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  1. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    An inspiring and true-blue Aussie bowhunting yarn by broadhead this has taken out the April round of the 2Blade Bowhunting Story Competition. The story was entitled 'My first fallow buck (vic state forest thumper)', a very accurate title. Thanks for putting the effort into a really great story Jack, what a ripper of a buck! Please get in touch with Brad of 2Blade Productions to claim your prize of a 2Blade DVD. A huge thanks once again to 2Blade Productions for their continued support of this long-standing competition.

    Don't forget - the winner is chosen on the merits of the written story and accompanying photographs. Story-telling is an art, and the ABF forum is the perfect place to practice your story writing. So give it a go, share your yarns with us and maybe pick up a prize in the process!

    First fallow buck (vic state forest thumper)

    Endless nights sleep, endless money spent, thousands of kilometres trekked and driven, forever working my way back into the good books with the misses, smashing the hours at work just to get abit of hunting time up my sleeve, all these things combined with the knowledge and keen dedication to bowhunting seen me sit aside the beast that once haunted my dreams..

    It's more than flinging an arrow at a deer that's in it for me, for the past 3 years I've seen this guy on my game camera's and wished I'ld outsmart him oneday, well it all went a little like this, I've hunted this state forest gully for the past 3 years and laid eyes on him once had him on my game camera's several times and he has just out smarted me to the bone.. I finally located where he was making his main scrapes and worked out the patten he took every morning, being there on first light 3 days ago and hearing 2 bucks grunting there almighty heads off got me keen as to tell the boss it's my last day forever but I just pulled some strings and managed to change my hours at work, so after catching him on my cams and seeing where he was to go when the first light broke through the trees, had me a plan of attack to settle this score forever.

    I planned to walk in the darkness with the headlight on to get into the position of where he was bedding and to have the wind in my face.
    At work that night I was thinking of the feeling walking into the dark bush alone to settle the score. I finished work at 5, drove to the location and started my approach, after covering myself in my wind puffer dust (not meaning to I just had to be sure what way the wind was going) haha, I was up where I needed to be before the light came through the trees, I sat down and shut my eyes hoping to hear him grunting, nothing not ever a bird was chirping so I made my approach to where he had his main scrapes,

    (headlight selfie)

    I got to the scrape and checked my camera, I flicked it on and the two beeps went off followed buy a grunting buck only 100m away, I quickly looked at the first pic as there was only 7, it was him in the darkness hours earlier,


    I put the camera down and heading for him as the wind was so good, I was only 50m away watching him grunting with the foggy breath blowing out his mouth at every grunt. I was a wreak, a pure body shake that I can't describe. I stalked him as he made a scrape and smashed a tree, I made good ground and soon was at 30m, he was that occupied with putting this poor saplings life to shreads that I snuck into about 10m with a really good gum tree for cover, I waited for him to move off a little before I took a shot as I couldn't physically move with the position I was in, he starting walking towards me and at 6m he lowered his head and his antlers tilted back to grunt and as the breath come out of his mouth I let him have it...
    That ever so sweet sound that will now put me to sleep at night rang back into my ears,

    (arrow and blood)

    tttthhhhwwwoooppp as he charged only 20 steps paused and turned to see what had just happened, he reared up on his back legs and flipped like a gymnastic artist and lay motionless.. I knew what had just happened I just couldn't bring myself to believe it for a few minutes, not more than 30m away lay the beast that once haunted my dreams... He clearly is a quality animal and I've let many go so oneday I could have my chance to proudly sit aside a beast like him.

    Thanks to my good mate Daniel for all the encouragement over the years and the last couple weeks. Hope you guys enjoy him as much as I will.

    Cheers Jack m
  2. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Congrats to slinkymalinky for writing the winning story for this month's round of the 2Blade Bowhunting Story Competition. The story was entitled 'First game taken for a junior hunter - Congrats to JJ'. Great story mate, always so inspiring to see the young blood coming through. Please get in touch with Brad of 2Blade Productions to claim your prize of a 2Blade DVD. A huge thanks once again to 2Blade Productions for their continued support of this long-standing competition.

