A few of us “ladies” got together on Saturday 5th August for a hunt courtesy of Richard and Sarah Burdon at Glen Dene Station.
Eight of us (plus Higgie and Scott) met at dawn, paired up with our buddies, had a quick briefing, and off we went. I was really excited to be on a hunt somewhere new for me, and seeing other women out there doing it. My (limited) experience of hunts over the past few years has always been with men and it was my first time on an Upper Clutha Deerstalkers hunt.
Alice and I drove up the hill and after walking barely 20 minutes into the closest boundary of the block, I took a long shot at a small fallow grazing . . . but I missed. My mistake, being too keen, too early.
We hiked up the bracken face to a spur (where Alice had spotted a lone deer) and through a small cluster of native trees. We then had views down into the valley and across to the far side where there were probably 20-30 deer.
Yes! But how to get to them without being seen, smelled or heard by a single one of them. That’s a lot of eyes in difficult territory!
After some excited whispering and deciding tactics, we decided to cut across our valley side to a saddle and take a peek down the east facing slope first (looking back down towards Lake Hawea), before considering how we might get closer to the main group of deer across the valley.
Once at the saddle, Alice spotted three deer grazing in a bowl across from us, and encouraged me to creep up on them, hide behind a large rock and take the shot from there.
Yes! – a clean hit.
My young hind sprang into the air, then rolled a few meters down the slope to come to rest on a nice grassy ledge. It was a perfect place for a snack and then Alice spent some time teaching me useful gutting and hind-leg-removal skills.
We walked slowly back down the hill in unseasonably warm August afternoon sunshine, with heavy packs and happy banter.
Spotted a few more deer and two amazing stags (strictly off limits) as we went. Then off to the pub with Erica for a well earned drink and hot chips.
“Ladies” hunt days are great fun, and a way to meet new people, learn more skills, and access new terrain –
Thank You, Richard & Sarah Burdon, and Higgie as well.