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Lily Hipwell - When a plan comes together

It was really early in the morning. Dad and I were going for an early morning stalk. I got up and got dressed quickly as dad had slept in and I had to wake him up. by Lily Hipwell

We were on our way to one of dad’s hunting properties getting there early in the morning and the sun was slowly coming up through the fog. We got there extra early because dad always said that the stags try to hit the bush before the sun comes up. There were a couple of good stags on the trail cams we had set up and I was hoping to get one of them. We started to walk through the bush
slowly and quietly. I was focusing on the ground making sure I didn’t step on a stick and give us away, whilst I was scanning the area around us looking for him because there were fresh rubs everywhere, we knew we were in his area.

We knew the wind and thermals were good. We kept walking through stopping and looking in the direction we thought he’d come from, i was excited and nervous at the same time then as I was looking up on the mountain where we’ve seen a couple of deer before and there he was coming in our direction through the fog. I felt so happy my adrenaline went through the roof as this was
one of the ones we had on the camera. He was bigger than I thought he was.

I was shocked, even more excited than normally would have been because due to Covid I had missed the rut last year. We knew he was coming our way but we had to cover some ground to get me in range for a shot. We lost sight of him as he went over to the other side of the hill but I spotted him standing under a bunch of low hanging branches from a gumtree, scanning the area. We stalked into a position where dad said we would be close enough for a shot then as I started to get comfortable for a shot dad let out a few doe calls. The deer was instantly interested and came out of the thick scrub for a better look, he was about 180 meters away and I put the bolt down and dad said shoot in the middle of the shoulder but I already had the crosshairs lined up with his

I took a deep breath in and slowly pulled the trigger as I breathed out and BANG!!! I hit him perfectly in the shoulder and he dropped on the spot and did a little rap dance which made him roll down the hill. We watched him roll to the bottom hoping he didn’t break an antler. I was so happy with myself, I couldn’t believe it, our plan had come together he was there laying right in
front of me, my adrenaline had kicked in my hands and legs were shaking, I felt so happy and proud with myself as I sat him up for a photo. He was my new pb. Me and dad caped him out while we talked about the hunt and what had happened. Then dad told me “Now you can carry him out since he is your stag!” my legs were burning the whole time but it was worth it and it was one hunt I will never forget.

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