Summer’s End

Yes the days of hunting the scorching tops are over for me. The endless afternoon wait for the sun to lower in the sky before the evening hunt can begin. Frankly I now find this too boring in the extreme and a waste of my life. It is also not a good meat harvesting past time as the distances are too great to utilise most of the meat.

Far better to write the summer off and instead ply some spearfishing or fly fishing into the gap, and wait for the Autumn, Winter and Spring seasons.

Well Autumn 24 has now finally arrived, and Wilson and me are back in the bush and plying our trade. The first trip we had was last week in which we spooked a deer hearing it bark and then noisily move off , then a little later in the day we came across 4 more hinds in a group. The cross hairs settled on one of their number but eventually I declined the shot. The day after we scored a complete blank and saw nothing for the day.

Monday of this week we were climbing a steep bush face when we heard a roar not too far above, the wind was blowing down to us (unusual for this part of the country), so we executed a slight curve in our climb just in case the wind changed out of our favour. We paused when we thought we were in the vicinity of where the stag was, and about then we heard another roar just below us in some thick scrub. I answered back and then all was quiet, moments later we heard a crack and some . Yes the wily ole stag had got our wind and exited the scene.

0815 stag, no wall hanger that is for sure

Yesterday we had a stag down at 0815 hrs. We had climbed past him unknowingly , Wilson must then have got some of his wind and was staring down where we had just came from, I followed his gaze to see a stag amongst the fern staring back at us. The shot was forward of his right shoulder and angling through the upper part of his lungs exiting low on the far side of the animal. He briefly took off into some cover and for a couple of minutes was emitting what sounded like soft coughing. We waited till all was quiet before carefully moving in. I then put the dog out to find him as there was a patch of very high and dense fern ahead. Wilson led me to a very dead and very weak headed stag. Way too early to be filling ourselves with meat so we just took the back straps and continued on hunting.

0920 stag, or rather spiker

0920 and a stag that was peering up at us from the next gully along took a 90 grain Accubond bullet in .243 cal. in the chest and was no more than a distant memory.

The days of helicopter journeys into distant back blocks are over for me now, living off my meagre state pension just will not allow such extravagances, so I’m destined to scratch around these frugal “home counties” country till my legs fail me. We will always have the freezer full of venison though, and that to me is worth more I suppose than any of your fancy roars and big bone wall hangers.

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