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First hunt for first stag by Lucas Mildenhall

Lucas Mildenhall - First Stag

It was 5.30am on a Saturday morning in mid April, and the red stags were roaring. We were camping in a hut in Wairoa on my dad’s bosses farm, I was 9 years old. Dad and I were getting ready to go get the stag that we heard the night before, it would be my first stag in the rut. I was wearing hunting pants and jacket as well as wet boots from the night before, dad was wearing the same. I was feeling nervous but excited. My weapon was the 6.5 rifle my dad had kindly lent me. Milo in my tummy, we set off on our mission.

It was a cold misty morning but that did not stop us. We got into the paddock and we heard the stag’s mighty roar, it was on. We set off down the paddock with the roarer going hard. We stopped for a second to catch our breath, he was getting angrier and angrier every second. By this point in time I was almost jumping up and down with excitement. We crossed the river and we crept closer to the tree’s where he was lurking, he let off one more roar, we knew he was close… As we walked further and further away from the river bed, I suddenly heard a twig snap behind me, I spun around and it was a stinky billy goat. We sat down where we thought he would come out, but he was stubborn and would not break cover for me to take a good shot. We moved to the left then we spotted his wallow, so we hid behind a tree beside his wallow and we let off one more roar. He emerged and stood there staring at us like a confused meerkat, he had finally broken cover, I carefully pushed the bolt down and put the cross ears on his shoulder. I squeezed the trigger, all of a sudden he took off running, we gave him 2 minutes to die then we went to look for a blood trail. We found a blood trail and it was a good shot, we walked around for a while, then we found him, he was stone dead. We counted his points he was a… 13, my dad did not expect that at all. I carried my head out, as well as my pride.

 

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