In search of a summer cham headskin

Stag where he fell

The snow continued falling diagonally across the frozen landscape with the aid of a vigorous southerly wind. I had climbed through first rain and then hail and finally snow and was now camped on the bush edge both tired and cold. I wouldn’t have minded so much but this was supposed to be the summer season, January 22nd to be precise.  Never mind- the power of a cuppa soon put the world to rights and I was then to find the comfort of my down bag in my dry-ish shelter and dream of the promised good weather of the morrow.

The ground held a frost of a kind and the surrounding country was white as. My alarm had sounded at 5 A.M. the billy already filled last night just had to be hoisted onto the stove and the gas lit. I lay there half awake and prepared myself mentally for the day ahead whilst I waited for the water to boil. The tea was scalding and as always a delight.The remains of the billy was then emptied onto my cereal breakfast.

I left my first camp of the trip just after dawn and proceeded upward through the whitened tussock, the wind was negligible at this level but already what cloud could be seen was moving with some intensity in those heights seldom visited by man.

I suppose a half hour would have gone by as I continued climbing steadily when I spied the dancing velvet antlers above the ridgeline the body underneath showed itself momentarily before disappearing out of sight. Man that would mean some handy camp meat if I can nail this stag I thought. Again the stag showed itself he too was looking for more altitude and was browsing very sparingly as he climbed.  I climbed some more before taking off my pack and levelling my rifle over the top. To where I hoped he would reappear looked to be under the 200meter mark. There he was again and this time he obliged by standing side on and sniffing the air the reticle settled behind his forelegs and pressure applied to the trigger. At the report I could see that he was hit but he took off out of sight on a down- hill route. I shouldered my pack and traversed to my left to intersect where his line of flight would have taken him. The waist high tussock wet with the snow from last night still clinging to its stems made for a cheery welcome to the new day as I forged ahead. I was in the close proximity of where I thought I should see the stag when I glanced down and back the way I had come and then with some relief realised I was looking at the inert form of the animal. Appraising the shot I realised it was too far back and too high almost ruining a back-steak. However the 130grn Barnes had done all that was asked of it and I had meat………

The rest of the story can be read in an upcoming NZGuns&Hunting  magazine

N.B.   Opportunities for guided alpine trips are available throughout the year with me click here to book.

This entry was posted in Hunting Trips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In search of a summer cham headskin

  1. Dean Lindon says:

    Hi Steve
    just reading all your stories again !

    Booking flights next week cant wait!!

    • steveg308 says:

      Good on ya Dean will be a great trip I am sure.
      Just in this minute before the rain starts from a two night venison trip for the xmas barbie. 2 stags taken so that should take care of it!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.