On the fringe of the bush edge and in the young pines I found where the stag was rutting and bedding.
Two mates and I had devised a plan to have a crack the following morning. The air was ice cold it made your eyes water and the pumice on the fire break had risen 3 inches with the frost.
I took the inside edge of the bush heading right, one mate hooked hard left with the third mate going straight down the middle. We split up and quietly started the hunt.
As I crested a small rise the scrub gave way enough for me to look through into the pines and there just like a postcard he stood in the mist looking away from me at a distance of maybe 40 metres. I crept through the scrub and rested the barrel on the top fence wire.
Scope was filled with stag and as the pressure went on the trigger a noise to my left then nothing then focused again on the sight picture then more noise then scope filled up with a blurry image. As I lifted my head up I saw my best friend standing oblivious to me or the stag. The noise was his boots crushing the raised pumice underfoot. His head was in my scope. I bent over and spewed up my toast and coffee.
What part of the plan that didn’t get properly explained or discussed to this day I’ll never know. We went through the drill over and over again. Still this happened. You can never ever ever assume anything when you’re hunting and this lucky lesson to me epitomises the rules and extended them further again.
I hope this experience I had is easy enough to understand and possibly saves someone’s life if ever put in the same position. Be sure be safe and come home ladies and gentlemen. You are loved.