A heavy rain forecast puts a lot of people off going in the hills, but what follows it is often some great hunting. This was my thoughts as we walked into our remote Westland valley onto the tail of this weather bomb. The first evening we (Callum and Myself) split and hunted different areas as there was plenty of country to cover. The weather hadn’t cleared completely but the intermittent showers provided good hunting. Some tahr were spotted in some steep country as I climbed higher, but they were mainly nannies and some young bulls, not what I was after.
I was trying out my new Hunters Element XTR Extreme Hunter jacket on its’ first serious venture out, and it was getting a good workout. Sleet lashed down on me periodically as I glassed the steep bluffs above me, but my jacket kept me warm and dry until I found shelter under a dry rock. Once the assault from above passed I carried on my route, leaving the many tahr around me in peace as I searched for a good bull. I navigated my way through a thicket of dense West Coast scrub and popped out on another area cleared from avalanches over the years. As I crested a small ridge a bull was spotted 250 yards away feeding in some scrub. My rangefinder and binoculars were produced from the convenient pockets of my Hunters Element jacket to assess the creature through the bursts of fog. I could make out a reasonable looking head, so chose to take the shot. When he eventually turned his head to expose his neck from his front on position, a 140gn Accubond sent him tumbling out of sight.
I eventually found him in the scrub, about 20m from where he was hit. He went 13 3/8” on his longest side and just under 13” on his shorter side, a pretty good bull!
It was a mission getting back to camp in the dark through the thick, wet bush. But that is all forgotten with a successful hunt under your belt! This was the first real test I have given the jacket and it performed well in the testing conditions.
Until next time,
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