Bulls eye on bull tahr

Damien Archibold with a tank of a bull.It had hooves the size of a medium stag

Driving the last couple hours to our destined creek, where Damo and myself were going to day hunt, the excitement began to set in. Pulling up to a sky full of stars indicated we were in for a cracking morning.

It didn’t take long to get up the creek’s main section following, what we thought was, a bit of fresh stag sign about.

Stopping for a drink and a bite to eat amongst a rock garden, my half-eaten sandwich was soon thrown down, followed by a “F*** me, quick, get back behind me.”

A big dark scrub bull had just emerged out of the bush 40 metres away and was walking towards us. I quickly reached down for the Sako and chambered a round. Picking my moment carefully, I squeezed off, connecting with the bull and launching him forwards to his final resting stop.

We were both subdued after what just went down, especially Damo as it was his first time being up close to such a beast of a creature.

I started head skinning my bull but not long before I finished, Damo informed me he had spotted another one in a clearing, 480m away.

George was absolutely stoked with his nine-yearold scrub bull

Grabbing the binos, I locked onto him and instantly knew he was another tank of a bull. Unfortunately, there was no way we could recover the bull if we shot him where he was and he fed on down, into the bush, out of sight.

Hatching a plan, we navigated through some tight bush to get a better look at an area for the shot but we hadn’t laid eyes on the bull for over an hour.

“There goes an animal. What’s that one,” Damo asked.

A young bull was feeding right down low on a steep chute. He was doing his thing, enjoying his life, when a big bull appeared out of nowhere, high up on a clearing. Again, we took some time to decide. Ideally, we needed the big bull to drop down 50m from where he was to even consider a shot. At this point we were relying on him sliding down out of the steep stuff.

The bull was fixed on the location before starting to head back up into a steep bluff face. The steep bluff face we didn’t want him anywhere near.

Damo hadn’t shot a tahr before, let alone a big mature scrub bull, so we decided to take the shot.

The bullet found its mark, the bull rearing right up high in the air before starting a descent down across the face. Damo didn’t waste any time with follow up shots; it was “game on, game over” for the bull.

“Geezz you were lucky mate—that bull was basically gone before that last shot.”

Before Damo shot his bull, we had already pieced together the route of recovery, so wasted no time getting over to check it out.

The bull was hooked up around some trees but we managed to maneuver him off and down on to a small rock gutter ledge.

After an epic photo session, it was time for another head skinning job. It was a good feeling packing out a big old stinky scrub bull each.

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