My wife describes guided hunting as “chardonnay hunting”, if that’s hunting with Jeremy on Otamauri Station then I want more chardonnay!
Essentially, it was the most exciting day’s hunting that I’ve ever experienced. I have never before been in a situation where I’ve been surrounded by five large stags roaring their heads off, one sounding like an enraged elephant. Stags seemed to be coming in from all directions, with a magnificent 11 pointer suddenly appearing across the ravine in response to Jeremy’s roaring. He was looking for trouble and the next thing we knew was right behind us, before he winded us and disappeared. How such a large animal can move so through the bush so quietly is beyond me. While we didn’t get a stag at that spot the experience of being able to watch stags roaring, rounding up their hinds and chasing off intruders was worth it alone. The young fella that I had brought with me, who has been hunting on public land for the last 6 months and had’t seen a deer, was stoked and was soaking up Jeremy’s knowledge of deer behavior and the importance off very slight changes in wind and temperature, and most of all the virtue of patience.
I managed to bag my stag just as the light was about to go. He had been roaring for hours at a couple of other stags but just refused to emerge from the kanuka, so we went in after him just before the light went. We got within 40 – 50 yards of him, right were Jeremy thought he’d be, but in the gloom of the kanuka it was very hard to get a decent sight picture. Jeremy gave a roar, he turned and I took the shot. I thought I had missed as he ran and I fired again and he disappeared into the gloom. All seemed to be lost, but then we heard a crashing sound higher up the gully and we ran up and found him down. He was a huge old gnarly 10 pointer, who had clearly seen a lot of action judging by the condition of some of his tines and wounds on his flank. At the end of the day it was really the icing on the cake for me.
We returned early the next morning so the young fella could bag his first deer and it wasn’t long before he was lined up on a lone hind at 235 yards. Jeremy talked him through the shot and down went the hind, with the bullet going straight through the heart. A great shot to top off a great weekends hunting.
Jeremy was also able to arrange for the processing of the meat and mounting of the head, which was a great help.
Many thanks to Jeremy and Janine.