I just got back from a short walk. Was out to see if any foxes or Rabbits were about, maybe even the big black cat that has been lurking around for some time. We walked down a steep slope of old growth Tea Tree, which has good vision underneath and still a shot option is an animal is around. All the way down, Astro my Vizsla kept trying to drag me off to the right and down into a gully which I intended have a look at anyways. The wind was coming at us from about 3oclock, so it meant as we got to the bottom of the hill and turned right towards the gully we would have the wind at 12 oclock to us, which was perfect, so I kept him on our path and didn't allow him to go that way.
I should trust that boy by now, as he has never ever let me down by offering a false point. If he points or nods, then it's an animal. Anyway, we got to the bottom of the slope of tea tree and nothing was seen, so we turned 90 degrees right and followed a 4wd track up over the ridge heading down towards the gully I wanted to check out. The gully has Blackberry at its very bottom and often will hold a Rabbit or two.
As soon as we got to the top of the ridge before dropping into the gully, Zsa Zsa stopped and Astro locked to point again. I figured by the combination of the two reactions it was a Deer. Zsa Zsa is still a little intimidated by the larger animals. She likes birds, Rabbits and the like as they are small and not so scary. Astro doesn't seem fussed either way. To him, it's just food!
We slowly crept down the hill, using the wooded area on our right for cover. As we got to the bottom of the hill Astro took two steps to the right, lifted his left front foot and stared at me till he got my attention. He then nodded at the Blackberry bush.
I popped a broadhead on as the reaction of the dogs from the top of the ridge, told me it was a Deer. But, the Blackberry wasn't all that tall, so I figured it was a small Deer. Astro and Zsa Zsa both stood staring intently at the Blackberry bush not moving a muscle. I walked around to the right a little as I could see some colour. The further I went around the more colour I saw as a hole in the middle of the bush showed itself. In the middle of the hole was one of the cutest sites I have seen. It was a tiny Sambar calf whose shoulders were no higher than my knee.
It looked at me with terrified eyes. I looked at it and my heart melted. I just could not for the life of me even contemplate taking a shot at it. Especially considering the full freezer situation. But even if it was empty, I seriously doubt I could have taken this little fella. It was just so small and forlorn looking. I have never seen a Sambar this small before. I'm not sure how old it was, but it was young, very young.
I waved my arm at it and told it to bugger off...... which it did. It took off up the hill and was gone in rapid fashion. It's on hunts like this one, where I wish I had a photographer with me. I would have loved to have snapped a pic of the little fella tucked up in the blackberry like that. Just too cute.