So about a week ago I spent 6 days up in gisborne, hunting, trapping and building sheepyards.
After a few close run ins with the resident deer population, due to some noisy motorbikes and the neighbours rowdy dogs, I decided to bush hunt the deer as we had only a few days left.
So next morning, I was away at daylight standing at the side of a stream which had deer somewhere upstream. After a few hours of sneaking around the gully, I was rewarded with the sight of of a deer. Unfortunately, it was a fallow hind, which wasn't on the targeted species list for that area. After giving it a bit of space, I was able to evade the beast and carry on hunting the gully.
An hour of fruitless stalking later, I decided that the deer had stopped moving around for the morning and that it was time for me to head home. Just as I turned around a movement caught my eye. A large beautifully even, pair of palmated antlers were moving periodically among the pungas. Now heres a good opportunity, I reckoned to myself, Ill get a photo of him. So the stalk began as I bellycrawled towards him, camera in hand and dragging the gun behind. Sometime as this was happening, the wind must have slightly changed, drifting and swirling away to my right. Seconds later, three red stags came galloping around the corner, catching me without cover and just about running me over. Just at the last moment they turned slightly evading me and rapidly making their exit up the opposite bush face. Of course I was way too slow for them and I was left a bit emptyhanded, with no pictures and no meat. If only id had it set to video, the footage would've been epic.
By now I decided it really was time to head home. Of course, I only walked about 100 metres before reddish brown something caught my attention standing behind a punga away up the hill. The binos came up to verify, yes its a deer, looks like a small red yearling by the colour and size of it. It must have been disturbed by the ruckus below, and was busy trying to figure out what the strange creature with the pointy stick was doing below. The shot cleanly took the animal in the only part I could see, the shoulder and lungs, and dropped it on the spot. As I climbed up to it however, I heard a weak mebaaeh. Its last breath, but enough to tell me what I'd shot wasn't a yearling red. It turned out to be a fallow spiker, one of the few fallow which occupy that area.
A few possums were also caught for the trip, but catches only picked up as we were leaving, typical. I suppose the moral of the story is properly identify your target next time.