Once a year, dad and I try to get out for a hunt around his birthday for a bit of bonding and to see some new country. The destination was chosen at the last minute as there had been a bit of rain and we had to pick somewhere where the rivers wouldn’t be too high. I chose a spot I hadn’t really explored, but the destination wasn’t important, it was the journey that it was all about.
Showery skies and slightly swollen rivers greeted us at the car park but the forecast was for improvement. The walk up was uneventful apart from a light dipping of the family jewels in the icy river which put a dampner on things for a couple of minutes. A fair amount of sign was scattered intermittently here and there but it was the middle of the day with not much chance of bumping into anything.
On arrival to the hut we had a break then contemplated how we were going to kill the next four hours until dark.
The obvious option was to continue up the river towards the saddle into the east coast to have a look at some new country. There were a few patches of sign here and there but the further we went the less clearings and less sign there was. We killed a bit of time and waited for it to get closer to the prime time for our wander back to the hut.
Nearing the hut with fading light, I glance down to gauge the sign. “This is where all that fresh sign was on the way up” I thought to myself as I got my rifle at the ready, pulled my Veil buff over my face and entered stealth mode. Within less than a minute I rounded a corner and there was the arse end of a deer poking at me about 75m away. I sent some scrambled gestures at dad who was following about 5m back to get down and stay still. I scrambled forward to a prominent rock and extended the bipod which straddled the rock, giving me a reasonable rest. The deer was still arse on, and also hiding behind a stick so I had to be patient. He turned left but not quite enough, then right but the stick was still in the way. Finally he stepped out into dangerzone and 140 grains of heat got sent his way. The easy work was done. Being only five minutes from the hut was a bonus. The familiar feeling of blood dripping down the back of your legs is all part of a successful hunt, yet a little messy.
With the deer hanging in the meat safe, the well-travelled beer went down a treat. The morning hunt was unsuccessful, not that we really needed another one but it’s always good to see what’s around. The deer was boned out then lugged out. It’s always a good trip with the old man, to share a common interest in the outdoors and to enjoy our backcountry.
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