Scrub Stag

April 23, 2013

After taking 2 nice stags this year off new country I wanted to spend some time with the camera and start taking culls from the new areas if I was lucky enough to find one.  I had identified a couple of culls that showed up on game camera but actually getting to hunt one is a totally different thing, they roam so far especially the young ones and often I never see them again after a quick wallow visit.

With a quiet roar I hit the bush and tried stalking a few in the dry stuff. I had mixed results mainly due to swirling wind but a few hunts went to plan where I managed to trail hinds for big distances which I hoped would yield a travelling stag.

I stuck with this plan and ended up deep in a thick scrubby system, I managed a few shots of the girls and then I heard some deep roars from the guts of the valley floor. In a short time the roars were closer and then like a bolt of lightning some bushes parted in front of me.

A mature hind trying to escape the stags testosterone charge met me face to face out of some wattle, we both were startled at the close contact and I would have paid anything to have a go pro on.  The stag kept on her tail like nothing was a miss when I pulled him up with an OI. I tried to snap a pic at this stage but in a nut shell stuffed the filming and photo up.

The camera went down and the rifle went up, I shot him unaware and quartering away as he tried to get back on her tail. He went straight down without a kick and was a big boy to try and maneuver for a photo. He was a good cull and a cull that was actively breeding. He was a big bodied stag probably 4 years old with weak to no bey tines. His tops were also weak for the age. In saying that he will still have a spot in my trophy room as he gave a memorable hunt.  

There is something about being that close to these majestic animals especially in the roar, its like a drug and when you catch them out. The look you get is priceless when you get discovered just meters from them. I hate culling but know if I want to keep my areas good I have to leave the young, shoot the culls and wait for them to reach their age and hopefully find one to hunt well down the track.

I got to give the new XTR Xtreme Hunter jacket and Blaze ascend top a test run, both were perfect for the job at hand. The new XTR Xtreme hunter in colour high country was initially designed for the open South Island high country but has proven to be successful in most environments including the Australian scrub, Its neutral color went undetected as I stalked the thick stuff.  

The new blaze ascend top helped the owner spot me from over 1km away as I walked out with my trophy. The blaze is very bright and the camera had trouble setting exposure on it when I was taking photos.




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