I thought I'd pen a wee tale about a hunt that almost was this past hunting season in Aus.
One small species of deer we have here are called Hog deer. And I just love hunting them.
Season is only the month of April and you are only allowed to legally harvest one male and female.
I scout these deer for the 4 months prior my hunt and see some great deer along the way. For the past 3 seasons I have been using basic trail cams to assist. Through these I have found some great deer in some tough to scout country.
This story evolves around one such deer. I happened to see him prior the 2006 season on trail cam and thought he was a great deer then. In the end I felt he might be the better for another year and decided not to hunt him that season. I never saw another contender that year so my tag was not filled. See trail cam pic below
In December of 06 I happened to be on the first scouting trip and saw a flash of a stag in the same area that grabbed my attention. Trail cams were placed and finally he showed for the pics.
Then a few weeks later I got him with all his velvet off and looking very fine indeed
Over the course of the next 3 months the cameras rolled and took around 100 shots of this magnificent deer. Without question the largest stag I had set eyes on in that piece of country. He definitely became the focus of those few months as family life was put on hold whilst sticking with him and his movements.
During late Feb he broke the top 1 1/2 inches of his left main beam, but still he was a standout. Big, old and white faced. A six plus year old stag. Just what I try to harvest.
Tree stands were hung for every conceivable scenario and wind. So it was just going to come down to patience. So I thought ?
April one rolled around and I was in position as the sun came up. Wind not to bad so I was set for the ambush.
The deer had been religiously watering through the middle part of the day so I was feeling confident of an encounter. Two o'clock rolled around with no sighting and the wind a bit all over the place. Then I heard that dreaded sound. A close range dull report of a rifle... then silence... then again BOOOM...... You have got to be kidding !
Well you know the rest of the story. The paid trophy hunter hanging his tree stand on the adjacent property just happened to be walking down the track at the right time when the stag crossed a clearing headed for my waterhole. And the rest is history, as they say.
The stag was aged at 8 years old and the largest I know of harvested for the 2007 Victorian season.
Here is the last pic I took of him , drinking at around midnight on the night of the season opening. Kind of erie isn't it ?
Scouting has already begun and the 338 edge is hungry !!
Hope you enjoyed the tale.