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Above the 1500m contour

Above the 1500m contour

Report from May 2007

Francyboy invited me to join him this weekend in one of his spots, so I was more than happy to climb around some open country to see what was about. We headed off on saturday morning, and walked into where we would set up camp. On the way in we came across this nanny chamois at 220m.

and this stag and two hinds/

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The stag was very big in the body and antler, but unfortunately for us he was a 9pointer [fortunately for him ;D]..so we watched him through the spotting for about 10minutes before a gust of wind shot up the hill and spooked him.

We were 367m from him, so through the spotting scope we could pretty accurately identify how many points he had, length of tines, width of antlers, and length of antlers. He would have been a big 10 if he had grown out his right bez tine... maybe next year. Our guesstimate of size was 35inch W x 36inch L..

We pressed on further up the valley and did some more glassing and spotting, and then setup camp. Unfortunately I dont have any pics of camp, but we were tucked away nicely out of the wind in a cozy tussock gut, right beside a beautiful flowing stream. From camp we spotted several groups of deer, most of which were hinds, yearlings, and young stags.

We climbed up to 1700m for a quick look around the valley to assess the plans for the next morning, and spotted another group of hinds feeding on a face just on fading light, which was to be the direction we would go the following morning.

In the morning we headed up towards the tops to do a circuit out of the valley and glass from the top and we stumbled onto this cast antler - very similar to the stag we had seen the day before... scarily identicle!! This cast antler would probably have exceeded 40inches, but we didnt have a tape measure so cant be sure.

A typical trait is that these stags have very strong brow and trez tines. The bez tines tend to be under-deveoped, or not developed at all..

So we carried on up the valley with our camping gear and food [we packed as light as we could for the circuit route] and on our ascent we glassed another group of deer, consisting of a spiker, young 8pointer and two hinds about 900m away.

We pressed on further and picked out a group of very curious hinds, which we roared and barked at for over 20minutes before we decided to continue our ascent, and push them further up the hill. We got them into about 150m from us.

Once we were up ontop it was a bone chilling wind, that would have put a halt to sailing at the Americas Cup - in order to glass we had to lie down with our packs in front of us, with only our eyes peering above the shelter of the pack with the binos held firmly against our eye sockets.

WE glassed and glassed and glassed and only saw one animal, a stag which I was unable to make out the size of. It was too windy for the spotting scope to hold still, so we carried on back towards the vehicle taking the odd photo as we went along the ridgeline out. It was very exposed and no tucker... however, there had been animals traverse across this range in several places to get to alpine pastures on the otherside of the valley./

All in all we had a great overnighter, seeing plenty of game. Hopefully that stag grows another year, because my pickings is he will be a big 11-12pointer depending on whether he grows out that right bez tine.

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