‘Hart’ & Soul of the hunt

Nestled amidst the Kaikoura hinterland, the hut was a welcome sight on that clear August dawn. The omens were good: fine weather and plenty of deer sightings. The objective was to get my son his first deer—a fitting present for his thirteenth birthday.

As we lazed on the deck late in the morning, a small mob of fallow appeared on the top bush line. We went to scout a suitable spot to return for an evening hunt. Looking over the mob, we singled out a young stag that looked to be in very good condition, despite it having been a very wet and cold winter. We settled on a location and a time to return later that afternoon.

As the sun dipped behind the Kaikoura Ranges, the shadows lengthened and we crept into position. The question that hung in the air was, “Would the fallow return?”

The answer came forty-five minutes later as the chocolate coloured animals filtered into view; time and location couldn’t have been better. The young stag was first out, followed by a few spikers and hinds.

Nestling in behind the rifle, Soul got his breathing under control and waited for the stag to present a good shot. Then he squeezed the trigger and waited for the projectile to do the rest. It was a tidy shot and his birthday present was in the bag—a plump fallow buck and the first deer of the weekend.

We continued hunting and I got another stag and spiker— both also in good condition.

Thanks to the people who let us hunt their properties

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