    Don't forget - the winner is chosen on the merits of the written story and accompanying photographs. Story-telling is an art, and the ABF forum is the perfect place to practice your story writing. So give it a go, share your yarns with us and maybe pick up a prize in the process!

    First game taken for a junior hunter - Congrats to JJ

    One of my best mates and long time fishing and hunting buddy, Grant, took his 2 sons Lucas (Luke) and Jayden (JJ), along with another of my mates and his own son, to our favourite cod and hunting property a couple of weeks ago. I had to put a post up because I'm almost as proud of JJ as his dad is...

    JJ has been working like a boy possessed on his compound shooting... practicing up to 3 hours a day. For him it was his first and long anticipated first ever hunting trip. Here's how it all went down courtesy of Grant, his dad.


    It was decided to have a kids weekend away on one of my mates properties out Tenterfield way. 3 dads & 4 boys ranging from 8-13 yrs old have been anxiously anticipating
    this trip for months. As you know Slinky, it is a wonderful place to fish & hunt.

    For this trip the mighty Murray cod decided to for once be a challenge. However all the boys that were cod 'virgins' managed to catch cod all by themselves & have many tales to regale. They will be telling stories about this trip until they are way past our age. What a wonderful thing!

    I wanted to tell the bow hunters out there about my eldest boy Jayden (10yo).

    We have watched & nurtured this young fella & his love of all things archery. His talents have been a pleasure for us to admire over the last 18 months.

    He started with a recurve & was a natural. His best 3D score at 9yrs was 117 (for 20 targets from the cubs mark). He got bored of that & Slinky & his Bear Motive 7 made him determined to have his own Bear compound bow.

    2 Months ago, after over a year of saving & a little help from Dad, he purchased his Bear Apprentice 2. He must have shot over 100 arrows on the first day while I tuned it for him. Within a couple of weeks he was shooting groups that made me shake my head. His bow will be so much better when I actually know what I'm doing myself!

    So at the last 3D shoot he shot 120 from where the adults shoot their Trad bows. He was so keen to hunt, & after seeking advice from others I decided to try & make it happen.
    I truly wish Slinky was there.

    When he nailed a bottle top in the bale of hay I took out with us as a practice target I knew he was ready.

    I spent the 1st couple of days teaching him about winds & smell, stealth, stalking & general hunting skills.
    He got within bow range of a 'roo but didn't take a shot because he had been serious about learning the rules of hunting and knew that native animals are not allowed.

    He had other shots that he didn't take on goats & deer as he knew his limits & didn't want to wound an animal. (particularly proud of this from a 10yo.... Slinky)

    On our 3rd & final hunt he stalked some goats into a gully. When they ran he got the cranks & threw a rock at them. They stopped & looked at him. There was a nice nanny within his range. He took his down hill shot & thought he hit too high.

    On Slinky's advice he remembered to 'aim for a spot!'.

    The nanny goat dropped to her knees straight away. He hit her in the heart. She didn't run or bleat or suffer. I couldn't have prayed for a better result.

    JJ's Bear Apprentice 2 matched with the Beman Junior arrows & Magnus Stinger 85 grain broadheads did their jobs. with an almost complete pass through (most of the arrow hanging out the far side of the big Nanny)

    Unfortunately she rolled into a steep gully. He now knows the effort involved in retrieving your catch. After 45 minutes of ropes, ravines, sweat & swearing ( me of course, but not much!) we hauled her into the ute.

    We now have some nice meat to eat & I have boiled the head for him for his 1st trophy. He knows that in respect for the game we should utilize whatever he kills. He wants to hunt for the freezer, not for trophy's & will only take a fish or goat or whatever for food. I totally respect him for that & again Slinky's advice has been wonderful in teaching him proper hunting ethics.

    So please enjoy the photos. He is also a gun fisherman & was the only person on the trip to land a cod on a surface lure. It was one of the biggest fish of the week.'

    Thanks again Slinky.

    Cheers, Grant.


