Facebook has been my best advertising medium since i started guiding in 2012 and as the years are starting to tick by I’m just starting to get overseas clients, the first being two kiwis the week before Christmas this 2015.
Daniel message me to say he was keen on a chital hunt for the last week in December and he had a mate Cameron who wanted to come as well .So I said to them no problem as the stags on my block are in hard velvet then and we would have a good chance of securing two nice stags.
So two weeks before the hunt I decided to go and scout for some stags with a friend who wanted to get a doe. After scouting around and shooting a doe I was very worried that we would fall short on the hunt, as the land owner had cleared a lot of deer habitat, this is a guides worst nightmare..! Two clients coming in two weeks and no big stags seen, so I made a dreaded phone to Daniel to tell him that we might be in for a very difficult hunt and if they didn’t get what was needed that they could come back later in the year for cost. I also explained that it can change day to day out there and he said that they have booked there flights so there still coming.
December 18th comes around and I pick them up from the airport still nervous of course. We get chatting on the way out to the property no 1 after beers, a feed and a good sleep at my place the night before. He explains that he loves to hunt chamois and shows me some photos and i want hunt chamois badly as I shot that a few years ago. So we talk about a Javan Rusa swap for a chamois deal done we get to block no1.
I say to them just we pull up that there is a very small chance of seeing pigs here as i have only seen one in the past ,so what the first thing we see is a small mob of pigs . You just can’t win, they elect to past as we are just around the bend from a stag spot. Stalking around the creek bend we start glassing the other side and nothing so I drop my binos to see a stag 30m in front feeding in our direction .So i motion Daniel to get a photo and a better look as he was still soft velvet, a couple of photos later and they are on to us and 20 deer start going everywhere. A couple good up and coming stags in the mob but not trophies.
We move another hundred metres and bust another mob jumping the border fence and there’s a trophy in the mob but it’s on the other side of the fence, dam don’t you hate it when that happens .they ask all excited can we shoot it and I have to say no ! I will have to make a phone call first to ask if it’s alright. After no answer we move on closer to the farmhouse, whilst trying not to make noise cross the creek a mob of cockatoos start squawking at us and literally following us making a hell of a racket. After crossing the creek Daniel spy’s a mob of chital high tailing it across the flat try to get to the cover on the other side. There another stag in hard velvet at the back of the mob, upon reaching the trees Daniel losses sight of the stag in the scope. So we make a plan to drive around behind their position and flank them, upon closer inspection it is the quarry paddock that I need permission before entering so I try the landowner again and no answer as he is a the beach on holidays.
By this stage i think the boys were getting annoyed that we couldn’t go in there. So I decided we come back later and wait him out this afternoon and keep travelling along the creek for now as it’s getting hot and they will be bedded up in the heat of the day. We only walked about 600m and a couple of does and fawns jumped up and ran over the hill ,we cautiously stalked over the hill to find another stag in hard antler standing under a tree 40m away . This stag has been nickname big ben on a previous trophy hunt with a bow hunting client of mine Kane Manipoto as he has everything and is around 32 inches long , Kane nearly got him with his bow but a doe spooked as he just about let the arrow fly. Back to the hunt at hand big ben was under the tree but I couldn’t see his tops properly and Daniel wasn’t able to get steady enough rest before he ran out the other side .So now we have three trophy stags in the one area to hunt so now the pressure was half off we just had to connect to two of them and we have 5 days to do so. Few! To say I was happy was an understatement.
After a short drinks break at my hut we decide to hunt the other creek and after a short walk I spot a wild dog cantering along the track, a short stalk ensued and Camron dispatched the dog on the trot a 70 metres, hitting the dirt harder than a UFC fighter, not even a kick!
After a few photos we moved up a bit into an area I call the Garden of Eden, it’s a beautiful spot the deer love to bed up and when its green its looks like what is described in Genesis. When we entered Daniel pointed out a mob of pigs bedded right in the middle. While try to get a clear shot they spook and run over the ridge so I tell the boys to run over there and smack the big ones. I followed behind only to have them middle size ones run straight at me with no gun I let my gwp go and he doesn’t know how to grapple hold so he follows hot on its heels until Cameron dispatches it about a 30kg sow .making enough noise now we decide it’s time for lunch and time to check into the other block.
