Well what can I say? Bow hunting... I'M HOOKED!
The trip to NZ was awesome in more ways than one, but lets focus on the hunting.
The total trip tally for animals was 4 Goats, 2 Hares and 2 Rabbits, all with my bow
Here is a recount of my hunting adventures. If its too long, feel free just to look at the pictures... also I am kind of just blurting this out of my head, so punctuation etc might not be the best, sorry!
Some of you have already seen the first one I shot, it was not a big one, but it presented a good shot and my arrow found its mark.
I spotted two of them across the valley from me, about 200m away and it was at this stage I realised how different the hunt was about to get. I was in a position where usually I could have started shooting them if I had a rifle, but now I had to plan my stalk and how I could get close enough for a shot, pretty exciting!
So I dumped my backpack, then made my way down into the bottom of the gully and then I started heading up the same slope I had seen them on. As I started to get close to where I thought they were, I could not see them anywhere and I almost thought I might have spooked them and they had taken off. However as I slowly made my way up further, one suddenly took a step forward from behind a bush and it was head down grazing.
I ducked down even lower and crept up to a bush that was a bit closer and would put me about 10m away from the goat. While crouched I drew the bow back and then slowly stood up from behind the bush, just as I took the shot the goat spotted me, but it was too late for it and the arrow found its mark.
The goat took off out of sight and I was so elated that I had hit my first animal, that nocking another arrow into the bow didn't even register as a good idea. Just as I crouched back down behind the bush again, the other goat appeared in exactly the same spot, clueless as to what was going on. This was my second recognition of the difference between rifle and bow hunting, stealth! The adrenaline was pumping and I managed to nock another arrow, however I stood up a bit fast and the second goat spotted me mid draw and took off over the edge and down into the dry creek.
I am sitting back down and thinking to myself, 'I know I should sit tight for awhile so the goat doesn't go far', however I am keen to see if there is any blood, as the tracking part of archery interests me as well. So I head up to the spot where I had hit the goat and it didn't take long to find blood and it was lung blood. This pumped me up even more and I was almost uncontrollably excited, so giving into my urges, I went and followed the good trail of blood. Lucky for me though, the trail ended quickly with a downed goat.
Photos: (Hidden for Marc
I'll keep the next ones brief, as it was really just the first experience I wanted to share and capture. I actually have some videos that I will try and share with you all, just so you can see they hills that I grew up on and there is a funny goat stand off.
I went back out the next day and hiked up the hill, way too much walking for this unfit desk jockey, I was dead for the next three days. I missed the goat that features in the video, but I learned about shooting down slopes with a bow the hard way and my arrow sailed clean over the top of the goat and I was only about 6m away from it... doh!
Over the next few days I managed to shoot 2 rabbits, the place is over run by them at the moment and the two I shot were in Mum's garden, I don't have any pictures of those sadly as they went straight to the dog.
I went out for another goat hunt and got spotted by the herd, so I decided to just head back as it was late afternoon and the light was fading. On my way back, I managed to shoot not one, but two Hares and I turned one of them into an amazing stew!
On my last day of hunting I went to a new location about 4km down the road from my folks place and managed to bag another three goats. Conditions were awesome for it, there was a strong wind that was coming across the hill and this meant that the goats were predictable and would be tucked into the gully's that were out of the wind, easy to get in close to them!
The first one I shot front on right in the pocket from about 3m away and it went down on the spot. Again too excited that I had dropped one, I did not nock another arrow and yet another goat popped out of a bush and stood there for a good 3 seconds, had I another arrow nocked he would have been easy as well. We had seen some other goats take off just up the hill from us, so I decided to leave the goat there and we took off after the others. About 5 minutes later I managed to bag another black one, my shot was a touch high, but it did not go anywhere all the same. So we dragged that one back down to the first goat as it was only about 100m away, the advantage of bow hunting!
I had a little slip with the hunting knife and got my thigh quite badly (too think I use to be let loose with a chainsaw
), so I had to sit tight for about 30mins until the cut had dried up and then we continued up the hill. We had walked probably about another 400m and just as we came over the top of a crest I spotted some eating grass about 50m away. I snuck up again and took a shot, this one was only 2m away and I nearly had complete pass through, he ran about 30m but was dead by the time I got to him. Three goats in about an hour and a half, we could have kept going, but we had more than enough meat to deal with for the day, as my mate that I had gone with had bagged two as well. Awesome fun!
Photos: (Hidden for Marc
I went to NZ with 9 arrows and now I only have 5 hahaha! Two misses and two snaps, well worth it though!
So much fun and if anyone had even thought about taking up archery, all I can say is do it