    What can I say? JJ is what all bow hunters should be. Dedicated, respectful of game, self disciplined enough to hunt within his limits.... and he absolutely loves his fishing and now, bow hunting. When JJ is older and has kids of his own, he'll always remember the times with Dad in the bush with fishing rod and bow. And hopefully we'll still enjoy the freedom for him to be able to take his own kids hunting too.

    Congrats to JJ's younger brother Luke, too. He caught his first Murray Cod by himself. JJ's cod on surface lure was bigger than any I've taken on surface lures... and Grant himself got some really nice fish during what was probably the toughest fishing he's ever experienced on our favourite Cod water.

    Cheers, Slinky
  3. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Well done to the good old Warra for writing the winning story for this month's round of the 2Blade Bowhunting Story Competition. The story was entitled 'Best Man'. Not only a prolific and successful bowhunter, Warra is an old hand at putting pen to paper and has been a major contributor to ABF over the years. Please get in touch with Brad of 2Blade Productions to claim your prize of a 2Blade DVD. A huge thanks once again to 2Blade Productions for their continued support of this long-standing competition.

    DEER ADDICTION 3 IS OUT NOW - Order your copy at or email

    Best Man

    This hunt took place January this year so sorry guys running a bit behind in my stories.
    I had my brothers wedding coming up and being best man I thought what better then to take him hunting and shoot some critters, sorta like a warm up bucks party haha.
    I could only get away for two days so we concentrated all our hunting around the water and where the tucker was but due to the cooler days it was proving hard. Once at the property we unloaded the ute and went and caught up with the farmer, we yarned for a good couple hours and was good to catch up with him instead of talking over the phone but he could tell we where getting itcy feet.
    Well we finally got away and headed to our first spot, It was a lignum filled creek that was semi open and feed into a dam which had produced some good boars in the past. I wasn't confident as there was not much sign around while walking through the creek, and with the unfortunate events of not much rain around our area, The game may have moved on to better feed and water, This was the case but Brock still managed a nice young billy he caught coming of the water and place a shaft from 18m.
    We moved on and spotted some nice billys with some pretty good head wear but with the wind against us and them being aware of us we decided to pass them up.

    I parked the car about 1km of the next dam and hit up some likely spots for bedded boars but none could be found. As we got closer to the bank we slowed and peeked over the crest and spotted a good boar bedded in the water's edge, What I also spotted was a monster white billy that was well worth a closer look. I stayed put and sent Brock out wide and flanked the billy from the side where the wind was better for him, With the thick cover on that side of the dam brock got well into bow range and as I watched from the lens of my video camera I knew this fella just may be brock's magic 40" billy. The billy's where very cautious at this stage and looked as though the good boar asleep in the mud may have them bluffed, Brock also picked up on this and decided not to what for the ambush and take the shot from 34m, The billy lunged forward and spun bolting away from the dam but soon blacked out. As we walked over I had my tape in hand and hid the first inch or so and measured him, I said to brock so close little bro 39" the look on his face was disappointment and sadness, not that he was not happy with the billy but I know how hard his worked for his goal of that magic 40" big boy. I slid the tape back and measured properly and said just joking buddy, just under 41" mate, to see the look on his face is just about as good as it gets for me in bowhunting, he was so happy and so was I.
    After lots of photos and taking his head which for those interested went just over 120 DP.
    After some late lunch we noticed the wind shifting for the afternoon so had to change our approach which paid of as I spotted this young boar heading into a small patch of grass, although not much in size he had some nice choppers for a wee fella. I pumped him from 12m and he only mad it double that.

