Willis Macbeth – Buck Time

January 16, 2014

As the afternoon came around, it was time to split up and try our luck.  Callum headed up one creek and I tried another which I had hunted a bit before and was quite familiar with.  At the mouth of the creek I glassed over the main river to a set of slips about 300m away.  Sunning himself in amongst the fern was a nice looking buck.  The afternoon sun glinted off the horns of the bedded buck.  Without a spotting scope I was difficult to gauge precisely how big he was, but I doubted he was 10” which was really what I was after.

The sun had been out for a couple of hours now and it was starting to heat up, not ideal hunting conditions when the sun is raging down on you.  A glance towards the towering alps in the head of the creek showed cloud hanging around the peaks which cast inviting shadows.  This is where the animals will be I convinced myself, and off I headed up the creek.  As I neared the head of the creek the shadows and cool air that came with it was a pleasant change.  This is where I wanted to be.  Up around the next corner usually held a population of animals. I snuck up the creek, prepared for action.   I got in the thick of it, with chamois all around me.  Photographing and watching their shenanigans for an hour and a half from my hiding spot was quite entertaining.  At one stage one buck chased another away and came back with blood on his side, obvious just giving the other one a tune up!  One other younger chamois had half of its face covered in blood, it looked like it had fallen and smashed a horn.  Anyway it became apparent my 10” buck wasn’t here today. 

Buck that snuck in for a look
Buck that snuck in for a look

 

Chamois
Chamois

 

Young buck chamois
Young buck chamois

 

Another buck
Another buck

I headed back down the creek, clambering around the house sized boulders.  With the benefit of the wind in my face, within 5 minutes a nice buck was spotted just ahead on the opposite side of the creek.  The cool evening breeze was shifty, but my XTR jacket was again keeping me at just the right temperature, with the armpit dump vents keeping me cool in moments of exertion.  The buck’s demeanor indicated it knew something was up but it hadn’t spotted me, possibly the fact I had walked up the creek a couple of hours early had left my scent around.  A quick study of his trophy potential indicated that he was well over 9” and worth taking, so a well-placed shot brought down the beast.  He measured 9 ¾” on his best side and a little less on the other.  He was only a small animal but his teeth showed he was quite an old buck and was as good as he was going to get.

9 3/4" inch buck
9 3/4″ inch buck

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