30 meters. There was a chance at 50 meters as they stepped up into the forest on the far side, but although the thought crossed my mind, i discarded it, content to watch them go.


On our way back we thought we would explore the pines that lead to an area deer were feeding in the mornings. the area the wind was bad to hunt.  As we passed through, I got frustrated as we kept bumping deer that we did not see until they were running. Thinking our way through it, we realised they were almost all stags, and they were consistently just off the spurs. We decided we were not seeing them first because at this time of day they were in their beds, hidden by pruning’s and fern.

Ok, plan time and if we could not ambush them coming back in the morning due to that wind direction, lets see if we can do so as they head out in the evening. We were a fair way from the grass and they should be moving through here well before dark.
Without disturbing any more area, we went back to camp, finding a good route to this ridge and had a feed and small nap.
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #5 - Dec 3rd, 2019 at 12:05pm
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Good read.. Smiley
  

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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #6 - Dec 3rd, 2019 at 12:48pm
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At four we were back up and sneaking along the ridge. Hardly had we gone 20 meters, when Andy whispers, deer! Below us through the pines is a napping stag. We lie down in the steep ridge edge
and glass, soon picking up another 2 in a 30 meter area. All about 100 meters from us.
Its apparent we have no chance to sneak in on these guys, so our plan is we just lie here and wait to see what they do.
An hour later, and one stands up and starts to feed. Slowly at first he makes his way meter by meter towards us. then, he just up and starts walking though the slash and fern straight in our direction.
I grab the rangefinder as this is Andys chance, and whisper back numbers. 30 meters, 22 meters, 11 meters! Draw your bow Andy! The stag walks out from behind the tree at 11 meters and Im bracing for the shot, but it doesn’t come. Eventually the deer looks our way and thats it, he’s off, taking his mates and another unseen stag with him.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYX2HY-vO20
It turned out Andy had a small branch in his potential arrow flight path, and was hoping to get another step out of the stag before firing. We rounded the next bed in the ridge, and I had the impression of movement from the corner of my eye. I stopped and started to glass but saw nothing and was just putting the bino’s away when Andy whispered there was a deer there, and sure enough out walked a spiker, followed by another.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkvHypFCxic
We watched them unable to move in, as they fed down a spur and around into a gully. Moving to the head of the gully we took a tree each and stood watching for movement about 60 meters away where we thought they might appear. One did, but confusingly heading back the way it had come into cover. Not disturbed, just feeding. We waited, nothing. Then I thought I heard a sound. I inched forward and looked down. 20 meters below me a spiker fed towards the ridge we were on. I ranged where it would appear for Andy at 25 meters and told him to get ready. He moved back a bit, drew his bow as the spiker appeared. It fed up and then turned quartering away. This time an arrow was out the door in an instant.
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #7 - Dec 3rd, 2019 at 2:56pm
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Now that is a shortland street ending, left us hanging.
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #8 - Dec 3rd, 2019 at 3:42pm
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Yeah couldn't help myself. Grin

Im away for the night but will continue in the morning....
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #9 - Dec 3rd, 2019 at 6:52pm
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Well just don't get held up or way laid, I need the next installment.  I also expect it to start with "previously".
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #10 - Dec 4th, 2019 at 6:19am
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Previously..... Grin



From where I was, I could not see the impact, but I heard the arrow slice through the spiker and he leapt up onto the ridge and ran 60 meters before heading back off it again out of sight.
My impression was that he was wobbly as he ran, and finding the arrow showed good blood. Tracking the blood though, there was not very much and it was not the right colour. Very dark. As we got to where he had disappeared from our view back down into the gully, a spiker raced around the hill and down from about where we thought he had gone. Oh shit! Going through my mind though was that there had been two, and I hadn’t seen the other one since the shot.
We lost the blood for a bit and at that point I decided to head around the hill a little to get a better view. As I did, I looked down and there he was, stone dead 60 meters away! What a relief.



It turned out Andys shot had been good, taking out the lungs but it had also passed through the liver, severing the main artery. For some reason it was this blood that had left the trail while the lung blood had stayed in the chest.
Big handshakes all round and a very happy Andy who could not quite believe what he had achieved.



Andys rundown below. The Pink pig comment refers to an incident years ago, when I told him to shoot the big pig in a mob and he thought I said the pink one and shot a little lite colour sow. Grin Something I have never let him forget.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxvezDhyp5M
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #11 - Dec 4th, 2019 at 8:58am
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Well done Andy, great shot. Good report Shanks sounds like you guys had a great trip fun times.
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #12 - Dec 4th, 2019 at 5:55pm
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Great pic that last one. I like it a lot better than a song and dance.  Smiley

Thanks for posting. It was a great ''Mini Series''.  Grin
  

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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #13 - Dec 4th, 2019 at 5:59pm
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Yep HC. In my view a little quiet respect gos a long way.
DHDS, we did. Will post a couple more videos to finish it off, but just cant beat trying to get in close to animals in this way.
  
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Re: Got away for a few days.
Reply #14 - Dec 4th, 2019 at 9:23pm
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Time to bring that long bow over here Shanks and have another crack at our Sambar with it.
Good tale cobber.
  

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