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NZ Stags and Hogs continued

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BCButcher

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So after a hotel night, laundry and a good feed that included many beverages (this was the theme of the whole trip, way more beer than I anticipated) we raced southwest toward mount cook national park.

We found a tent site outside park boundaries and went to the visitor centre to look for a map. Every person there was a hunter and very helpful. So we came up with a plan of attack. Spent the night in a beautiful location and got up early to start climbing66D9BDEA-FC97-4D69-AB58-4BD02D8AD86B.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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There is a pile of private property in this area but you can avoid it by going up the creek bottoms into the mountains. Once past the fences you climb straight up. We watered up before leaving but a whole day in the sun dried us up pretty good.

We found tahr, lots of tahr but they were all cows as far as I could tell. And they were Waay up in the nosebleed section due to the heat.

We came down via shortcut late in the evening. I navigated right into a huge patch of gorse that once again we had to belly crawl the last 100 yards. BEE20EA2-6080-456F-ABAF-71198290B129.jpeg7FA065E8-0896-47C5-BBBA-56B258BBA32B.jpeg8FBC9E7F-F994-4023-8AF9-C8D424B286C3.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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So we had a discussion about taking a heli in from mount cook for a couple days in the hills but we had a rendezvous to make with another friend down in the Hampden area and for the cost of a trip we just didn’t have enough time. So back on the road again and headed south. We met Morgan at the local pub and followed him out to his place in the hills. He calls it the cabin but with three bedrooms and full amenities, it’s much better than that. AC20864D-EAA6-46DB-84EE-C4B542068203.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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Morgan is a pig hunter from a pig hunting family. He brought along two of his younger dogs to give them some work. Cash and Irie are the sweetest pig hatin’ Dogs you will ever meet. 52E9914C-8A00-4A2A-92AD-7DC069FFD5BD.jpeg3D5A67B5-3640-41F5-8C62-B3B1FF41AFFB.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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The plan was to get out with quads in the early morning each day, glass the hills for deer, maybe do a little roaring, and let the dogs cast for pigs. The bush is thick and the ground is steep and rocky with lots of pokey sharp plants. 4AD93487-4C5A-492A-8ED2-877215AB23EE.jpeg9642F461-CE0A-4762-9240-3F29C53F619E.jpegA3046B9F-B95C-4B5A-AFA7-80C4176F825B.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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You’ll notice Morgan is wearing chaps and a canvas jacket in these pics. This is the uniform of pig hunters in this country. Our guide up on the east cape wore them as well. These are the guys who are not squealing like pigs every time they have to push a little bush. My Kuiu Attack pants took an absolute beating on this hunt. And my rain gear took it even worse. Ah well, lesson learned. D1A7A54B-CABD-422F-AE09-DD11E4F8B9EE.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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We hadn’t glassed 10 minutes on the first morning when Morgan spotted a stag tending two hinds maybe 1km away. He says to me “you better make a stalk on this deer, I don’t have too many on the property. This may be all we see.”

So my son and I head off to circle downwind of this stag. Morgan and partner head the other way. As soon as we’re out of ear shot they put eyes on another stag and a monster hog on another ridge. Well partner has left his rifle in the cabin and Morgan is only carrying his 32 lever action so they decide to release the dogs to try bailing up the hog. The hog wants none of that and heads north at a rapid pace.

Meanwhile I have crept over a couple ridges and down on top of the three deer. All I had to do was wait for a clear shot. The stag stopped for a look around at 80 yards and I put a 200 grain ballistic silver tip right between his shoulder blades. I was shooting from a bluff straight down.

He was a small stag but a first for me so I was pleased.

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BCButcher

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So the rest of the morning we spent taking pics, dressing and quartering deer. It was about the size of a big muley buck. Luckily we only had to pack it a couple hundred yards across to a quad trail. There was also a nearby cell tower so we called in the quads to get us out. 00BE7628-341B-4647-A116-7ED1585D1468.jpeg084BDAB6-013A-4916-94E5-9FA87294ECBD.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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We got the deer hung in the shed and went for some lunch and a siesta. A couple hours before dark we headed out again. This time we switched partners and I went with Morgan.

