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Author Topic: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10  (Read 1112 times)

Offline Gutshot

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Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« on: April 04, 2013, 06:52:01 PM »
You folks are not going to want to miss this episode. Enjoy

NZ Journal Day 9 & 10: Red Stag Days

We got up early and were on the trail well before sunup. Clay was to be my guide and Bomber with Bill. Our first stop was the “Safari Camp” where we’re going to spend the night, not as luxurious as the chalet but comfortable. We unloaded the gear and split up to better our odds. Weather was damp and cold to start but the sun burned off the fog and it turned out to be pretty nice day weather wise lower 50’s and a gentle breeze. There was some roaring going on but neither guide could convince a volunteer to come to our party. We met back at the safari camp for lunch and strategized for the afternoon’s hunt. Clay and I were going to go higher up the “mountain” to try to catch them coming back up for the night. Bomber and Bill were going to go down to a low land. We saw several does and four junior stags but held fast to let them grow. Bombers had packed some wallaby steaks for supper and cooked them over an open fire, were they good. Cassy had packed there rest of the supper including two chocolate pies, the pies were fantastic. The night ended with a few Foster’s and storytelling around the fire and off to bed.

I got up at 4:45 on day 10 and was able to rekindle enough fire to make a pot of coffee. By 5:15 everyone was up and sippin’ joe. The air was crisp at 30 degrees with fog and no wind. I was hoping the fog would lift by the time we got set up, but it took ninety minutes to go away. The roars start just before sunup and for the most part goes on all day. There seemed to be much more of it this morning, we didn’t disturb them today with the quads, we just walked to the spots. The plan for the morning hunt was the same as yesterday afternoon; Clay and I would head up while Bomber and Bill went down. Clay had me set up in a blind made of cut logs conveniently placed at the edge of a good game run. After the fog cleared I ranged the area, determined my maximum was 550 meters and marked ranges down to 75 meters. There were ample good quality lanes through the trees both to see and shoot. Clay answered some roars that came from up the hill and they sounded like they were getting closer, so my nerves started working on me. Finally about 10:45 a grand bull appeared in the brush up the hill, he was roaring answers to Clay so I readied myself. The closer he got the more grand he became. The “head timber” on these boys is simply awesome. There is no hiding in the brush for these guys. Clay gave me a glance and thumbs up signal. I followed the stag through the scope waiting for a shot, first at 400 head on and closing I turned the power ring down to 5 and continued my surveillance. When he got to 150 meters he started to turn to my right and I just kept to following him. At 140 he stopped and gave me a quarter angle, he turned his head to look back up the hill. When he took a step to his left with his front legs and I took a broadside heart shot. He ran about 50 meters and collapsed sticking is antlers into the dirt. Consequently the picture of mine has muddy antlers. Clay got up and wanted a high five, I asked him to wait a bit before we celebrate. We walked over to my prize in silence and I nearly began to cry, I felt so humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to harvest this animal. I said a prayer while kneeling next to him. When I finished I gave Clay his high five and a hug. Yes with tears in my eyes. I had asked him if I could dress out the stag myself, he helped me roll him over to drain after I opened and emptied the abdomen. Clay said he’d walk back to camp and bring Bomber and Bill back on the quads to haul him out. I was very thankful to have the alone time to finish my thanks and give the respect this animal warranted. I was hoping Bill had a chance to harvest one too. As they approached on the quads I heard Bomber shout, “That’s a bloody nice bull, good job mate! He’ll score around 450.” Bill’s reaction was about the same, he could not get over the massiveness of the antlers. That’s not to say he is a record breaker just a really nice keeper. Bill said they just saw some adolescent males and does and are hoping for something better this afternoon. By the time they got back I had already started caping him from head to tail along the backbone and down (as I was instructed by my taxi), I was almost ready to roll him to do one side then roll him to the other completing the field caping. This method eliminates the need to cut the chest any more that the gutting cut. I of course saved the liver and will ask Cassy to make liver and onions for a supper before we leave for home. I told the guys to go back to camp and get back at it. I suggested Clay go with them to hopefully get Bill his prize. Clay rolled the hide into the rack and fashioned a backpack for me to get it back to camp. By the time I arrived the load was getting heavy; I’d estimate the head and cape weighed around 175 pounds. I enjoyed the labor and solitude of the walk. While alone at camp I could not stop looking at the antlers, my God how fortunate I am, Thank You Lord. With time for reflecting I’m glad I made the decision to take the heart shot and passed on the head shot. The 300 WBY Mag would have made a mess of the head at 140 meters. As much as I preach ethical one shot instant drops I also acknowledge proper shot placement to achieve a near instantaneous drop in some instances is warranted. With the confidence in my placement ability I knew that the hit would be fatal just not as humane as I normally would like. I struggled with my personal dilemma of posting a picture of my prize.  I convinced myself that God created this beautiful creature and should be honored and shared with others so I decided to post his picture.