    To be cont......
    The next day we decided to venture into some new ground and proved a good move.
    We found a big lake and it wasn't long before we located small mob of pigs bedded up. We managed to spook them up from there bed but they soon settled back down and started feeding. We slowly stalked up behind them and I as onto a good boar but didn't see another one of to my left not more then 20m away, I quickly drew and settled the pin 3/4 up the shoulder and whack the 175gr VPA hit the mark, I didn't follow him up straight away but was very confidet he was down.
    We caught back up with the mob and Brock put a stalk on a nice young boar while I sat back, they played cat and mouse for awhile and Brock just couldn't in any closer. He waited for theshot to present itself and his practice at the bale payed off taking out the boars heart.
    After photos is back to my boar and the blood trail wasn't hard to find but he did make some 150m before piling up in the thick stuff.
    We got back to the ute and ventured further into the unknown and spotted a big lone bull camel feeding I the open. We grab our gear and headed in, the wind was perfect but the cover was not so we waited praying he would feed into some thick cover where we would be waiting in ambush,
    We got within 60m at one stage and thought this was it but the bull kept going into thicker cover for us, As a big gum tree blocked the bull's head Brock sprinted and made a quick 25m on the bull, at 38m 1/4 away it felt like brock was holding his ancor for a life time but I could tell the cross wind was blowing his bow all over the place, finally the arrow was on its way and buried in well past the fletches tight in he triangle.
    I instantly seen blood pumping from the wound and knew the bull was going down.
    He was one happy bowhunter and I was one happy best man and big brother.
    Id say me little bro had a pretty successful trip and was smiles all day after this one, We took a heap of meat for the farmer and his skull for brocks trophy room.
    As the storms started to roll in we said our goodbyes and headed for home, but on the way out I spotted a good billy and put the stalk in. Was pretty wild and windy and knew I had to get in close. With plenty of cover I got to 12m and waited for him to feed past me, Again a vpa up front with a 50g insert up his freckle makes easy work getting into the boiler room.
    Thanks little bro for a awesome hunt.
  4. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Prolific hunting writer xlr8scotty has taken out this month's round of the 2Blade Bowhunting Story Competition. The story was entitled 'Grab a cuppa, ya going to enjoy this' which is the most imaginative title we've seen for a while! Well done on a fantastic bit of hunting and a good yarn to match, please get in touch with Brad of 2Blade Productions to claim your prize of a 2Blade DVD. A huge thanks once again to 2Blade Productions for their continued support of this long-standing competition.

    DEER ADDICTION 3 IS OUT NOW - Order your copy at or email

    Grab a Cuppa, ya going to enjoy this - Part 1 of 2

    A lunar eclipse had occurred, the stars had aligned and I won the lotto etc. etc. Well maybe the school holidays had arrived, the mother in law was on long service leave, the better half had her rostered day off and my first day off was Friday through to Tuesday night and I was going hunting. I could not have been happier, but read on cause I’m still a smiling.

    All week at work I was thinking hunting, I would finish my 12 hour shift get home, have dinner, spend time with the family then hit the shed to get some arrows repaired and sharpened, camping gear sorted so all I had to do was load the Colorado up Thursday night so I could leave early the next morning over to one of my favourite hunting blocks. The day turned out beautiful with the sun bringing warmth and light upon my travels.

    As usual this entailed a little sparky work to be done at the shearing sheds, but having recently upgraded the suspension, a lift kit along with some new treads allowed me to travel a lot faster than I normally do on some off the outback roads I frequent, which gave me more time to smash the work out and go for a hunt.

    The Colorado all dressed up and a party to go to.

    After catching up with the manager and dropping off their mail, we had a cuppa tea and he gave me some information of where he had been seeing some critters getting about. With that I left to do some work at one off the shearing sheds and then move off to the other shearing shed where I would be staying to do some more work.

    My good mate Ben was only able to make it for a short stay being from Saturday afternoon thru to Sunday night, so on my way over to the second shed via six gates I had to open and close myself (he at least could of come for the full hunt), I decided to try and get a “bait billy” to drag to the tank near the shearing shed to lure in some swine to hopefully have a go at before Ben left.

    I spotted a real nice billy off in the distance so grabbed the bow and was in hot pursuit, now this thing was in love with a nanny that was 50-60 meters in front of him, he kept on naying and bleating a little love serenade but she took no notice and he just kept on moving further and further away and would not present a shot, not only this he was getting into some real thick hopbush country, I had one last ditch effort to try and ambush him by running around a small clump of bushes but he was to wary and he ran on ahead to the small mob with the nanny to harass.

    I was grinning as I walked back to the car as I was thinking “I bet that nanny wished she had of stopped so I could of got him off her case, he’s caught up to her now for sure”. Anyway one last gate and the water tank was in view as well as some goats that would work for the cause. Parking up I quickly got in a good ambush position as the small mob fed toward me, I waited patiently hoping for the wind to hold, just getting into range and “snort” stamp, and they all stopped and slowly turned away until they got a good whiff of me and moved off hastily.

