Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year's Deer

We headed up north on the 30th of December to a friend's cattle property.  The drive was long and uneventful, the food and the company were great, and the hunting was as good as it ever is.  It's been quite dry and the deer have been coming out of the scrub to feed on the few green patches left on the farm - no good for the cattleman, and as it turned out, no good for the deer either. However even with a concentrated effort to cull the deer, numbers are as healthy as ever.

Up and about at 4:00am, a big call on New Year's Day! The walk to the tops was easy going in the cool temperatures before the sun showed itself. I left the cottage on foot and hiked well into deer country well before day break.
The sun pokes its head out onto the high country.  After a quiet 20 minutes in the predawn contemplating the problems of the world, it was time to get moving in search of venison. On the first morning out hunting, I got onto a bachelor herd of four stags but couldn't get closer than 275 yards across open country as they fed towards the scrub. A second mixed herd of seventeen animals sky lined themselves and offered no shot opportunity.
With the wind blowing in my favour; I slowly crawled across open ground through a handy patch of stinging nettle till I put a thick stand of timber between us. I bummed it down to a fallen tree where I waited till the deer put themselves out in the open. Early the next morning I got to within 40 yards of a stag in velvet, too big for version, but a great experience up close and personal.

The yearling stag was dropped at 164 yards across a shallow valley. Rifle is a Weatherby Vanguard Sub MOA chambered in .300 Weatherby Magnum.  The 180 grain Woodleigh Protected Point entered just behind his right shoulder and exited through the centre of the scapula on the off side.
Back straps off...
Legs off and ready for the carry out.
It was hot, the country was very steep, and I got one shot off during our time away. The flies were so thick as I climbed that I need to inhale through clenched teeth to filter them out! All I need here is a cider and a nap! I got the cider; actually I got two!
If these boots could talk - Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cape York... and fallow deer hunting to restock the fridge with venison!


  1. Good stuff, man!

    Nothing like a solid hunt in the summer heat to make you appreciate a little shade and something cold to sip.

  2. It was real hot that morning; it seems no matter what I do meat animals tend to drop on "the other side" of high country, usually somewhere down low in a gully. Carrying out the meat was a tremendous effort and the flies were so thick I was literally black with flies! A couple of icy ciders were just the ticket when I got back to the cottage, followed by a very lazy day chasing the breeze and avoiding direct sunlight.

    1. We must be related. I've acquired quite the reputation among my hunting friends for dropping my game in the nearest "hell hole"... no matter how fair the land where I started out.

      Ah well... it makes that cold beverage much more pleasurable when the work is done.

  3. Very happy you enjoyed the post! Are you a hunter yourself?