James Morris – Fluffing up the big one

July 28, 2011

All the hard work going out and finding a monster trophy of your dreams can come down to a few seconds actions and how you manage yourself at that moment.

Yesterday I went in search of a big Chamois buck, a 10″ one or nothing! This year already I have gone on 7 trips in search of a big buck. I have seen 8, and turned down all but two. One I didn’t get the chance to smack over and am going back for, the other… I fluffed.

A friend of mine, Wolfgang and I decided that we’d have to skip a day of uni since the weather was so good… and we’ve done bugger all hunting this semester anyways.

We set off for the hills and made great time, clambering high into an area which holds a few chamois. The day was a stunner, hardly a breath of wind except for a light anabatic uphill draft.

We reached the area I know holds doe chamois, sat down and starting munching on a sandwich in between spouts of wavering the bino’s about. Halfway through my sandwich I picked up a mob of chamois, right where they always are. With them was an obvious buck, mooching around, not far from the does but not with them either. We watched as he dropped down the dark face and out of sight into the creek about a kilometre away from us. We packed up our lunch and boosted in the direction he went, keeping high in case he’d crossed to our side of the valley.

Getting to a vantage point we carefully crossed over the brow and found ourselves a seat with a good view. We searched all the places we thought he’d be, and just as we were wondering where the hell it had gone I noticed it, sitting down right out in the middle of a slip. I got my rangefinder out-409 yards. Looked through my scope, wound it up and “WOW!” he’s a monster! Horns twice the length of his ears, he was a 10″ buck if I’ve ever seen one!

I considered shooting him from 409 yards-should be easy I figured, considering I fired 500 rounds last year, the majority at steel-out to 700 yards hitting every time in the end… but I’ve just recently changed scopes over on my 30.06 and hadn’t properly got the feel of how the new one sits. I had shot 1′ steel at 350 yards no problem with it the day before we went though, but hadn’t put the time into stretching it out past 400 yet…something I will do before I go away next time! My drop chart read 16 inches drop, but I felt unsure so we made the plan to close the gap. Very slowly we tried to move back behind the ridge we’d just crossed, but the big buck wasn’t going to sit and wait for us and leapt to his feet. “Right,” I thought; it’s now or never.

I lay down and put the cross just over his shoulder… “I’ll give it just a bit more height,” I thought…just to be sure… “BOOM” went the rifle, and off went the cham. My shot went high… why I decided at the heat of the moment not to trust my drop chart I do not know… it worked well for me with the same rifle, same load shooting tahr at nearly 500 yards last year…and god knows how many bits of steel I’ve shot using that chart…what was I thinking!
Anyways, the buck was gone, and so was my good mood.

We climbed to the top of the basin and headed the long walk home buckless…Wolfgang did manage to snap a pretty cool pic though, one that will remind me of that day forever.







James Morris

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