    I then focused on numerous bleats occurring coming from behind and to my left, where I could already see 20-30 goats materialising from the hopbush, I ran in my blaze orange hunting clothes (hard yakka work overalls) and hiking boots (steel capped work boots) to try and cut off some potential targets, just nearing the scrub line and some billies were seen feeding on a tree by standing up on their backs legs like they do, while the two were preoccupied I closed the distance to 40 Meters where I was busted by some nannies.

    Ah well now or never, I had been practising out to 50 meters regularly so when the billy turned presenting a quartering away shot, I found myself at full draw in an instant and the shot was away like I had done it all day every day. The arrow darted out and entered behind the short rib and exited the off shoulder taking out the heart as it passed through, he only went 20 meters as seen from where my arrow lay on the ground to the downed “bait billy” in the back ground.

    Me with my blaze orange hunting apparel and hiking boots, oh and the “bait billy” all 34” of him, not a bad start to the trip.

    I dragged him to a nice spot 30 meters off the tank with good cover for a stalk and set about the task of wiring up the shearing shed, but I did have my bow with me in the shed for just in case as there is some game pads that came past the area down to the water.

    With two hours left of day light I unloaded my supplies, got kitted up and headed off to a spot that usually produces. I had to drive off road for bit to get the wind right for my approach, parking several hundred meters from the tank, I reached the water hole and spotted some pigs feeding on a flat that led to the tank, I climbed a fence and took up the stalk using some trees and small lignum bushes as cover, with fading light I sneaked out along a game pad and waited for the right angle.

    The sow turned broad side and the pin was held low on the boiler room as I did not want a lengthy trail to follow, wham the shot was away the two sows took off in a circle around me but both going the opposite way until my sow got back to the start and got the wobbly boot and went down for the count.

    Back at camp I set up my bed, cooked up a couple of tender scotch fillet steaks and some onions, washed down with a nice cold can of coke, I could not of been more content for the days effort.

    Waking up to a very cold morning had me moving slower than normal, but as I get everything ready for the days hunt the night before all I have to do is get dressed and get hunting.

    Arriving at my hunting location, the wind was not the best so it had me heading north with the wind in my face, it proved a success in finding a very large section of juvenile lignum bushes which had pig diggings everywhere, just high enough for cover but not thick enough to swallow up the pigs as the larger bushes can do.

    Weaving along I found a few boars with an in season sow, the biggest of the lot won over and took his prize deeper into the vegetation, while a black and white spotted boar was just in order, I got into range a few times on this pig, but either he presented no shot angle or when he did he was covered by the surrounding foliage and got wary and moved deeper in to the lignum. With plans to come back here in a couple days’ time I moved off in the chase of some more game.

    I stopped for a rest and a quick bite to eat before setting off and putting up a good boar camped up in some thick lignum, it sure gets your heart pumping when they jump up from out of nowhere and do their peek a boo routine on you from nearly under your feet, nerves were settled and another late comer was spotted ambling along towards some water.

    Taking up the trail I again got into range on this fellow at about 10-12 meters but was left with no shot so had to shadow him as he made his way to water only to be spooked at the last hurdle by some cattle.

    Back at the tank some goats were to be my aim to vent some frustration and anger upon as they sunned themselves on a red sand hill, with so few options I just slowly shuffled along climbing a barb wire fence in the process and shuffled some more until into range on a nice billy who moved off just in time, so a smaller high horned billy was to be my target, he too copped and arrow from 38 meters which dropped him on the spot.

    It was getting late into the afternoon so I made plans to head back to see if Ben had arrived, but was road blocked by an opportunity I could not pass up, it was around 2:20 PM when I turned off the ute and rolled down the last 100 meters of the red sand hill to a stop just inside the scrub line of a large flat that led into another tank, hoping to locate some goats feeding I was greeted with no less than 10 pigs widely spread out having a nose around.

