We had a good turn out – Craig and Andrea Pike, Richard Neal, Andy Powell, Blair Martin, Justin Jones, Gavin Hull, Rie Bodsworth and myself.

With the weather looking bad, we opted to stay at Sika Lodge. Rie, not seeing any familiar cars, located himself in the main clearing. The South Auckland branch, who were staying there helped him set up his tent. Shining a torch into the trees, a pair of deer eyes showed up across the trees then departed instantly.

The South Auckland branch had not been able to get into the Okahu Valley and had relocated to Clemments for their four-day hunt.

Saturday dawned fine. Gavin, Blair and I stopped at the clearing. Gavin hunted behind the main clearing while Blair and I walked down the road and cruised up a large hill behind the front hills.

Plenty of sign was seen half way to two-thirds of the way up. We stopped for a b break at the top when we were joined by one of the South Auckland boys with his dog. Ten minutes later two more guys from Taupo also arrived.

Wow. Almost a traffic jam.

Everyone headed in different directions. Later the guy with the dog told up that ten minutes after he left he was studying is GPS only to look and see a deer thirty meters away looking at him. Gone in a split second.

The two of us hunted down the hill seeing more sign, but no deer.

Rie had a morning hunt but came away empty handed. Unfortunately the same for the rest of us.

Justin, on the other hand, had a more adventurous day. He headed up Te Arina track. Two hours in he heard a Stag roaring. Justing roared back and then moved towards the sound. Into cell phone coverage. Yes. eMails arrived. Justin whipped his day pack off, switched the phone off and was putting the pack back on when the Stag moved past about fifteen metres away, looking for the intruder. Rifle out of reach. Bugger.

Sunday morning and it is out into the wilds again. But to no avail. Nevermind, I still like the bread from the city.

By 1 pm we were all heading back home.

– Colin