Now at block 2 settled in we go for a drive after lunch only to find a mob of stags out feed on the side of a face, we stalk closer for a better look to find the 3 good stags are just a bit short but there is a good size cull stag there, asking Daniel if he wants to take it and he said how much? 500, done! Then they spook over the ridge, snaking our way over the ridge and onto a stockpile of dirt left for grading the road Daniel takes position and places a well-placed heart shot on the cull buck as it rears up and falls down dead. Pats on the back a photo, video. Back to the Donnas for capping and recapping of the hunt.
Day 2 ensued an early rise, with hopes high and heads saw after a few beers the night before. We drove out to block 1 to find the trophies from the day before, just before we turn into the farmhouse paddock I spy a mob of pigs out in the open paddock with the cattle and instruct Cameron to light up the biggest one Daniel umps out with him and yells outshot the boar on the left! Bang good hit short death run and the pig falls down dead. It Cameron’s first Aussie boar about 80kg and he had nice tusk for that area so we extracted the skull and tusks for a full skull mount.
After checking out the likely spots and following up another hard velvet trophy, nearly getting a shot on him twice we headed back in the way of the farmhouse. Only to find in the Garden of Eden in the same spot as the day before a mob of deer with a 26 inch hard antler stag in the mob. I asked if they wanted to get a photo and so the boys went and got photos while I moved up a bit looking ahead inly to find a hard antlered trophy stag bedded up high on a ridge, as he was unaware of my and the dog I backed out as quick as i could, racing back to the boys, come on come on I find one for you Cameron.
I explained where he was and as it was a tight spot I said go in as quite as you guys can I watch from here. After 15 mins the boys, couldn’t find from where they were, so me and the dog snuck over and showed them where but by then the stag was up and staring at us at 40m line. He was the one with the gun. Off he sprinted down the gully and pausing momentarily to look back just enough time for Cameron to get in a shot MISS! And the stag was gone. After a search with my gwp no blood was found, so we walked back to the car and headed back to block 2.
The following morning up bright eyed and bushy tailed we were driving to a spot to glass when I spot a couple of Rusa deer out the window including a medium size stag , which is like finding a zebra on your block out here ,so taken the opportunity Daniel elects to take it , 2506 barks and Rusa is down . Smiles all round, photos taken and capping done back to task at hand chital stags. Driving around to another glassing spot we go past some low scrub and notice a big mob of velvet stags as they were looking at us.
As they are on to us I instruct the guys to bail out behind a bush and i drive on to a vantage point to on look the whole saga. They have them cold at 50m just wait for the big stag to walk in the clear when one of the workers decides he going Contiki touring around on a quad right near the deer and the spook down to the creek so i pick the boys up and drop them down by the creek and drive through the creek a bit further up to cut them off only to find them 40m from the track watching me drive past a ring Daniel and tell where they are and they stalk into 260m and Cameron takes a brilliant shot smacking the stag in the chest ,stag is down and out .upon measuring the stag he is a beautiful heavy velvet stag 29 inches .
After photo we start the journey back to the dongas but before we get over the ridge we see the same mob and there is another good stag in the mob Daniel wants a closer look, so we drove round to get the wind right and he stalks into 30m but can see the stag he want and they bolt into another patch of bush. After discussing what to do and if he wants it, they stalk in to 50m and wallop it.The thud was awesome. Another good stag down measuring 28 inch, wide model, and the boys are stoked 2 chital and 1 Rusa in one day. The boys were keen for a couple of does some we did that and still had just enough time to go Barra fishing so i took up to Peter Faust fishing with a friend of mine and fishing guide Colin Slade ,it was a slow start out in the basin but Colin knew were to take us and the boys smashed it ,we ended up with 6 good Barra in less than 4 hours including two metre+ Barra which the boys want to get mounted .Daniel said it was the best fishing he had ever done and can’t wait to do it on his Rusa hunt!
I just want to say thank you boys for coming over and hunting with unique adventures it was a pleasure having you guys and I can’t wait for my chamois hunt.