I haven't posted for a while following my move overseas. Just in case anyone is interested I thought I'd post a hunt I went on today. I really needed some dog meat as she's her going away for a while with my uncle. He'll probably end up eating some too I guess. I tossed up between truck and horse and the horse won - more chance of success but slower. Much nicer/more relaxing day though (truck is an 8 tonner so bouncy, loud and can't go everywhere).
Had a late start as usual, away by 8:10
About 20 mins in I spot a Fallow buck with a good rack across the valley, just right of centre in this pic
Not the best shot, and he has his head down so you can't see the rack. So I plodded across the valley and started up the other side. He's looking away, probably 300y or so away. All going well and I'm almost under cover and the horse lets go a huge raspberry... Buck didn't bolt but checked me out properly. I got into cover, dismounted and stalked in. Then a big mob of roos that had been watching the whole thing decided enough was enough, got up and sauntered off. This was too much for buck who pissed off quick I should have dismounted earlier...
Several false starts later and I have the *hits and the horse is buggered having done a long clime. We're walking a long a gentle contour when I hear the familiar sound of goats, not too far off. This is what I'm really after - feral and easy and the dog loves it (bit partial myself too). Unfortunately they're actually way up a pretty good slope and at the base of a 20m or so rock face
You can't see them in the above, pretty much on centre though. I moved up a bit and tethered the mount and started climbing. Bleating getting louder now and finally see them walking a pretty steep contour and disappearing behind a big ledge/small plateau and not emerging. This fella is walking along to the ledge.
More keep going in and as I'm approaching I'm almost made by a kid. Luckily I don't think it knew what it saw. Finally get to the ledge and see they're all tucking into some greenery. I sorted out the first one at which point there's panic (no way). But they can't get out of there too fast as it's a very steep climb so I picked another couple off. I reckon the first was about 30y the other two 50 and 60. All chest shot and DRT. The last one had pretty much made it to the top of the rock face and didn't fall down... So I had to climb up and drop it down. This shot is from the top of the face looking down on the second. Looks a much shorter drop in this shot.
The two left hand were pretty weighty. No way was I pulling up the branch to gut without my Hitchmasters - turns a piece of rope into a multi pulley hoist.
The big problem for me hunting on horseback is then transporting the carcasses back. I was planning on putting one behind the saddle but no point if there's three... So after the 40 mins ride back (trotting most of the way) I had to drive all the way out in the truck to pick them up. Still if I had been in a vehicle on the hunt I never would have heard them. Was a nice ride too and good exercise for us both - I don't get out as much as I'd like so it's nice to maximise the experience. 1895SS sure did its job. Carcasses are now firming up in the cold night air ready for butchering tomorrow!