I have just returned from a fantastic holiday in Mauritius with my Girlfriend. Is there anywhere else in the world that you can stay in a luxury hotel on the beach (so to keep the mrs happy), go hunting Rusa Deer and Wild Pigs just 15 minutes away, big game fishing in arguably the best place in the world and even go walked up shooting for Pheasants and Pigeons 30 minutes away.
The hunting is fenced however it is by no means easy. The area I was in was around 6,000 acres of mixed acacia / plains, rivers and mountains. On the first afternoon we climbed up the mountain to a good vantage point looking over the plains. There was a large number of Rusa feeding on the plains in and around the acacia trees and rivers / ponds. After about an hour and looking over many groups of deer, we spotted what looked like a monster Rusa, following a late season hind around. The problem was they were 1,075 m away and between us and them must have been 300 - 500 deer. The only way in was t continue around the mountain and to try and get to a ridge that looked over the part of the plain they were in.
So we set off, baring in mind it was 28 degrees we weren’t going to rush. We slowly stalked one of the mountain roads with the off chance of bumping into something on the way. We had discussed how because it was now well post rut there was the possibility of bumping into an old lone male on some of the clearings up in the mountain, as with any deer after the rut the older males do like to get away into the quiet areas.
We came across a couple of younger males with small groups of females, however then when we rounded a corner, there was a more sizeable looking male grazing up on a rocky outcrop. He was an old male, not hugely long but very thick and square. I was not going to pass this one up, I crouched behind my guide resting on his shoulder took a frontal shot as he was now staring straight at us looking very nervous. The stag jumped some 2m in the air and made for the thick bush, after a minute or so we heard some crashing in the bush, this was a good sign most likely the animal collapsing. Going to the shot sight we found a good blood trail and then found the stag some 50m in the bush. A stunning stag 28” long and very thick gold medal stag.
After we had spent the best part of an hour extracting and taking photos of this stunning stag, we decided as there was still a good couple of hours left of daylight we should continue our stalk and at least have a good look at this stag we had seen down on the plains.
After about an hour and evading several more groups of Rusa we came to the vantage point we had originally set out for. We couldn’t see the stag we had seen earlier, however we could see the group he was with., due to a big stag that had snapped one of his antlers off which of course was very noticeable. Then suddenly about 400m away the stag appeared with the hind, still pushing her about. So what to do next, the good news was, they were in a group with some other Rusa which were grazing there way in a half moon shape towards us. There was a clearing about 250 m away which was were we expected them to move.
Now everything was going to plan, until a group of does below us started grazing up the mountain straight towards us. This was going to be touch and go, the first of the hinds from the stag group started appearing in the clearing, but the hinds below us were moving towards us fast, if they barked and whistled they hinds on the clearing would almost certainly run.
Then just as the hinds below us noticed us, the stag appeared running now after the hind. A quick inspection confirmed that he was a monster stag, long and with long second tines and thick, he was also interesting. I decided to take him as well. Knowing I didn’t have much time I squeezed the shot off on the top of his shoulder and he dropped on the spot, a few kicks and he was down. What I remember is maybe a few seconds before squeezing off, the hinds below us barked and ran whistling, having waited for nearly an hour, I had probably less than a minute to spare.
A huge stag, 32.5” long with lots of character.
What a day had come to and end. On the way home, we discussed that maybe we should have a go for an abnormal stag over the coming days. One had been photographed just a few days before that I liked the look of, two point coming from the base of the antler down towards the eye.
The weather in the mountains was not so good this time and we went straight to the area where the stag had been seen before. It wasn’t long before we found a heard of Rusa, mixed with both Hinds & Stags. There were certainly some shootable stags in this group but not what we were looking for so we carried on. After about another 30 minutes of stalking we made our way carefully into another group. There must have been near 75 deer in this group. Just on the left of the group was a stag that had an extra point next to the brow tine. Knowing that the chances of finding the same abnormal stag was low, this was a perfectly good option. So I said lets have a go, due to the number of deer, it was not going to be easy to get close. Eventually after coming along a rocky river bed we got to about 100m, the deer knew something was up and getting a clear shot was hard. Then they started to move off, luckily the group split and the stag ended up on the right had side of the left group broadside at about 150m I squeezed the shot off. There was little blood as the shot was a little back however due to the rain we could see a good set of tracks and found the stag some 200m from the shot.
7 Point Old Abnormal Stag
In addition to the walked up pheasants and pigeons, I also spent the day on a big game fishing boat after Marlin, Tuna etc
I was very lucky to take a 268LB Black Marlin which was an incredible experience.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.