for the last 10 years Ive been carefully stalking through these two wee clearings in the bush on way to my lookout possie,thinking to self...one day Im going to bag a deer on these
well guys this morning Nathan and I got up before the sparrows were releasing their morning flatulence and headed out getting there just on first light for an ANZAC day hunt
we took just Nathans rifle I took Meg my dog and a manuka pole...note I said pole it IS NOT a walking stick
well anyway Im leading meg with Nathan following closely behind and she is just about pulling my arm off to get up to this clearing....I crest the rise in time to see a HUGE rack of antlers with long tops and quite a few of them turn and move across clearing,I turn and tell Nathan to "faaarkin hurry up and get up here a stag" and push him in front..he takes about 5 steps up with rifle and lets drive...no thud comes back to greet ears...40 yards...surely he cant of missed...."where did you aim" I ask..."Neck" was reply...at which my heart sank
you DONT shoot rutting stags in neck unless no other option as they big and hairy and the vital bit is small and well protected...never mind we have Megs trusty nose she will soon find him
ah NOPE think again...she led us around but not in any definate direction other than along ridge further...1/2 an hour of searching resulted in no blood other from my legs thanks to bush lawyer
at one stage I left Nathan to sit and wait while I took dog on big circuit down and around....and you guessed it another deer,fawn this time pops out in clearing to look at him
not our day
we carried on up to jelly fern clearing me in lead with rifle this time and Meg keeping within 5mtrs as told
I look up and spot what looks like a deer about 60 yards above us and up with scope to check it out,fan hammer and start to line up when Son says"thats a hind"
of course deer hears him and bolts up hill away leaving me to fire a hurried shot trying to thread the needle through the trees...again meg not interested and no blood..to add insult to injury Nathan sees both hinds walk calmly over ridge while looking for blood..of course Im holding rifle 20 yards below at that stage
we sat and had a wee snack before continuing...at that point Im ready to just head home,but stick it out
we keep going and spook another two deer one of which was definitely a stag going by body size but I couldnt get enough of a gap/glimpse as he bolted to let rip at him with any show of a hit so never fired....... Meg behaving nicely...keeping right distance in front but really not having a good day on the sniffer department..she 99% air scenter and we were working across breeze most of day(when it wasnt blowing up jacksee)
we covered a lot of ground and saw a heap of sign from past months roar/rut...spooked/heard another couple of "somethings" probably deer.
got back to wagon shattered and deer less
stopped at shop on way home for a cool coca cola...yip they had 330ml glass bottles...same size as a can...I nearly dropped them when she said $9 please......heck I pay that with bourbon in them.....
tasted good though....
sorry Toadlet Dad couldnt get one for you this time
will have to raid freezer here before coming to visit next weekend.
moral of story
when you approaching clearing where you expect to see a deer,that youve been expecting to see a deer for 10 years plus
#A have rifle up front at ready
#B Dont faaaarkin miss