Hey that’s not my deer!

Sam was happy someone left this one for him to find

With exams looming and the slog of study week dragging me down, the sound of a quick getaway to the hills seemed like a dream to me, exactly what I needed but way out of reach.

That is until I got the message from Daryl (Crimpy) saying he needed a hand on a wallaby cull with the opportunity of a cheeky fallow. There was no hesitation and I quickly made plans to head down for a night hunt that Friday with him. The day came before I knew it and as I pulled out onto the highway, away from Christchurch, I couldn’t help but grin.

Several hours later Daryl and I were heading out into the crisp moonlit night and heading for the hills, thermals and rifle within arm’s reach. The following few hours consisted of shooting wallabies and continuously busting deer from surprisingly long distances. The full moon was doing us no favours and it seemed the prospect of a deer for the freezer was a far-off dream, and to think I thought this nighttime hunting was easy!

Sam happy to cull wallabies

After a good slog we decided to head back and get some shuteye before going out for another look later in the night. After a few hours lying in bed dreaming of all the venison running around the hills above me, we were back out and into it. It didn’t take long before Daryl dropped a beautiful fat fallow doe, which we quickly dealt with before continuing our hunt through the night.

Several hours later after successfully adding to our tally of pesky wallabies we spotted what we thought may have been a lone buck and after a good stalk Daryl put it on the ground with a perfect shot, it was then just a matter of locating it.

Daryl not shocked with this nice fallow buck

I hopped the fence to head over to where the deer was and turned around just in time to see Daryl receive a very generous dosage of electricity right between the legs. Once I had stopped laughing and Daryl had gotten over the rather nasty surprise, we headed

down and came across his beautiful fat buck, which we gutted and left to retrieve the following morning. With two deer down and a good tally of wallabies we decided it was time to call it a night, this decision was quickly changed as we rounded the corner to see a large mob of deer sprinting in all directions. After a few relocations across the hill face we finally got into a position with two deer 150 metres above us.

As far as we could tell through the thermal, they seemed to be small and young animals but venison is what I came for so I found as good a rest as I could on the edge of the side by side and took the shot, the deer dropped.

I grabbed the knife and the headtorch and sprinted up the hill but after a good search I couldn’t seem to find my deer, the only animal I could see was a big, bodied fallow further up the hill but that couldn’t possibly have been mine, the one I shot was just a yearling. I decided it was worth investigating though so I walked up to it and yelled back down to Daryl.

“I can’t find my deer, but someone else has left one up here.”

He promptly replied with something along the lines of, “That’s your deer you bloody idiot!”

I think the sleep deprivation may have gotten to me as it was in fact my deer. What a way to wrap up a bloody good night with my second ever fallow deer and a buck at that. I was going to be eating good for a while and with a fresh mind I was ready to jump right back into study, right after I’ve slept for 15 hours straight that is.

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