I finally managed to upload the pictures.
So, having read Moose`s account of his exploits in Mauritius, I decided to book a family holiday in the Indian Ocean. I suggested Mauritius to my wife and it was not terribly difficult to persuade her about the merits of this beautiful place. I mentioned sun, sea sand but left out the stalking part until it was booked!
Once booked I contacted Lionel Berthault from "Le Chassur Mauricien" and made plans to book a day`s stalking for a Rusa stag and wild boar. We arrived in Mauritius on Sunday 13th and it was agreed that we would stalk the following day.
After a good breakfast, I was picked up by Lionel and we went for lunch. A quick drive to the camp and I asked if I could take a practise shot so as to make sure that everything was ok. One shot later and we were all happy; I could shoot the Blaser R8 in 270 Win. The first opportunity to present itself was a Macaque but he scarpered before I had a chance to rest the crosshair on him. Nevertheless, we set off in search of our intended quarry. Not long into the stalk we came across a herd of 300 deer or so, a mixture of stags, hinds and calfs. Lionel wanted me to shoot something bigger so we left them alone. After an hout we saw our target. Waiting for him to turn broadside, I settled into the best position that I could. He was only 170 meters away but when I fired, I missed. Two more opportunities presented themslves and again I missed. WTF? Dejected and full of doubt I was ready to give up.
I couldn`t work out what was going wrong; there was pressure to take the shot from Lionel but I waited until I was ready or so I thought. I also checked the scope and realised that it was set at 12x magnification. I turned it down to 6x. A viewing of the video showed that I was not in the best of positions and told him so. As evening approached we spied another suitable target and this time I positioned myself properly in my own time. As it was only a hundred meters away, and the scope felt more comfortable, I took the shot and down he went, a nice gold medal Rusa stag. Feeling better, we took some photos and headed back to camp as the light was fading. Having given up on the chance of a boar, I was delighted to see a nice male 200 meters away. I got a bit closer, turned the mag down and from a very comfortable sitting position, I shot shim in the heart and he collapsed on the spot, stone dead! Finally a shot I could be genuinely pleased with.
Lionel was happy, I was happier, all good. On Friday I went to a driven pheasant shoot. A 4.45 a.m start greeted us with a suny sky; by 7a.m it was 25 degrees C. This was going to be hot. We were three guns and we had 5 drives. The birds were were well coloured but not the most enthusiastic of flyers; who would blame them, the temperature was roasting. Still it was a good morning out!
I told Lionel that I would like my wife to shoot a boar and we arranged to do it on Monday afternoon. My wife, Nicole was somewhat indifferent. However, once we began the stalk and the wildlife showed itself her enthusiasm showed. Thinking it was boar that we were targetting I was surprised to see Lionel glass a big herd of deer. Having selected his beast, he instructed my wife to follow him. I followed holding the video camera. Once Nic had seen the deer she got in position and waited for the beast to turn broadside. He was 180 meters away, a long shot for someone who had never shot anything bigger than a rabbit. However, she was calm and listened intently to the instructions, The order was given to shoot and she dropped him in his tracks. I was delighted as was everybody. Lionel spotted a second stag and began a second stalk with Nic. I cionfirmed with him, that she wasn`t shooting gold medal beasts because at Eur 2250 a shot, I wasn`t looking forward to an even bigger bill!
This stalk was trickier and involved penty of crawling and stealth. I filmed from the rear. Once in position, she placed the cross hair slightly higher as this one was 200m plus. Bang, and down he went. My wife turned over and gave me a big thumbs up and said that she wanted a boar next! Long story short, she missed a sitter from 40 meters and the round went over his back.
Now it was my turn! We headed off in search of another boar as the ligt faded. Finally we spotted a big male but he was fighting another fella in front of some deer. Fight over and the deer moving away I stalked closer and took the shot from 140 meters and down he went.
Below are some pictures. The films are quite long so I wont post them.
My wife now understands the addiction of stalking and has given me her blessing. Secondly, the stalking could only be improved if I had used my own rifle.........it is not the same using somebody elses. All in all it was great holiday and i will go back. Lionel is a great guy and his enthusiam is fantastic. It`s not cheap but it well worth it. It`s beans on toast for the rest of the year.