Tracking a stag in the bush with Wilson

Dogged diligence by Wilson saves the day







The day was to be fine but the early start had us shrouded in heavy fog, and cold as.

A bit of elevation was agreed on for us to meet and greet the current bun. An hour later had us stumbling onto fresh prints and glistening turds.

Wilson was now showing interest, but the slight breeze had him at a slight disadvantage as it was diagonal rising from below and drifting across our bodies.  It was just as well, as minutes later I spied some scrub moving directly above us, followed by a set of antlers, I whispered for the dog to get in behind and no sooner than I issued the command the bushes stopped moving.  Now there was a huge rock in front and to the side of us which completely obliterated any view I might have of the animal if he was moving away to the side. So we gingerly crept around it and upon looking up I was greeting with the full on view of the stag looking straight down at me from around 60 meters away.  It was a shot I hate taking and especially free hand  but I was left with no choice, and as I squeezed off the shot, I was aware of the cross hairs sliding away to the right.  Upon the report the animal did a complete turn and ran upward away.  Mmm, not too happy with that, I muttered, but we shall see what we will see, I said to the mutt.  We sat still for a bit and then I slipped the lead around his neck and we headed up to where we saw him last. I cast about for sign of blood but nothing in the immediate vicinity but the dog was on his scent so I followed him along.  A few minutes later we saw the first spot of blood, and now the stag seemed to be contouring the hill, On his right hand side (which had me wondering if I had hit his left leg) leaving the very odd spot of blood along the way.  Into gully after gully, I was despairing of us catching up to the beast. We would have covered well over a couple of hundred meters.  Then in an open spot, I paused  whilst the dog stood stock still and we both listened.  A breaking of foliage was heard followed by a grunt in the thicker bush up ahead.  We crept into the darker area, and the stag broke and ran about ten meters before stopping and looking back.   The relief was palpable as the 4x scope settled on his shoulder and the 53 grn. emissary exploded out of the 19 inch barrel of the Sako rifle.

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