Late in the afternoon I heard the distinctive Weatherby bark, followed shortly by another. I am hoping Bill was able to claim his prize. Almost an hour passed before the guys came in. Bill said he had taken a decent one. Bomber thought it would score 350 or so. It was quickly decided to run mine back to camp then return, to retrieve Bill’s. They had gutted him before they walked out and let him drain and cool. When we got to his stag I was so happy for him, but we had to hurry it was starting to get dark. I asked Bill to walk me through it, I need details. The stag came bounding up a blind side of the hill and stopped at 250 meters long enough for Bill to square up the shot and thought he hit him good. The stag started to run back down the hill so he let the second shot go. The first shot was lethal, a good heart shot.  He clipped the shoulder blade on entry and devastated the lung cavity. The stag went down just after it ran out of sight. There was no second wound so the follow up shot was a miss. Bill said he was listening to my instructions in his head as the event happened. He thanked me for being such a tough task master and hours of watching stag videos before the hunt, which really helped. Clay caped and quartered the stag using a LED headlight and quad lights. We’d achieved our goals of getting one of these tremendous animals.

Well this brings to an end our quest for Red Stag. What an adventure! Totally worth it! Cigars and brandy are definitely in order after supper tonight. Neither of us was tired. We sat and talked on the deck until almost midnight.

We’re considering trying for a Sika or two on Thursday and/or Friday. Bill would also like to try and get a Wapiti. I think I’m done hunting I’ll just go as clean up shooter if needed. Perhaps I take a camera safari and capture some of the beauty of this place. We’ll start to pack up on Saturday for our departure on Sunday. Chaz has offered to skin the skulls, remove the horns and ship them home for us. We asked him if there were any food pantries or charities that would like most of the meat. Gladly there are and we are more than happy to donate it. Chaz will make all of the arrangements and get it done. We are having a fresh Red Tenderloin “barby” for supper tomorrow night at the main lodge. These people have been so friendly and welcoming our experience here has been priceless. Bill and I have already given Bomber and Clay their tips and it was well worth it for us. A pair of really great “brush busters” they are indeed.

That’s about it for now onto Day 11.
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Offline Bearclaw

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 07:52:04 PM »
Great story and congratulations are in order!!
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Offline Zos41

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 08:32:35 PM »
Congrats to you both, a couple of nice stags. They will make geart mounts
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Offline Split toe

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 09:06:29 PM »
Congrats on what has been just an awesome trip for you both!!!
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Offline capttrae

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Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 12:04:33 AM »
Congrats on a great hunt


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Offline BeaglePup

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 05:55:11 AM »
Congratulations to the both of you.  Those are some wonderful memories y'all have made.
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Offline wvwhitetail

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 10:13:33 AM »
Awesome Job and Congrats to everyone. Glad you are sharing such a wonderful adventure with us. Keep Knocking Them Down. Good Luck on the future hunting.Have fun and Be Safe.

Offline Snortweeze

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 10:17:14 AM »
Congrats guys, thay are both awesome animals.  --9-908
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Offline buckone1

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 03:38:48 PM »
Awesome!! Congrats To you both!! You guys are having toomuch fun!! ha ha
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Offline JALA RUT

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 04:16:40 PM »
What an AMAZING adventure...& CONGRATS on the harvests!
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Offline yari

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 09:44:08 PM »
i wish i was there. definately on y bucket list. i would like to do it w/ a bow though. i would love to push those hills for a couple weeks.

great trip. memories forever. i don't think you could ask for any more
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Offline growalot

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 11:40:50 AM »
Congrats! Thank you for allowing us to experiences your adventure with such skillful narrative... ##$%#115 @--0--0123 ##$%#11

Offline BLUETOE

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Re: Dutch Hunter's NZ Adventure Days 9 and 10
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 12:09:55 PM »
Congrats to all man it sounds and looks like fun. Starting to get a little jealous .
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