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Author Topic: 1st red stag  (Read 1966 times)

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Offline crabby1

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1st red stag
« on: Sat 7 Apr 14:09 2018 »
Spent last week chasing reds up Brisbane Valley.
Last year had seed sown to try this year with a bow after seeing quality reds taken by others.

During 2017 I bought 2nd outfit which is my 1st bow ever.
But of practice and carried it for a few days and got my first red hind last year. Busted my cherry for bow hunting.

Leading up to my roar hunt for 2018 I hunted down Nundle SF after Fallow and couple weeks ago a few days scouting for this past week.
A bow is no different to rifle hunting for deer as in carried heaps and shot little if at all.

First two days plenty stags still roaring even though into nearly 4th week of doing so.
I carried my rifle as was trying to work out what stags the deer where at. Most stags had some hinds and up the top of the hills in the gully heads. The older stags seemed to be tired but still going until 10am.
Then either shutting for sleeping to to move his girls about.
Plenty of spikers and younger stags roaming during middle of the day.

Third day forecast wind change to increasing winds and possible showers. To me that means the reds will be in thicker area of the gullies as they seem to hate wind in their ears. Plus the rain makes the bush quiter for me to move about. Even in the roar, still need to be a sneaky *bad word* to get into bow range. I need all the help and luck.

Had game plan of trying on old 5x4 that seem previous day. Parked ute and headed off when roars in opposite direction was too much to ignore plus much closer.

While later on opposite gully was solid 4x4 roaring hard but 200m away. One of the hinds spotted me and took ages till she continued feeding. With the wind changing direction as morning zeffers started as sunlight started heating the hillsides. The 4x4 must have scented me or other stag? He pushed the hinds hard and off out of the gully.

My attention then turned to the stag that was moaning from down low while the other was very vocal.
Eventually going slow down into the gully I spotted the body of a stag laying down.

I glassed the area hard as thought he would possible have some hinds. Eventually spotted a hind further down chewing on the lantana flowers. Being near 730am had plenty of time to stalk in.

Over period of next few hours the hinds would feed off and stag would follow at very slow pace and lay down again. The roar had been hard on him as sleeping heaps, not eating that I saw and his leg movements where unsure.

The wind had increased and changed direction as a rule and then reverse without warning. The short periods of rain help keep the grass and sticks quiet.

After a few hours following and closing the gap only for it increase to near no hope of closing the holed up and hinds layed down as did the stag.

I made good the situation and got within 50m for first time. The last 30 meters took forever. The antlers where now the second part of the hunt as  Mr 5x5 had taken to far end of the property now and best part of the day. The boundary fence was not far away and the state forest would mean end of hunt.

Now was the waiting game for stag to raise out of his bed and present a clear shot.
All really remember is he stood up and putting the glow bead low behind front leg and then finding the peep ring.
He stood still and I thought I missed him after all this time.
I went for 2nd arrow and drew back for 2nd go.

Then he then bolted.
F#ck F#ck F#ck.
Out of the thick and powers into the lower cleared stuff after running the ridge then lost sight of him.

SHATTERED. After 4pm now and roughly 2km away and the elevation gained and lost in that time would hate to think. Choked when it mattered. Sat down and went though what could remember.

Made way to where remember him standing.
No mistaking hoof prints where he bolted from.
Got out spare dunny paper and marked the spot and started tracking.
Relief was finding the first frothy red sponge droplets. Not the bright red of heart shot but lungs for sure.
Not to drag it out but managed to track the odd spot of froth and the parted grass.
Eventually spotted white tips of antlers above the grass.

My hunt for a red stag with bow was complete.
Took the time reflect in the hunt. Be hardest hunt ever had time wise, physically and mentally.
Cant tell it was arrow through heart and leg lift and roll over kill as in most magazines stories.
Instead shot was not perfect and hit front knee just and into ribs and completely exited past shoulder near spine on opposite side. Did not dig in there but both lungs would have been the fatal cause.

By this time was getting after 430pm so out with knife for rear legs and back straps and head.
Being a rutting stag he stunk real bad as was on on ways had kept track of him. The meat cut was real dark cut and coagulated blood clots throughout. There was no fat of any sort and he had no rump. Skun the legs to check what
Rest like and was bruised up.
3weeks of roaring had the warrior darn near spent.
First time ever never took any meat.
The head was to all was taking out with me as reminder.

All set for the walk out and 3L water bladder was empty in back pack was empty. Plus smashed the 3 fruitbars that had in there. Crossed over ridge and down to the road and stashed bow, head and backpack. Idea was less weight easier for walk back to the ute, especially the last 400m up hill.

Great idea but drinking water out of river or being dehydrated meant crook in guts before reached ute.
Trying to find where hide stuff gear under lantana was not smartest idea as different in the dark once drove to where thought left them :banghead:

Anyway was 8pm once back to camp after leaving in dark that morning. Hunting mates where calling me on uhf to check if was all right. Not use to sharing camp with others so was great to here the call.

I toasted the hunt that night and my stag the memories it given me.

As I say "If you dont hunt, you wont understand"

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Offline Blaster_Bretty

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Re: 1st red stag
« Reply #1 on: Sun 15 Apr 10:51 2018 »
great read man!  bow hunting is all about the thrill of the stalk, ya did awesome mate well done!

Offline crabby1

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Re: 1st red stag
« Reply #2 on: Wed 18 Apr 18:57 2018 »
It is all about the hunt ;)

The kill can be the anti climax.
Actually its when the real hard work begins. If its a trophy and want to cape it out then that can be challenging skinning it and having it sliding down hill or worst stuck in a gully

When having new hunters out with firearms and when get them in position to take a shot I all ways ask if they really want to do it. Most don't know the work involved in a meat hunt getting it field dressed and back to the vehicle.
The 1 hour if easy or maybe 3 hrs if long way or dark for the walk out.
Then there skinning and breaking the basic cuts down and bagging it ready for the fridge/freezer.

It enjoyable but need to know what's involved and own limitations.

Got couple days away walking the hills an seeing what is about.

Going next week with thunder stick and will fill the fridge hopefully and be easy carry outs or near a vehicle track I hope

Offline Muzzab

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Re: 1st red stag
« Reply #3 on: Tue 24 Apr 14:46 2018 »
Well done mate. You had a better roar than I did. They shut down after week two and two days into my hunting week. It was still good to be out there in the bush, with the expectation that at any moment a stag might roar and give you a chance at taking a decent head. I'll be after a meat hind next time out, as my freezer is empty.


Offline crabby1

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Re: 1st red stag
« Reply #4 on: Tue 24 Apr 17:30 2018 »
Going Thursday and Friday for freezer fillers.
Last week be end of it stags still roaring but not often or too loud. More of a moan.

Some half decent heads but stags still poor looking.
Friday was start of the cooler mornings that I like for hunting reds. Plan is to drop couple end of this week for meat and whole next week there glassing for better 4x4 than have now.
Seem couple in May in past years plus their half way down the hills soon rather than high as possible.

Will catch you after June.
Reckon cant gave too many places to hunt.
Going Rusa in June elsewhere.
Chance of a chital before than if goes to plan.

October for sambar.
Thats 5 of the 6 Aussie going hunt unguided for the calender year.

Will see if I posted my 12 day  fallow hunt in NSW public land on this forum. Was great trip even if rained half of it