It was just before sunset on our last day and the hills were alive and we had stags roaring back at us in every direction.
Just a few hours prior we had two stags within fifteen minutes of each other come into our calls hot, heavy and roaring just off twenty five yards, but unfortunately no shot was offered.
When the guide’s daughter drove through on the buggy that autumn arvo, you could probably hear our soul’s crushing.
This year, we aren’t leaving anything to chance.
I hunt with my husband Sam Grodecki for the most part and our preferred deer species are Red and Rusa; lucky enough for us we all live in the same area.
After two failed ruts we’ve decided to try something a little different this year. Paid hunts clearly weren’t working out too well; the cost, travel and time off work; starts to add up fast.
Gaining access was our top priority.
We spoke about our love for hunting, deer and venison to everyone we crossed paths with that following year and eventually it paid off as we scored a few blocks locally and believe it or not, the smallest property of a fifty acre block is holding some quality Rusa racks.
Sam studied that property on maps like the back of his hand. He learnt the land, rested the land, set up trail cams, put out feed and has somewhat worked out a pattern with these critters, but so much more goes into it then just finding the deer.
Along with the founder of Ambush; Gaby Orszagh and her father Louie Orszagh and I made a list of what we believe is getting ‘rut ready.’
Here’s our list:
•Gain access. That be public/ private or paid and know what that involves; contacting before arrival, game license, booking blocks, perimeters, rules and regulations, etc.
•Know your gear. Be comfortable with your weapon and practice regularly. Now is not the time for trial and error.
•Learn the land you're hunting on and the animal’s movements. Train for that physically and mentally.
•Know the animal you are chasing anatomy. Understand their habits and study that animal. Know your shot placements from different angles and talk with landowners on movements etc.
•Plan out your gear and be prepared for anything. Consider weather, weight, food, water and safety.
•Have a pack out plan. Know the basic gutting/ skinning/ butchering skills of that animal or have a backyard butcher on call. A cold-room and cryovac also comes in handy.
•Invest in your vehicle and service before a big trip.
•Lastly, let someone know where you are going and have an awesome time. It’s not always about the destination as the journey is half the fun so get out there nature lovers.