    I quietly exited stage left and back tracked and then circled around to get the wind right for an approach on luckily a good sized boar close by, but unluckily for me as no cover was provided unless you were 1 foot tall and I am not that short, I gave it a go any way and he spooked. So my attention turned over to a lesser boar making his way closer, but alas the slowly moving statue routine just did not cut the mustard on the open expanse of the flat in the middle of the afternoon, although in less light conditions this method has proved to work before and again in a coming stalk you will see and read about later in the story.

    After glassing another four pigs with a boar amongst them making their way across the flat I followed them up and they in turn led me to a small sow that was hotly followed by a mature boar, trying to cut him off I got into 30 meters and readied for a shot but he just did not quite give me the angle I was after and was soon to cut my scent. I quickly ran in the vain hope back and around the little island of a sand hill they had traversed in the optimism of a shot presenting but they were long gone.

    Dejected and depressed for missing some shot opportunities I was rewarded with a good vantage point up the other side of the tank that has a flat that follows it. Glassing this area had another boar spotted following a game pad, I sprinted across the red sand hill in a manner a surf life saver would be proud of, hurdled a barb wire fence set high enough for the Olympics and galloped into position like black caviar, all this effort proved marvellous as the small period of time following this I called the “hot half hour session” occurred and will be retold in my camp fire many a time I’m sure.

    I had just reached a tree in time to gather some composure and poise to range two pads, one at 25M and the other one that the good lumpy solid boar was on was 18M. All I had to do was wait for the right shot, drawing back the 70# Hoyt carbon element had me settle the top pin low down just leading him a little, when the right angle became available the fury of a black stump solid bushmaster with 125 grain steel adapter followed up behind with a Easton axis 300 shaft ploughed on through the boar mid rib and exited the other side.

    He grunted and turned to find his tormentor but I was not moving an inch, he moved off to a tree and lay down with the ill effects of a razor sharp broad head taking its toll.

    He was a good solid boar but lacked some fang, but I was pretty stoked none the less.

    Ben and I came back the next day to get some photos during the day light.

    While my boar was in the throes of death another specimen was spotted heading to the over flow from the dam, with a quartering away breeze so to speak between me and him, I had to navigate closer to the boar in the open so a smaller sow also on the dam bank watching big brother would see me and catch my wind and then hopefully move away in the opposite direction.

    Well that plan worked a treat so I now had to close the distance to where the sow was watching him from but with a different frame of mind in the aid of a pointy sharp stick. Now in a good position as the boar had not moved from his location I came into range at 30 meters but decided to push my luck and back out and come around from above the boar for an up close and personal shot.

    The dam bank was soft under foot and made for good stalking, I was just cresting the bank on my tippy toes to locate the beast when he had done a Houdini act and disappeared, but alas not for long as I had seen his movement in my peripheral vision and he too had back tracked but was coming up over the bank on a pad, with arrow on the string, the heart started to charge and I secretly hoped he would not as he was about to cop 616 grain at the close range of 9-10 meters. That close and with my setup, I have no hesitation in putting an arrow into the chest front on, especially on a tough critter like this boar that was none the wiser.

    Still achieving a pass through the boar turned and bolted out onto the plain and bailed up only to collapse within 70 meters of the first boar just shot minutes ago.

    On inspection a wicked blood trail was left behind as seen in the photo, these boars are tuff and should not be under estimated; he still made a considerable amount of distance after the shot.

    20 minutes of the “hot half hour session” completed.

    Once again some more photos were taken in the day light.

    I had to put in another photo as well, looks awesome with the clouds in the back ground.

    Watching all the action of the departing boar through my bino’s the boar not only got the pointy end but also got harassed and stirred up by a fox doing his rounds in his battles to stay on his feet.

    With that I thought why not and loaded up another arrow on to the qad drop away rest and gave the ol Tenterfield a toot or two and had him on a string coming up the same pad as the boar before, he pulled up on his own accord locating the odd shape on the dam wall, already full drawn the arrow was away, he snarled viciously before turning and running off into the sunset but not very far at all.

    The usual day light picture to follow.

