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Normal Topic Xmas Sika hunting holiday (Read 1170 times)
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Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Jan 3rd, 2021 at 10:32pm
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The river continues to rise as the third day in a row of rain squelches by.  Propped up in bed looking out of the back of the horse truck with the ramp down and the rain tipping down...its just  like sleeping under a really really dry and waterproof fly Smiley

But the holiday started three weeks ago and we've been treated to all 4 seasons during that time. And this year its mostly been beaut weather. The only part missing has been last years' horrendous winds. Its been particularly calm which makes up for almost any other variation on Summer weather the Central North Island can throw at you.

Camp takes a bit of setting up. Horse truck on flat ground, Kitchen tent set up, solar panels erected, fridges gassed up, shower tent sited for privacy and horses attended to in their respective corrals.

The first trip into Sika country is through shitty squalls with the barometer still dropping.  The track rises above 1300m and  we're thankful for gloves at this time of year. We get to our fly camp spot above the river and get some hot food and drink on board, before glassing just along from camp.  Nothing seen so we begin to head for potentially better grazing grounds. Not 5 minutes into the walk, and not yet quite into 'hunting mode' we spook a yearling hind grazing on some of the most unappetising looking foliage around. I say 'spook', but in reality its the fluffed  50m shot that spooks her Roll Eyes

Further down the ridge we stop and carefully poke our noses over the edge down to a much tastier looking set of river flats, and sure enough there's a couple of heads looking up at us from their comfy resting spots out of the crud.  While they are certainly on point spotting our careful advance, they aren't too quick on the getaway, and continue to watch us for several minutes before getting to their feet. Bang flop and we have the first Sika steaks of the season Smiley

We continue the hunt, scribing a big circle to eventually make our way back to camp. As the daylight dims we get squealed at several more times from the spurs closer to the bush, till we make our way back to cross the river for the last time, and spy a yearling hard up against the rivers' edge munching on all the succulents growing there. Bang flop makes 2.

That night is spent wearing all our dry clothes inside our sleeping bags. Where's summer gone???
The next day reveals skiffs of snow on the high points of the track back over the tops, heading to base camp and a hot shower for us, and the gas fridge for the meat.

Three days later and wow! We are back in full blown summer mode. Its T shirt and shorts weather  on the way back over to the fly camp, and the sky lacks any clouds or wind. Beaut for photos, and just soaking up the ambience of the place when its on its best behaviour.

That evenings' hunt is a lesson in patience.  The three of us sit watching a face that's been benevolent to us in the past. For half an hour we glass the face with what we calculated was collectively 13 grands worth of Mr Leicas finest. Then one by one animals reveal themselves that were almost certainly their all the time. The combination of tall scrub and short deer. A couple over to the left, and couple of singles and then mum and yearling down to the right on the river flats. 6 animals, all between 200 and 400m and if we had watched the face for just 15 minutes then got up and continued the hunt we would have left  a possie chokka with deer, telling ourselves that the place must have been all shot out Grin

Bang flop and the yearling at 200m draws the short straw and bags himself a place in the camp fridge.  There's consternation at the vegetarian restaurant on the other side of the valley, and at one stage a couple of them begin to make their way towards us (the benefits of a suppressed small calibre), but the mum and yearling are much more savvy, and disappear in seconds.

With the cooling down butchering undertaken, we still have the catabatic wind in our favour, so head around the corner  looking for a full pack. (these yearling Sika are pretty small, but make up for it by being surprisingly tasty!)

Just before its too dark to shoot, a couple get our scent and make a dash for it across the stream bed. Making up for the last standing shot I fluffed, I manage a clean one shot kill at 90m.

Its certainly a haul back to camp, and the head torches elicit a couple more squeals from the resident population as we fumble our way back to our waiting sleeping bags.

Its a late start the next morning, but the weather is still in 'pristine'  mode and the trip out is picture postcard stuff. Though the radio has been telling us that most of NZ has not been privvy to our spell of superb weather.

Sure enough we get two more days of OK ish weather back at base camp before the heavens open, the river begins to rise and we think of striking out for home in the next day or so.

Plenty of pics, but f**k it, this site just makes uploading them just far too damn difficult for a technophobe like me Cheesy

Footnote: 12 years ago I left a career of 26 years, and promised myself we'd do more and more of these types of holidays. We didn't. It took a rethink, and mates dropping dead well before their time to get a complete re-evaluation of whats really important to us before the long sleep interrupts it all.

So sold the home, trucked on a tiny house to the back of the farm and started doing the stuff we actually enjoy doing...before its too late Cool

  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #1 - Jan 4th, 2021 at 7:10am
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great stuff,   lifes 4 living!
  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #2 - Jan 4th, 2021 at 11:13am
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There you go - really do need those photos to make us properly jealous though  Smiley

I actually know how to do it too - or did. This 'new' computer is a 'hand me down' from a Chinese lass and when I go to the photo hosting site it's all in Chinese - and I haven't learned to read it yet.

I also found a porn site called 'Taxidriver' that's been on here all the time I've had it - looked at it the other day for the first time .......... "Oh, my word ?"
Told her the other day I found it and she made me listen to Jane Zhang on Bluetooth ................
"Is she a porn star ?"
"She's a singer."
"Does she do porn ?"
"Shut up and listen."

Probably pay you to borrow my computer next time you go on extended 'bush leave' - give you something to do on those cold nights  Smiley

  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #3 - Jan 5th, 2021 at 9:46pm
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Cool trip. Understand fully about putting up pics. It's a pain in the arse alright.
  

Keep the wind in your face and your freezer full.
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #4 - Jan 6th, 2021 at 3:36pm
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Nice one! people reporting alot of sika around at the moment.
  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #5 - Jan 6th, 2021 at 8:22pm
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great write up thankyou. enjoy the venison.
  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #6 - Jan 7th, 2021 at 3:44pm
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Good work, sounds like some great hunting.
Thanks for taking time to write up.
Just a question to put the last footnote of yours in perspective for me. What decade of life are you in?
  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #7 - Jan 7th, 2021 at 5:50pm
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Just a young 'un. Early 60's Roll Eyes
  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #8 - Jan 11th, 2021 at 9:06pm
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i like your thinking XR with the selling up and doing what you want to. I think I will be going down that track soon too if i have my way.
  
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Re: Xmas Sika hunting holiday
Reply #9 - Jan 14th, 2021 at 7:02am
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I hear you - life’s for living not slaving for the man- almost at the juncture myself.
  

Fate whispers to the warrior
'you cannot withstand the storm',
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