THE PREGNANT TROPHY HUNTER
Hunting is usually a weekly event for myself, my husband and our 2 year old son. We all go out together, one of us carries the Kathmandu baby carrier with the little guy in it and the other person carries the rifle. We don't shoot something every weekend, more like once a month, as its very difficult to get close to deer when you're carrying a noisy toddler on your back.
On this particular cold but sunny morning we were exploring a new area, walking down a track we had never been on before when we came to a small opening through the trees that looked out across a gully and onto a sunny face, We had a quick glass and Tommy picked up a stag standing under a tree. The points on the animal were unclear as the tops of his antlers where hidden in the tree he was standing under.
Tommy swiftly set up the 300 wsm on the ground while I laid down trying to get into a semi comfortable position that I could hold, without leaning on my stomach too much. A few breaths in and out, a check-in from Tommy asking me if I could hold steady on the stag in my awkward twisted position, I whispered a quick yep then BOOM fire in the hole! I took the shot from about 300 yards, the stag ran one way then turned to run uphill but he slipped and slid back down before continuing uphill again.
I was so confident in my aiming and steady hand that I couldn't believe he was gone out of sight. Now second guessing myself as it's never usually a good sign when an animal runs uphill after being shot. We sat there for what felt like forever discussing where we thought I had hit the stag or even if I had missed it completely. Tommy volunteered to go and have a look for the stag with our dog, this country was steep! So steep that he couldn't walk down, he had to slowly slide his way to the bottom to the creek before ascending back up the other side while I stayed with our toddler.
Luckily enough, Tommy and I were both wearing our orange Hunters Element Toa jackets so we were able to see each other - once he got up the other side this enabled me to guide him across to the last location of the stag with a few quick phone calls. Not long after my last call to him I got another call "I found it" sure enough around 20 yards from where I shot him, he lay against a blood scraped tree which looked like he had run into, fell and never got back up. I nailed him right through the vitals with massive blood loss, I was so happy that I didn't miss or worse injure the stag.
Tommy couldn't believe his eyes - a beautiful 8 point sika stag lay before him. He was so excited for me but I also think he may have shed a little tear at the same time, that it was me that shot the trophy Sika stag and not him (haha). As Tommy cut up my stag he noticed a bullet hole wound through the back steaks and another that had skimmed perfectly through the top and bottom of his jaw bone plus a large infected puss filled wound on the stags shoulder which looked like a wound from possibly fighting another stag.
At this point I headed back up the track with our toddler towards the truck as Tommy carried the hind quarters and head back down and up the steep hills, through the creek until finally he got back at the truck where I had a cold bottle of Hunt Smart and a change of shirt waiting for him. When he passed me the head and I held it in my hands I was blown away that I had just taken this beautiful stag, I felt guilt from not being able to help carry and also so grateful for having such an amazing husband and best friend to one, retrieve the animal for me while I'm heavily pregnant and two, to be able to share this experience with him.
So there you have it “the pregnant trophy hunter” my Sika stag was measured “unofficially” and went 171 on the D.S I have 12 weeks until the due date so i'll be able to get a few more hunts in before then.