    And the combined spoils of one “hot half hour session”

    Getting back to the car I quenched a hard earned thirst with a cool PowerAde from the Engel and ventured back to camp to find Ben had safely arrived and had a successful afternoon taking a little sow and a ripper of a billy measuring a respectable 39 ”, he sure was lucky he only cracked the 40” mark a few months prior or he would have been as cranky as one of the boars I had shot that afternoon I reckon.

    From reports Ben had got the wind right for his approach and came across several goats feeding down to the flat on the tank. Seeing what he thought was a respectable specimen he snuck into range and readied for a shot, just about to lit rip at 34 meters and out of the scrub popped up a cracker of a billy. Letting down his Hoyt carbon Matrix he waits and draws again and settles into anchor before dropping the hammer and putting an arrow through his shoulders, needless to say the big billy did not travel too far.

    After quickly getting some photos and taking the head of the billy for the carry out he makes his way to the dam and finds some pigs watering. Using some trees as cover on the dam bank he quietly manoeuvres into position and draws for a perfect heart shot once again on the hapless sow from close range. In the end it was a pretty successful day for us both.

    Ben and I swapped stories of the day’s events and congratulated one another of our efforts for the day, devising a plan for the following day of boar’s to be his and goats to be mine we hit the hay and woke to a fresh cool morning. We checked out several grassy flats for some critters but found no pigs, assuming it was still to cool early in the morning as the pigs like to camp up in the red sand hills through the midnight to early morning to keep warm; we concentrated on the numerous goats streaming around.

    I had a go at trying to ambush a very large mob with some good heads about but could not close the deal with the lack of cover and the ever vigilant eyes of just too many goats, so head down into the wind we went on a quest for hoof and horn.

    The pigs were found to be well hidden and Ben seemed deprived of the action I got the day before, so when a small mob of billies were located he went in to secure a trophy, he expertly used the long shadows of the gum trees to get into position and readied for shot seen here with Ben in the far right of the picture.

    He subsequently got a deflection off a small branch and the arrow miscued to the right and scattered a flock of feeding galahs which in turn spooked the goats to within 4-5 meters of Ben’s location, with me clicking away some action shots Ben nails the white billy in the picture from 4 meters.

    At the aftermath of the shot all hell breaks loose with the three goats scrambling in my direction with the black and white billys horns tagging my pants leg as he rushes by me and the fatally wounded white billy stopping beside me nearly knocking over my bow and cutting the string with the broad head only to wee and bleed all over my bow instead, guess that’s a little karma.

    I contemplated grabbing him but did not with the fear of the goat’s revenge and retribution as he may want to stick me with the pointy thing that stuck him in our little tussle we would have had for sure. With that I said “way you go” and he left only to collapse 10 meters away.

    And the finale result.

    After pictures we headed off to a thick patch of lignum but only managed to find some more goats, waiting in some shadows for some billys I had seen feeding along the edge, I had two goats amble their way to within a few meters before my billy materialised from out of the thick stuff. Waiting in the cool confines that the tree provided and with a good wind in my face had this billy dead on his feet as he stopped to survey his surrounds at about 8-9 meters. Clipping off my release I was able to see my arrow bury deep into his chest with a thud and crack of blood and bone, needless to say he did not travel far.
    Last edited by Ben S; 4th August 2014 at 10:43 PM.
  5. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Grab a Cuppa, ya going to enjoy this - Part 2 of 2

    We starting turning in a very large circle as the wind shifted from its northerly breeze in the morning to its southerly in the late afternoon, this found us upon a very hefty deep depression that had an immense feeding area to the east and as it progressed to the west was scattered with lignum until it became impenetrable.

    As I skirted the fringe looking for goats, Ben went the hard slog through the thick stuff, I found the shine of some goat horns shimmering in the distance so made a bee line for them, getting into 30 meters from them using the available cover I was scanning for more but could only see one billy that appeared to be standing over a nanny.

    Hoping he was the dominant one and thus the biggest I was contemplating my options when Ben came over radio via my ear piece as he had come across them as well, confirming that the billy standing was the biggest one the game was on.

