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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Queenstown, New Zealand
    Posts
    20

    Default A productive autumn in NZ.

    Itís been a busy year for me with work and having a new house built but I have still managed some mountain time.
    In late March I headed to an area I knew held good numbers of Red Deer in the hope of finding a good stag.
    Accessing the area requires a long four-wheel drive then a good walk which puts a lot of people off. I parked the truck in my usual spot and shouldered my pack. The hunting area was on the other side of the valley, so I slithered my way down to the creek in the valley bottom and began the grunt up the other side, hauling myself up the steep bank by grabbing small trees to pull myself up.

    After half an hour, I reached a plateau in the forest which I thought looked like good deer habitat, I paused and immediately saw a deer trotting toward me through the trees. I got ready to shoot, the deer turned out to be young ten point stag that stared at me from 30m before wheeling round and trotting off the way he had come.
    Although I had no intention of shooting him, it was a great first encounter. I carried on and reached my planned camp spot by mid-afternoon. I spent a while tidying up the area and by early evening had a nice camp established with stream water only 20m away and my tent tucked away in a nice clearing near the forest edge.

    I headed off for an evening hunt, I was making my way through the bush toward the bush edge when heavy hail shower rolled in. A hind that had obviously been feeding on the forest edge came running into the shelter of the trees. We met each other at 7m, both as startled as each other. We had a Mexican stand off for a few seconds before she bolted back the way she had come. I ran after her to see if there was a stag in tow finding her and her calf out in the open looking back at me but alone.
    The next day I enjoyed a coffee in the half light before setting off up valley. I sidled along the open hill 200m above the forest edge glassing as I went. I picked up a couple of hinds and young stag early on. By mid-morning Iíd covered a couple of km and sat down for a glass and some chocolate. I was enjoying the sun when I spotted a hind emerging from the forest edge 400m away up valley. She was followed by her calf and a lovely even twelve point stag. They fed out into the open oblivious to my presence. I crawled 20m to a flat piece of ground and got ready for a shot, the stag fed facing me for what seemed like an eternity before turning and presenting a good broadside. At the shot, I heard the impact and the stag stumbled a few paces, I fired again. The stag lay down as if bedding and passed a few seconds later.
    A stiff breeze was blowing which muffled the sound of the shots. As the stag hadnít acted too strangely, the hind and calf remained feeding and after checking the stag was down for good, I stalked in to see how close I could get eventually making it to within 60 m of the animals before running out of cover. I revealed myself and admired my stag. He was a great representation of a wild NZ stag. After a few photos, I began preparing the meat and head making it back to camp by mid afternoon. With the meat safely hung in game bags, I relaxed and reflected on a great day.
    Over the next couple of days, I had a great time watching the rut unfold and really didnít want to leave.

    Later in May, I was lucky enough to take a nice eight year old, 10 inch Chamois buck in an area I used to hunt a lot before moving away. He is my second NZDA record book Chamois head from this area. It was very special to return to an area with such good hunting memories for me and to take another mature buck.
    Later in the month I was invited to hunt with a friend on Private land near my home and took a nice representative Fallow buck in the unique central Otago hills.

    All in all a successful autumn.
    Cheers, Andy.
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  2. #2

    Default

    Congratulations and great pictures!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    2,793

    Default

    Beautiful pictures. Congratulations!

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the basalt rocks
    Posts
    5,014

    Default

    Wow, those are amazing pictures! Thank you for sharing and congratulations!
    Fear the beard....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Utah, after 30+yrs in MT
    Posts
    630

    Default

    Beautiful! Congratulations and thank you for sharing. New Zealand is on my bucket list.

  7. #7

    Default

    Beautiful place, animals, and pictures. Congrats on all the success! I hope to do this one day, it's just not in the budget these days.

  8. #8

    Default

    Great pics! Cool story to read.
    Amazing animals! Grats on your year of hunts!
    " There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." - Theodore Roosevelt
    Live to work or work to live... Your choice.

  9. #9

    Default

    Awesome!!

  10. #10

    Default

    Beautiful place and beautiful animals! New Zealand is definitely on my bucket list of places to visit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Queenstown, New Zealand
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thanks for the nice comments guys. Those pictures represent a lot of time and sweat, I wouldn't have it any other way!

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