Sunday, May 5, 2013

Red Stag, New Zealand Style

The primary hunt for this New Zealand trip was for red stag. It's an animal between a big deer and an elk in size. These are awesome creatures who "roar." It is a sound much louder and deeper than an elk bugling. An amazing sound to hear out in the wilds and remoteness of New Zealand. It really carries, too, and you can hear it from miles away -- literally.

We were about 1 1/2 hours from Blenheim, a total of 5 hours from Christchurch. In the middle of nothing. Lots of scruff, rugged and beautiful country with mountains, rivers, gorges, canyons and some steep, hot hiking. It's near Mount Gladstone, sort of.

The weather was perfect: blue skies, clear, crisp in the mornings but really heated up as the day went on to about 65 degrees. Which for us, seemed really freakin' hot. My pores were definitely cleaned out from all the sweating. Did I mention it was hot and steep?

We had spotted this fellow the night before, and were hoping he was still around. We were about to pack it up and head to another ridge, which I really did not want to do. (The sun was beating down and the climb was steep.) But, then I spotted him. I called attention to the guys ahead, and they got into position immediately. Good thing, too, because it all happened so fast.

Robin ranged him at 300 yards, set up and took the shot. Drilled him and down he went! We could hardly find the bullet hole -- that's how thick his hide was -- we had to find it from the inside. We also had to get through these prickly bushes, but all in all, he was pretty easy to reach.

He was around 450 pounds, and made really awesome burger!

See the photos from the red stag hunt.