Willis Macbeth – Hannah’s First Chamois

July 03, 2014

Hannah and I had done a few hunting trips over the past month looking for a deer mainly. On the first excursion we saw a few and I managed to shoot a stag for a bit of meat.   The next two trips were supposed to get her a deer but luck had been against us. Another trip was planned but due to the average forecast it was just going to be an afternoon hunt targeting chamois with a chance of seeing a deer.

Driving south we saw the devastation that the strong winds had unleashed a couple of days earlier on the West Coast. The damage was unheard of. Anyway we left the truck and checked out a few slips where the odd chamois sometimes lurks. The south-west breeze was fresh but not a hindrance. Nothing was spotted on the first two slips so we headed up further to another spot that often produces the goods. There was a bit of deer and chamois sign on the way up, things were looking hopeful. The heavy rain on the few days preceding meant the river was higher than usual, and some difficult river crossings were required, but Hannah pushed on, eager as ever. With the last river crossing behind us and we started up a little open creek that often the chamois like to call home. Some fresh sign was noted in the soft sand, the sharp edges typical of a chamois and the size appeared to be that of a nanny or younger animal. Over a rise we snuck. Right there in front of us was a chamois fixated on us. She was bedded down chewing her cud; an old doe with horn rot. I loaded the .223 and passed it to Hannah who rested off my shoulder and squeezed off a solid shot. The lights were out for this old girl. Hannah was stoked with her first big game animal, even if it was a scungy old doe past her prime. That didn’t matter; the thrill of the hunt was the same.

Hannah with her chamois
Hannah with her chamois

Following the usual ceremonies, I glanced up to a slip about 250m away and low and behold there were three more chamois. The group included a young buck, a doe and a yearling. They were safe for today.

Three chamois
Three chamois

We stopped on the way out at a spot which provided an awesome view across some clearings which I have shot deer on before.

Glassing for deer
Glassing for deer

Nothing showed itself though, as we waited out the final hour. A final burst back to the truck and we were done. The deer might have to wait until spring!

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