The last year has been very hectic so I forgot to do a roar trip report , so seeing as we are coming up to this roar I thought I would give you guys a recap of a rather uneventful return to one of my favorite places.
This hut holds some of my fondest memories as it one of the first places I was taken for the roar, so, as I quite often organize the roar trip, I thought I would return the favor and take someone new .
If you follow us you would have seen Rachael from Ridgeline as part of our pig hunting and fishing team, she was keen to come with us so that made our team of 6.
The first day of the roar trip is always full of excitement and memories of trips past, the drive down to the heli pad and then flight into the hut was uneventful and as soon we landed I got Rachael ready and we headed up river to check out the river slips and clearings .
The lack of sign on the river flats was a bad omen and sure enough we didn’t see any sign of deer on the way down, so we sat and watched a slip for awhile, then climbed 100m up on the hut side and stalked back with no fresh sign or roaring to be seen or heard .
I decided to head over into the next catchment to scout a ridge that I shot a stag on once before. We dropped off the main track and down to the river, took some pics, rehydrated, and headed off up the ridge and again we were stunned by the amount of foliage and feed available but no deer sign.
So after having a snack up on top of the ridge in my spot, we headed over to the next ridge. Then, as we were dropping into the next ridge, a hind came walking along a game trail below us, after waiting a second to see if Rachael was going to take the shot, I dropped it (Later, I found out that she had been given a bollocking by someone for taking a shot early. So I told her that as long as I was not in the firing line, to take the shot!!
We cut the deer up, put most of the hind in my Vorn 42l pack, and started the long slog home. By the time we got to the main track, my quads were cramping up. By the time we reached the hut river my hamstrings were cramping as well (I now take a supplement called Huntsmart or take magnesium pills).
Was rather uneventful, we went up and along the hut river to check out some slips with still very little sign, then headed back as Rachael had a sore knee from the previous day and sorted camp life, fortunately Les and Kev spooked a spiker and Les managed to pull off a Texas heart shot , so we had 2 in the tree and we set up the shower for those that were keen.
The fourth day saw us heading up to the “hanging forest” (one of my favorite places) but this meant a climb to 3937ft, as we climbed we started to see a bit of sign and Rachael spooked a big animal on the way up however no chance of a shot. We hunted the top for a bit with it providing the most sign seen so far, but headed back as Rachael’s knee was still bothering her.
Day 5 Final Day Hunting
Two pairs of us heading up 'heartbreak' with us bringing up the rear as we were a bit buggered from the last 4 days. As were having a breather, 2 deer that Rich and Les had spooked came running past us .
Rachael had a shot at the hind but after an extensive search no blood was found, so we continued up past where Rich and Les had turned off the track for about 600m then dropped off into a gut out of the wind and that had lots of sun and sat and watched for awhile.
Rachael’s knee was starting to play up again, so we decided to head back. We climbed out of the gut to the knife edge ridge and headed for the track, we were just talking normally and as I rounded a tree there was a yearling standing in the sun so I put my fingers in my ears and froze. Rachael noticed my body language and popped around the tree and one shot dropped the yearling!
After the customary congratulations and pictures, we took all the meat and the skin, as it was the last day and headed back to camp heavy and happy, I felt the pressure her getting a deer lift and Rachael was stoked with her deer.
Once back at camp it didn’t take much convincing to get Kevy to put the cast-iron oven on the fire to roast a deer leg for Dinner. Gradually everyone else returned to camp and as it turned out, Rach and I were the only ones to get anything that day. However, one of the reasons why deer numbers were low became apparent!
When Richard came back to camp he told us that they had found a poisoned stag that wasn’t long dead , they had stalked in on it thinking it was asleep but when he got closer he gave a yell to get it to stand and nothing happened so they walked over and saw the neck twisted around and the bloody foam around the mouth.
Had the deer moved it would have been shot and we would have eaten 1080 poisoned meat so we were very lucky!
Hot Barrels! Keep Safe! And introduce someone new to our beautiful country!