Friday, 31 May 2013

morning glory

I awoke this morning to the sound of the bunny gun going off down at the main house. Shortly after a text message arrived letting me know the bunny gun had spooked a Sambar into the Ti tree below my van. So I staggered out of the van in my jim jams to wet the grass and have a look see. As I steamed the grass, I noticed a little movement about 250 metres away down the bottom of the hill. It was a nice sized girl feeding on the grass. I shook... perhaps a little too much.....but it's mine isn't it! Then returned to the van to grab the bang stick.

The pups jumped to attention the instant I reached for the bang stick. They were pretty keen not to be left out of this one. We slowly headed down the hill towards where she was feeding. There isn't much cover apart from a few large gums. The gums while providing cover also obscured her from me having a clear shot. So we moved in a little closer each time she put her head down. We got to about 160-170 metres and she picked up either some scent, or movement and looked our way.

Almost simultaneously, I cocked the bang stick, shouldered it, took aim, clicked the safety, dropped to my knees to get a clear shot, all while she checked us out and then decided to head for the Ti tree on her right. She wasn't fast enough and I lead with a little pill to her front. She hunched and took off into the Ti tree. I walked down casually to see where she fell and was a bit surprised to see she hadn't dropped just inside the Ti tree. So it was back off to the van to get out of my jim jams and slippers and put some waterproofs on to get into the wet ti tree patch.

Once back down the pups initially lead me on a bit of a wild goose chase for a few minutes, heading down to the bottom of the gully. I think there may have been more and they had winded them. So I returned to the scene of the crime and found the blood trail and got them to sniff it. They then tracked her directly into the Ti tree, across the side of the ridge line, across a small clearing and back into the Ti tree again to where she had stopped for her final sleep. The pups got lots of praise for a job well done. I rolled her over onto her other side to see where the entry wound was, as I was a little surprised at the distance she ran. Probably 70 metres all up and I thought I had nailed the shot. Turns out I had and she was just running on adrenaline and the shot was actually ok. When they run like that I always start having doubts about my accuracy. Usually it turns out to be false worry, but I am a bit funny about making very quick kills and not having wounded deer slowly expiring in pain.

Anyways, I've half done the butchering and will finish the rest off tomorrow and fill the freezer in 4 or 5 days after hanging.


  1. After our run-in with the deer the other day, I'm considering trying bow hunting with my two. It seems like it would be easier on Riley's leg as she would have to stay closer to me and not range out as far. :)

  2. Not sure what sort of terrain you have to hunt Deer with over there Ashley, however here, it makes no difference be it bow or gun as to how far they range. The terrain is steep, and covered with very thick foliage. Hence it doesn't matter what you're using, they need to range fairly close to you. mine have to hunt within about 20 metres of me maximum. In order to get Riley ranging closer, try a check chord of the prefered distance while out walking and she will soon get the hang of what distance you want her hunting at.

    I also find a good run off lead to burn some energy off them is needed. Otherwise Zsa Zsa is like Riley and off charging ahead. Astro is fine however. He really gets the whole hunt with me concept without a lot of need to command him. Practice your stalking too. I find as soon as I slow down and even crouch a touch, they come to my side and start sniffing the air for scent thinking we are close to something.

    1. Brilliant! We can practice stalking together while her leg is recovering. :D I do have a wilderness area near me that has steep terrain covered in lots of bushes. I bought a shiny new checkcord before her surgery, so I will take that out for some practice. How do you train them to find deer (as opposed to birds)? I mean, I know Riley can find deer, but I'm not sure how to tell her I want fur and not feathers!