New Zealand Day 1
I swiped my finger across the face of my cell phone, it lit up and read 3:12 am. Ã‚ It took me a minute to figure out what it was that just woke me since my alarm wasn’t set to go off for about another hour. Then the roar of the wind hit the house and rattled the windows and doors. New Zealand has recently been plagued with earthquakes, tornados, and now what I wondered? I lay there waiting to hear the ripping sound as metal is torn from the roof or the crunching as one of one of the huge trees in the lawn came smashing through the bedroom wall. The howling wind was growing stronger and stronger and showed no sign of letting up. I laid there unable to fall back asleep and started thinking about what this could possibly mean to my hunt. Ã‚ Selfish I know, but I had been waiting for this day for a long time and I really wanted to hunt. Ã‚ I eventually made my way down the hall to check on my other roommates and to no surprise there wasn’t a soul that was actually sleeping in that wonderfully comfortable lodge. Ã‚ We all eventually made our way into the dinning area waiting while the coffee brewed and tried to squint through the darkness outside to see if it was actually as bad as it sounded. Ã‚ Slowly the sun started to crest and to our surprise there were no trees down in the yard, but it wasn’t long before there was and before we lost power. Ã‚ Ã‚ We sat there in the in the dim light and realized that there was really no sense in going anywhere since 100+km/hour wind gusts would probably cause some slight arrow drift to say the least. So, we held tight at the lodge playing cards and browsing through the bookcase filled with books about New Zealand and local hunting. Ã‚ I decided to sample some local fruit that had been sitting in a bowl serving as our tables centerpiece. Ã‚ The Tamarilla or “tree tomato” as it is also called really wasn’t bad. Ã‚ It had a sweet seedy taste and just a tad bit of bitterness. Ã‚ It turned out to be a fruit I had many times throughout my stay, in salads, teas or raw.
Around mid day we decided to make our way down to Mount Cecil lodge. Ã‚ The boredom had gotten the better of us and a drive sounded like a great idea. Ã‚ We arrive at the lodge and was awestruck by the view. Ã‚ Perched atop of the mountain was a quaint log lodge with about a half dozen bunk cabins. The deck from the main lodge overlooked the mountains and hunting grounds and slowly tapered down to the green fertile valleys and ended at the ocean. It was an amazing backdrop. Ã‚ We ate a tasty lunch of Stag meat tacos and kept patiently waiting. Ã‚ To our welcome relief the wind started to let up just a evening came upon us. Ã‚ I was anxious to take advantage of the break in weather and ask if we could head out to look around the area. Ã‚ We had spent time glassing from the lodge while we were captives of Mother Nature and had spotted a variety of animals on the various hill sides and I was anxious to get a closer look.
We made our way to deep draw that had a small stream running down it. Ã‚ We had spotted several Wallaby’s popping up through the grass on the hillside and since we really didn’t have enough time left for a long hunt or stalk I decided to try my luck at Wallaby hunting. Ã‚ I was excited. I had never shot a wallaby before, heck I’d never seen a wallaby in person before. I Grabbed my BowTech Heartbreaker and went after my first animal in New Zealand.
I spotted a curious fellow at about 35 yards and pulled back for the shot. Thwak! Ã‚ I hit him. There was great blood but I was amazed how difficult it was to track him in the thick tall grass. Ã‚ I was sneaking along looking for him when I heard a noise just down the hill from me. Ã‚ I Ã‚ snuck through the grass and then I spotted him. Ã‚ He was in a really thick clump of grass and appeared to be wounded. Ã‚ He seemed to be thrashing around and his long tail appeared to be twisted and curled up. Ã‚ It looked as if he must be rolling around. Ã‚ I put the sneak on him hoping to get a nice close shot to finish him off when to my absolute surprise my wounded wallaby lifted up out of the grass and turned into an Arapawa ram. The ram had been feeding in the thick grass and didn’t know I was there. My mind was so focused on finding the wallaby that when I saw the brownish/ gray head of the ram and one curly horn sticking out of the grass moving around my mind fooled me into seeing a wounded wallaby with a curled up tail. Ã‚ I jumped back startled and then laughed at my ridiculous mistake. Ã‚ I did find my Wallaby and along the way also picked up a dead stag skull that was sun bleached and partially barried in a grass mound. Ã‚ We headed down the draw and out to the land cruiser. Ã‚ It was quite the first day and honestly I couldn’t wait to see what tomorrow had in store. Ã‚ We made the hour and a half drive back to Peel forest lodge and Pennie had a wonderful meal of Chicken with capers and seasoned rice with sticky date pudding and Ice cream for desert. Yummy! Ã‚ I made my way off to my warm bed and crossed my fingers that the wind didn’t wake me again in the night.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.