Today dawned fine and clear and of course, hot. We hit the block on daybreak with the plan of finding the pigs we came across on last light. The boys went after them whilst I sat back and glassed. They managed to spook a couple, but the wind and the cattle were killers.
We then headed off to hopefully find some big bulls out feeding before they would find their beds along the creeks. As we approached the first drying lagoon of water, a pig was spotted before it spotted us. We quickly got out of the car and approached with the wind in our face. There ended being about 10 pigs on the water, all wallowing up. They were very quiet as they moseyed in the mud and the biggest obstacle we had to face was the hundred or more Whistler ducks danced their merry dance as they flocked to and fro around the water's edge.
These birds make quite the fuss and move on the ground as like a flock of pigeons in the air. They are a huge nemesis in the top end as when they are spooked, they all fly making massive amounts of high pitched noise, hence the name, Whistler ducks.
This is a pic of the hogs snapped before the stalk commenced
Paul W and I rounded one side of the lagoon and allowed the pigs to do the work for us. They did just what we needed them to and cut a swathe through the noisy ducks, whom we feared would give us up at any moment. As Alan joined us, I set up for the shot whilst Paul W got the camera going. The biggest boar bedded next to a younger boar and I got the range at 30m. We were behind small sand hill and there was no more cover from that point.
Giving Paul the nod and getting Alan ready also, I slipped the arrow down through the side of the neck, getting full penetration right through the length of the pig and poked the broadhead out where the sun doesn't shine from. He simply stood, turned once and flopped down, without even making the slightest huff. The other pigs came to him and sniffed him before getting nervous. Alan had a crack at the other decent boar, but sent it over its back. They shot off and Paul T, who was waiting nearby nearly got the drop on them, but it wasn't to be as the wind swirled.
Next stop was when we spotted a few more hogs in an open paddock with a buffalo wallow in the middle of it. Paul W and Alan went for it and I held the camera. We got very close before being winded, but they didn't go far. Alan snuck in and then a couple of pigs that were left out in the open realised they were being left behind and bolted...straight at us.
I had to quickly tell Alan not to shoot and Paul as I were in the line of fire behind him as that was where the pigs ran to. He didn't draw knowing the case and as the pigs ran right between Paul and I, Paul had to give one a kick as it hit his tripod, which brought about a fair squeal. This then bought the original mob back and Alan had a go at a decent boar, but the long grass caught his shot and they all took off. It was a great bit of action all round and we got a good laugh out of it.
After being winded...Here they come
Not long after we spotted more pigs. Paul T went for it and as they caught our wind, which shifted all day by the way as always, Paul let fly and shot just under a solid boar. He snapped his Ashby head at the ferrule and we were a little surprised at that. Anyways, onward we went.
Before the stalk
Pretty cool sight here. The ashen remains of a fallen tree
We then followed a creek where we found the good buff yesterday. Paul W and I headed up one side of the creek and Paul T and Alan went the other. As Paul and I climbed a steep bank that turned into a rock wall, we saw ripples in the water and thought ahhaa, buffalo swimming. As we crept to the edge for the shot, a huge buff busted out and stood on the bank in all his glory. He was a huge sweeper with at least a 6 foot span and the back end of an elephant, he was massive. He was looking down the creek as he had winded and then spotted the boys. What a disappointment at missing a golden opportunity. This beast left dinner plate sized prints in the sand as he took off.
We caught up with him again and Paul got to 70m with great cover before the wind blew him out again. Paul T joined us and then we got on to a couple of mature cows. He skillfully got into 10m and decided not to shoot. The cow then caught him out and they busted off.
One of the cows
We left the area and headed to another. We spotted a few cows and old bluey brown and then we saw another nice beast. Paul T was up again and this bull got better as we stalked him. Paul W and I stood to the side while Paul finished the stalk. As he got to 30m, the bull swung back and eyed him. The wind had swung and Paul was sprung. The game was up and he was out. Getting closer all the time now.
Game is up brother
Alan then spotted what was to be an awesome experience. There was a cow, calf and two young bulls having a swim. We snuck in and Paul W got the footage of a lifetime (well for us anyway) as they swum and played in afternoon heat. It was amazing to watch, as they rubbed licked and vocalised with each other. They would hold their heads under for ages and come and flick their ears around and throw water everywhere. We were lucky to witness the show and it will stay with me for a long time to watch what we did.
First spot of the pod of porpoise buff.
We then left them to explore new ground, seeing mobs of cow buff with young bulls and one more big beast that was running before we saw it as it was downwind. We stalked a mob of pigs and got blown again before Paul got a shot at a boar that jumped the string massively after watching the playback.
Last mob that was stalked
That was it for day two. Tune in again tomorrow for another update and we are hoping one of us takes a buff tomorrow.
|This is an Unguided Hunt sponsored by South Pacific Bowhunter Magazine!