My freezer is starting to get empty so I decided to head out for a hunt to start filling it up, I haven’t shot an animal since December.
I left home early on Saturday morning and headed up one of the local mountains. By 11 am I was nearly at the top when my dog disappeared off down the side, a few barks later I realised she was chasing something. Noticing a dark animal heading up the opposite face I got a real surprise to see a chamois. It was too quick and there was no chance of a shot.
By 11:30 am I was where I wanted to glass from but, by now it was getting very hot, there was a nice 7 mph breeze blowing. I figured a rest in the shade was in order so I retreated down to some trees and hoped to find some water.
By 4pm I was back on top glassing, unfortunately the wind had picked up to 12 – 15 mph. At 5 pm I noticed two animals on the far side of the basin. Trying to get the spotting scope on them was difficult as the wind was blowing it around. I was able to confirm that they were two chamois. They would be a 2km stalk so I left them for the next day as I had to head that way to go home.
Looking across to where the chamois were.
Around 7pm I finally saw the rear end of a deer sticking out from behind a bush. It was around 900 yds away so I headed down the slope to get a bit closer. I eventually closed the gap to 700 yds and set up the rifle. Unfortunately the wind was still gusting to 12 -13 mph, but every now and again would almost drop to nothing. I worked out the come –up and dialled it into the scope. A 10mph wind required 3.6 MOA plus 0.3 MOA spindrift. I dialled in 1.5 MOA and decided to take the shot if the wind dropped. I wanted to wait until the stag was facing downwind so that if I underestimated the wind the shot would miss in front of the animal.
Looking across to where the stag was
The stag was an 8 -10 pointer and was a big bodied animal. To retrieve him would mean dropping 500 vertical metres (1500 ft) down into the stream, back up 200 m (600 ft) to get to him and then reversing it. In the end I decided not to take the shot because of the wind, it would be the furthest shot on an animal I had made (although I have shot at targets further) and the retrieval would have been difficult.
I didn’t see any other animals that night.
Next morning I was up before daylight and headed around to where the chamois were the night before. It took less time to get there than I had thought, about an hour. Dropping my pack I stalked into where the chamois had been. Initially there was nothing to be seen, but as I made my way up the gut a chamois broke out of the scrub ahead of me and ran across a shingle slide. I had already put a round in the chamber, so it I thumbed the bolt closed and tried to pick up the animal in the 4.5x scope. It took a determined swing to catch up with the chamois but I finally dropped it on the run at 30 m with a 160 accubond through the chest.
Me with the chamois, a doe with 8 ¼” horns.
Close up of chamois
The chamois turned out to be a doe with 8 ¼” horns and was in prime condition. I grabbed all the meat worth salvaging, added it to the pack and continued the trudge home.
All in all a satisfying weekend.
The rifle used was a Rem 700 7mm rem mag, Leupold VX III 4.5 -14 x 40 LR, with 160 accubond, 73 gr ADI2217/H1000, federal case, federal 215 primer
300wsmmad, I'll probably manage one more trip before we head down for wapiti, and then I don't think I'll be allowed out for a while, so I will probably miss out on the local roar. Will have to try for him next year when he is a 12.