I don’t know what happened that day but the stags were ROARING. Between the two groups we had six or seven going crazy in the bush. I have a video but it doesn’t want to upload.

At any rate, Morgan and I have some bulls on the go but can’t get them to come out. Meanwhile partner and my son are talking to a bunch and a good one steps out at 200ish yards. Partner dumps him and he rolls down a steep bank. A beauty! Morgan is beside himself. Biggest stag ever taken on his property. 86A94A9B-A8D5-4F26-B82F-4597C0F1FF14.jpeg856692C1-1783-4E6C-A627-BDC5B43074AE.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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Thanks big Lew. I saved for a long time to do this. My kid too. He paid his plane ticket and a good portion of expenses as well.

And it’s not over yet....
 

BCButcher

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We left the second stag on the hill overnight. After all, it’s not like a bear was going to drag it off!

In the morning partner and the kid went back to get it boned out. Morgan and I were going to give the dogs a run, then meet up and help pack meat. Well sometimes things don’t work out like you planned.

We got on pigs early and often. We let the little ones go but I wanted to take one with a knife so Morgan let me go in alone with the dogs. HOLY COW what a scene! Fortunately for me these pigs weren’t the biggest or most aggressive so I got them flipped and stuck without issue. 5EBA0A46-14CC-4FF8-8151-F0202AADE8DB.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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We did put up a big sow but Morgan wanted to let her go so we had to tether the dogs up. She did her best to do some damage in the mean time but it all worked out. ( got an email last week from Morgan. He got into a big boar that tore his dogs up pretty badly and managed to escape. Dogs are going to be okay)

The big bonus of the morning is that the other crew packed stag two out while we chased pigs. 9D761428-1FF2-46B7-B81A-0672FBA6057C.jpeg211C7EA8-8E16-4E0B-97E2-31B31EE38D0D.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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We had to say goodbye to Morgan and the dogs the next day. So after processing all the meat, which was a lot, we all went to the town of Moeraki and celebrated in the local pub. We loaded the car and headed northeast for banks peninsula and the last leg of our trip.
 

Foxton Gundogs

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Dan, What compensation package do we have for the "staff" my "like finger" is almost unusable now.

Image result for bandaged index finger image
 

BCButcher

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Next stop, Akaroa! We had a day to kill when we got there as our host was busy out of town so we took a hike to one of the local viewpoints. This place is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever been. 7D840549-17A3-4DFF-AE2A-E9C707C1188E.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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Friend David has a lot of permission on local properties to the west of this area. We hiked in the next morning at 0-dark-thirty through big tussock and gorse country.

At daybreak we had a group of deer picked out about thee km away. Two stags were chasing hinds and each other up and down the hills.

It took about an hour to cross a couple steep thick canyons and close the distance to 700 or so yards. As luck would have it one group splintered off and headed our way. The stag (another young one) stepped out and stood proudly broadside at 454 yards. There was a quick dial up on the CDS scope and the kid punched him through the ribs. Third stag down on our last day of hunting. CC0F962F-7A3A-41F5-80FC-F20C7DD2FA17.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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267E81E2-CDA7-4526-8554-231D14FF5194.jpegThis one was a little bigger than mine but luckily we had four guys to pack it out. Aside from the usual jungle and thorns it all went pretty smoothly.
 

BCButcher

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One more night on the town and we had to make tracks north to catch our plane home.

I have to say, I thought a month over there would have been enough. Not even close. We got about 50% of what we wanted done I think.

We have been invited back to do some more and it looks like we’re going to do that in 2020. F0A8C3E6-1ECD-465D-8A8C-22B02264888B.jpeg
 

BCButcher

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One more note. All the meat from every critter we took was packed out and utilized. This is a country where you can shoot and leave anything you want.

Two small stags are getting euro mounted and the bigger one is getting shoulder mounted.
 

BCButcher

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You know, he has always been a cool hand on a rifle. Even as a little guy he would shoot rifles and shotguns fearlessly. He’s a lot like my wife’s dad. Big and calm.
 
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