From a big family with four older Sisters comes a bit of respect for the fairer sex, respect was ingrained at a young age when I realised having them as allies rather than enemies would make life a heck of a lot easier. So never sexist either when hanging with these girls that can ride horses, run marathons and shoot guns as good as most blokes its always been easy to see a hunter chick with lethal tinted goggles.
So with ease we have had the pleasure of hosting a number of gals that hunt, from TV celebrities to school kids and they have all had one thing in common, one shot kills and no mucking around. There is always talk about Multi tasking and how men cant do it very well there is also theory that maternal genetics of the female give some sort of advantage when under pressure, all things being equal these days there are growing number of young girls picking up a weapon and becoming lethal, a focussed attention to detail in what is required and by crikey a slower pulse less effected by adrenaline when some fellas would in fact fall to bits a good huntress can make the shot..
So a 17 year old from North Carolina gets here with her Dad on day 1 at the rifle range it was easy to see that Lauren was here to do the business with a big stag her handling of a 7ml Rem mag no problems, we were at ease with her marksmanship it was now up to me to find a good stag.
As Winter comes stags are feeding up, hunger driven by sometimes inclement climate and a requirement to replace rut lost condition even with the shorter days its easy to find them, get a basin which is sheltered with plenty of grass and there will be animals–what I was confident of is seeing a few stags but would we find a big old stag for Lauren–time would only tell.
Above : Lauren watches over a nice basin, in my pre hunt scouting I had seen a good Red Stag grazing here.
So with Day one finding some nice animals but not quite the big Stag wanted we would plan to hunt elsewhere in fact several km’s away a good valley which hadn’t been hunted for two months . We had a good feeling about the evening there was a slight breeze in our favour, thermals wouldn’t really be a problem and if we could get to a good spot to look from we would find stags eventually. What I like about this valley is the fact that we drop into it and there is lots of cover however it was taken a bit cheaply and as confident and relaxed as I could be on this stalk I was reminded by the sight of fleeing deer that plans are so often broken, as a guide when clients look at you after this happens its a good idea not to show panic so even when the bloody siren is screaming inside–you try your best to act cool and very quickly invent plan b so it had seemed you had it tucked up your sleeve in case this happened anyways. What the problem was, three stags were out feeding and not where I expected them to be , fortunately all three were young animals not mature trophy stags but the damage deer do when they run through a gully like that can so often bite you in the arse, I was praying to the hunting gods that these animals would go to cover and stop, they hadn’t smelt us which was a bonus in my experience here deer seeing you will make them flee, smelling and seeing you– say good bye. We had several hours of daylight and it was a good spot so we would wait till dark. I knew one thing, there was more than three stags in this valley and we didn’t see those spooked run up the other side and jump the fence so getting into a good spot overlooking the expected grazing area would do us for now .
What happened an hour later was prayers answered a Lone stag appeared down to our left grazing oblivious to us , I didn’t spot this animal first it was Laurens Dad that saw him, the fact he was a good hunter had helped, again I was surprised we hadn’t seen him earlier this animal had most likely been under our noses and well bedded when the spooked trio ran for cover, he had come out by himself so often the case with old animals wanting solitude away from any sparing wannabe warriors.
So with plenty of time we adjusted focus to crawl over to the edge of the clearing this would get us 150 yards from the animal the wind was not perfect now so we needed to get into position, I didn’t really want to get Lauren any more wound up than she should she needed to be so we slowed things right down and talked briefly about the shot, easy 150 yards this was 150 yards less than the range shots she nailed, I asked her to take her time, this stag had no idea we were there (yet) so get steady right on his shoulder and only start the shot when the cross hairs were dead on, focus on the spot on the shoulder. Whether I needed to say all of this I will never know but I guess we were all a bit nervous–I know for a fact I at that age would have been a real mess..
Laurens time taken was perfect I had a quick glance at the muzzle tip it was rock solid no moving, her two hands holding steady in conjunction with the bipod this was sniper set—ready..Boom… the stag took flight but from 10X I had seen all I needed he turned and fell right there, the relief was written all over her face as it probably had been mine and a very proud dad stood there jubilant as a giddy school kid.
The Stag was a big old stag the largest taken here this season he was also the last stag taken this season which was pretty cool, this guy had been around and eluded all, for the sake of needing food he got lazy and came out. I was pretty happy to see a young huntress succeed at this level, look out big game animals here comes Lauren..
My favourite bit of gear this winter has been the Element Jacket in Desolve Bare, it is easily the nicest addition to my wardrobe of winter hunting clothing . The fact it is lined , warm and waterproof not to mention quick drying and very light make it the ultimate outer layer, it is even worn to town on the odd occasion so I should throw in stylish and totally wearable down town. This is the ultimate jacket by far and easily my favourite Hunters Element garment .
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