Sunday, 24 June 2012

A month in the bush learning to hunt

Hi everyone. Last weekend, Astro, Zsa Zsa and I took off into the bush for a few weeks. Unfortunately Ozkar couldn't come, as his mummy wouldn't let him be away for so long. We all miss him terribly.

We are camped out in the high country of Victoria in the attempt to spend some real quality time getting down and learning how to stalk Deer, Foxes and Rabbits. It's only a few hours a day we do this, as my health is still not good. But, we manage a slow walk each morning and each evening and each day are getting better and better at hunting and stalking.

Zsa Zsa is still my biggest challenge. She just wants to run and hunt for herself. She is slowly starting to get it, but it's taking more time than it is with Astro. Astro is very tuned into what I am doing and will hunker down into a stalk with me as soon as he sees my body language change. Zsa Zsa needs to be constantly reminded to heel.

We came up last Sunday from memory and set up camp on the banks of a beautiful fresh mountain river. Unfortunately Tuesday the rain hit and a flash flood warning was issued for the River, so we had to hastily pack up camp and move to another location. We only just made it too, with the River bursting it's banks slightly just at the entrance to the campground. We had to reverse back and take a run up to get across the rushing water and up the incline to the roadway.

We then found a nice alternative campsite on the boundary of a friends property. It is an old disused Rifle Range, with a ramshackle club house still on the grounds and the ranges still usable. So we set up the tent on the wooden verandah of the clubhouse. It's cheating a little, but it is nice to have a dry wooden floor underneath, when it has not stopped raining for 6 days.

We are not slumming it as such, we have gas cooking if a fire is not able to be lit. (The rain has been so heavy, it has quashed several evening fires and forced the gas cooker out of the camper trailer) We also have a generator to charge laptop, phone, gps, lights and even operate a toaster and a heater. (I know it's soft, but it's been -4 and -5 the last few nights and even with two dogs in the bed it's still cold when you first go to bed. Each night I boil some water and add a hot water bottle to the bottom of the sleeping bag. The dogs appreciate that as well.

We have managed to live well while out hear, but if we were to be attempting to follow Redbirdogs blog and be self sufficient, then we would have had a mighty fail. On days one, two and three, we spotted and got spotted by several groups of Sambar Deer. Each time though, we either had wind against us or Zsa Zsa broke ranks and ran in before I could even slot an arrow onto the string. Patience is a virtue they tell me. We will get there in the end I know, but it will take some time.

Tuesday the weather is looking up, so we might drive out early to a new spot and see what happens.

Here are a few pics of the riverside camp and some of the things we have seen since being out here.

I must say, the solitude has been a godsend. Just the three of us, doing what we want, when we want to. Got to love that and even though it's been snowing not 150 metres above us and the rain has not ceased, it's all worth it.


  1. You are tougher than I am mate. Good luck with your hunting adventures. I hate the rain while field trialing. Makes a mess of the bird scent cones and just in general makes for a miserable day.
    But any day out in the field has its opportunities for adventures you will NEVER have in the living room.

    Sounds like a great time. Enjoy.

  2. We are not really roughing too badly Rod. A generator powers the heater of an evening before we go to bed, a hot water bottle under the blankets stays warm for 18 hours, I have a laptop and an internet connection as well as powered lights, an LPG gas cooker and even manage a hot camp shower each day when we return to camp. ll the luxuries of how bar central heating. It is cold though, even for me. It's been -1 to -4 degrees Celsius of an evening. IT took half an hour to clear the ice off the car on Monday morning before we could go anywhere and the ground crunched under foot till 11am. But still having a ball mate. Caught nothing, but that's OK, as this is only training for next winter's Deer season.

  3. Wow this sounds so cool! What a great thing to witness, your dogs coming into their own as they become a partner to you in this hunting. I have not heard much of this style being over in the US,I imagine for those pointers it is hard to stay with you. Do they signal you when they are on the trail/scent of something? I am so used to pointers being out ahead and then stopping on point when they find something, I think this is how they prefer to do it for rabbit hunting with them too. Add to all that the fact you are shooting a bow! I will have to tell my husband about this, he is an avid hunter I myself train my bird dog, but have only shot a handful of birds as I am usually handling the dog. I have kinda taken up rabbit shooting a bit though, as a means of providing some meat for the family/dogs.
    Looking forward to hearing more of how your hunting progresses, good for you!