How was your Mother’s Day?
Mine was not typical, very memorable & totally awesome! I had a brilliant day and I’ve been dying to tell you about it, so let’s do this!
In the morning I was woken up by my adorable little LuLu who gave me some very sweet little gifts, we had breakfast together as a family, the 3 of us headed into town to buy me another Mother’s Day gift – hiking boots for hunting & then we went to see my Mum and had lunch with her & Dad at The Chocolate Cottage. After lunch we left LuLu with my parents & headed home to get organised for my FIRST HUNT! That’s right, on Mother’s Day I got to go hunting for the first time.
Trent and I drove out to the property which is a few hours away from where we live that we had permission to be hunting on. We were there with the hopes of getting a Red Deer so we could get some fresh venison.
We hiked for about 2 hours.
We walked through the property, along the river and up through the hills. It was very calming for me to be just out walking in the bush. Every now and then we would stop, look around and see if we could see anything – but nothing… Well, we saw lots of beautiful scenery – but no deer.
Just as it was nearing 4:30pm I kind of started to think we may not get anything as we hadn’t saw any deer. We had agreed we would turn around at 5pm because we needed to get home for LuLu. Just as we came over one rise, Trent stopped, he saw 2 hinds moving through the bush. While he was focused on those 2 I saw one that was straight ahead of us, I could see her clearly & it honestly felt like she was staring directly at me – I think she may have heard us but couldn’t see us. The other 2 were heading down the hill & the one I spotted was standing still. We made a decision then that Trent would take the shot & aim for the hind I saw as he was carrying the rifle & I didn’t want to mess around and risk spooking her. We could’ve headed further up and possibly found the stag that was with these hinds, but for what we needed this hind was perfect. A perfect size for some delicious meat! Trent rested on the tree & fired – 1 shot and she was dead.
As soon as she was down, we took off back down the hill hoping we maybe able to get the other 2 we had seen. We could hear them barking, I sat with a clear view of where we thought they may come out with the .270 ready to go – but we didn’t see them again. Which is fine, we got what we needed.
We made the decision not to sit around for long waiting for those other 2, we were losing light and still needed to dress the carcass.
When we got back to the deer, we took your standard photos – because this was a fairly special hunt. My first time out & this was also the first kill with Trent’s Tikka T3 .270 & his first deer as well. So we were pretty happy.
We then strung the carcass up in a tree to prepare it to be cut up. Firstly we skinned the area the we needed to get our meat from, this was the part that I got to help with. As I was doing this we could hear the stag further up in the hills calling out, it was so tempting to head further up and try and find him, but we just didn’t have the time.
I am very keen to learn how to do this well & also gain a good understanding on how to harvest the meat. I feel I skinned it ok, but skinning an area like a back is relatively easy in my opinion – which is why I want to shoot some foxes so I can practice skinning around the faces because that is apparently the most difficult part on any animal.
Trent then removed the back straps and removed the 2 back legs, we packed up & got ready to walk out. As we were walking out the sun was setting fairly quickly, by the time we got back to our car it was almost dark out.
I cannot believe we got a deer, 4 days later I still look at the photos & think what?! Did that seriously happen? I don’t even care that I didn’t get to shoot it, I just was so happy to be out there. I wouldn’t have even cared if we didn’t get a thing – I just enjoyed being in the outdoors, I find it relaxing.
This was such an important day for me, it was really kind of a trial to see if I would enjoy hunting. I knew in my soul I would – I am far to passionate about this to not enjoy it. But I have had a fair few people doubt I a) could handle the physical side of it & b) handle seeing an animal be shot. Both of those things didn’t phase me once while I was out there. The hiking part of the hunt was great, I love doing that sort of stuff. And I watched the deer being shot, to me it was very interesting & reinforced my belief that hunting when done well & responsibly isn’t cruel at all. The deer was totally unaware at what had happened & therefore not stressed. I truly believe that hunting is one of the most ethical ways to get meat, the animal isn’t stressed, they are simply minding their own business & then they are dead – no transportation, no being crammed in with other animals, no going to unfamiliar places – it is very simple & if done right, instant.
When I was skinning the deer I wasn’t upset or grossed out by it. I feel we treated the animal as respectfully as we could & I was grateful that we were harvesting some really delicious venison to fill our freezer. Of course I felt the standard sadness out of respect for the deer, but I wasn’t upset or remorseful, it was just being respectful.
This Red Deer may not be an impressive trophy stag, I think I’ll aim for that next year during the rut (I can dream), but she was exactly what we wanted – a perfect freezer filler.
I cannot wait to get back out there again & hopefully next time we see one I can take a shot.
I would like to thank The Open Range & Winchester Australia for providing me with my amazing Browning Hell’s Belles camo gear and Aussie Feral Game Hunters for my cap!
I also want to thank you, if you have read until the end of this post. I know this series isn’t for everyone – but this is something I am passionate about & I will continue to do. I hope if it isn’t for you you have kept an open mind & are respectful of the fact Trent & I were hunting to get meat for ourselves.
Thank you to everyone for your support!