Hunting till the cows came home.
This morning was a real chore to get out of bed. We had hunted hard everyday and woken up at 4:30am everyday also. We were basically kaput and motivations levels were low. It had been around 40 degrees Celsius all week and it had definitely taken its toll, especially given the amount of kilometers we covered on foot each day.
Still, we had worked hard all week for each other and the boys were determined to help me get my bull, even if it was to go right down to the wire, which was where we already were the day before. Still we decided to stay for the morning hunt and this was definitely it. No turning back once we hit the highway back to Darwin.
The day dawned with thunder and lightning. A huge storm had built up and was driving through the region. As we hit the tracks, it was with some trepidation as to how well we would be able to get around the place and especially to the honey Paul T and I found the day before.
The rain had eased as we went, but it had definitely fallen and it is amazing to see just how fast the creeks come up in that country once a bit of moisture hits them. We came across the biggest mob of cows we had seen up in the burnt country on the way through. The big bull from the day before was with them, but this thing was like a sambar stag and took off flat strap as we came into view. I have a feeling that guy has been chased quite a bit going by his alertness and ability to evade us.
We headed down and around the hill we were on and reached our point we wanted top hunt from. We had a feeling where the bull went and headed there. Alan was to hunt near the car while the two Paul's and I entered the hidden valley that held so much promise, and buff, the day before and it was now a barren landscape. Not a single buff was spotted. We covered some eight kilometers that morning in a bid to find what we had worked so hard for. For the three of us to get a bull each would have been an awesome experience, especially given the amount of bulls we had only seen.
We came across a lone donkey and Paul T had a quick crack at him. These guys are efficient movers and I am pretty sure they get hunted harder than the buff given his skittishness. We were all keen to get a donkey, but this fella was not going to be the one. We caught him again and I had a go.
As he was on to me he took off again. I called out and asked him if he liked parfait, and he turned and stopped to look at me with a questioning gaze. I am sure in his head he was thinking what a stupid question I had asked, as he knew that everybody loves parfait so why would I even bother to ask. Still he didn't want to see if I really had some for him and he soon took off never to be seen again.
By then we had resigned ourselves for me to go home empty handed on the buff front and I was fine with that as the week had been awesome as it was. We checked the GPS and realised we had gone way off our intended course. We knew the ridge we had driven down in the morning was the closest point of reference so we headed there.
As we crested the ridge, a small mob of cows was seen feeding. We were about ready to call Alan on the radio to drive up to us and I turned to the boys and said what do you reckon, one last stalk and see how it goes. The boys agreed and Paul W followed me in with camera in tow.
All week I had tossed up taking a cow a few times, but wanted to hold off for a bull. I had seen some spectacular old girls that were really tempting and decided not to take the shot. Now though, literally in the last half hour of our stay, I thought what the hell, lets see what these heads can do on a live buff.
We closed in through the open burnt country very nicely as they fed away from us on a quartering angle. We hit the 40m mark and an arrow was on. It wasn't much further on and I hit 30m once again. She was quartering as I drew and then to a hard quartering angle as I went to release. I had to take a few steps to my right at full draw to open up the angle and she caught my movement, turning brilliantly into me and giving me a gift angle.
The arrow smacked her right up to the fletches and she made a run of only 80m before crashing down. On further inspection, the arrow had centered a rib on the way on and another on the way out before stopping on the opposite leg bone. Both lungs were smashed and the little 150 grain VPA two blade looked as though it hadn't touched a thing, such was its condition. I have never been so impressed with a heads performance and all the boys agreed that it is a stellar design.
Here is the old girl. Nowhere near as big s some we saw and she is broomed off on both horns. Still it capped a fine week and the boys were there to share the moment, which was the most important part of all.
We got Alan on the radio and we actually blew his stalk on a donkey, which was a real shame. He came and got us and we left the scene to start the long and drawn out journey home. I didn't get my bull, but I will be back next year to try again at a different time of year.
The week was a huge success on all fronts and you cannot get any better than going bush with a few mates and all put in so much effort for each others success. Paul W got some great footage, Paul T showed us just what a recurve can do and Alan got his best boar to date.
Thank you all so much for following along and hopefully we can do this all again in the not too distant future. I am really stuffed right now and need to get some sleep before a long week of catch up at work. I will get a big run down on the gear happening soon. Thank you once again, Antonio
|This is an Unguided Hunt sponsored by South Pacific Bowhunter Magazine!