    Manoeuvring into the only available angle for a shot had me at 15 meters from him while some others snoozed just a little closer, I eventually found what I thought to be a little opening for a shot and pulled into anchor, the shot was away but had a deflection and skittled off into some thick lignum. This had the remaining goats on their feet so another arrow was loaded up and a better window presented with a slight shift of my stance.

    I did not waist this one and promptly put one through his airbags, he run off with the mob only to stop and circle back around and succumb to a well-placed arrow. After photo’s we split off again with Ben heading south and myself heading south east towards the vehicle.

    Coming to the edge of the flat that precluded the dam where the “hot half hour session” occurred but still several hundred meters away. I was still stalking the shaded area between the flat and the red sand ridge line that ran along its edge in the hope of finding some porkers resting. Only coming across goats that I left alone to feed on past, I was glassing the open expanse of the flat and noticed a pig feeding, still a long way off I called Ben on the radio and he made a bee line for me.

    Meeting up in the middle of the flat at the only tree I pointed it out and he was off like a blood hound on the trail. The only cover was some dried up cane grass just above knee height and very few and far between as seen in his picture, Ben showed patience and perseverance and slowly worked into a position he had ascertained that the now to be known sow would feed by.

    It took a while but the identified target soon came into range and an arrow from 30 meters from his Hoyt Matrix found its mark. Because of the open expanse I did not go out with him but slowly worked my way to the north using the tree line as cover and watched it all unfold.

    Watching with my Bino’s Ben looked confused as the sow did not go down as anticipated, I quickly got on the radio and said the “shot was good bud, lots of blood coming from the triangle” and then she hit the turf in a cloud of dust and flailing hooves.

    With that we got some photos of the sow and my successes from the evening before and started off for the ute, but having a billy wander in over to checks us out had Ben mimicking another goat bleating and the billy kept coming closer and closer until he was just too close to give up an opportunity at 37 meters and he too fell to a nice shot from the matrix.

    So back to heading to the ute and we got diverted again after catching a really good boar on the same flat I had seen all the pigs the day before and this had Ben on its tail as the boar made his way obviously after the scent of something he wanted as he did not stop for an ethical shot once. Ben had got into 20 -30 meters a few times using the sparse cover at hand but only had a moving “texas heart shot” available. Seeing that this boar showed some real good lip curl Ben decided for the safer option to let him go before we lost him when he cut our scent.

    Finally arriving at the vehicle we started off in the direction of camp, having to do a few running repairs on Ben’s ute we then decided to check out the “bait billy” as it was getting late into the afternoon, heading north for a few hundred meters and then starting towards a small flood plain that should have the wind right for Ben’s final assault on the local swine population before he heads home for work.

    First checking out the dam we find nothing to pursue, I’m down low skirting wider to get a vantage point on the “bait billy” and find a lone boar having a chew on the severely depleted carcass, quickly getting Bens attention we use the dam wall as cover and start the stalk, Ben stops and squats down drawing his bow and picking his spot on the boars chest, he smacks him real good busting his shoulder but he shows a lot of grit and determination and starts off and all of a sudden catches our wind and hits top gear in a matter of seconds.

    I’m following from a distance as ben makes ground for a follow up shot, but he loses him in the thick hopbush and I lose them both, it does not help when their eyes are 1 foot off the ground and ours are higher up in the thick scrub they usually pick up movement long before we catch theirs, anyway Ben continues on like a demon possessed but comes up empty handed.

    I start heading back to the carcass to check out the carnage the locals had been doing and spot another boar nosing around 50 meters from it, Ben’s nowhere in sight and with the light fading fast I can’t wait, so using the low light conditions and the quiet churned up earth of a sheep pad sneak into 20 meters, he turns broad side on queue like I asked him nicely to and the element springs into life and sends a bushmaster his way and punches through his shoulders.

    The boar looks around for danger before taking off, I follow from a safe distance until I see him stand between two trees about 200 meters away, I visually take note of the trees and mark a line in the dirt with my boot in the their direction, backing out I make my way back to the shot site and locate my arrow with good blood sign on it.

    Back at camp Ben’s just arrived with no prize and I tell him of my boar I just shot and he said he seen him running away, we have a discussion of where and I draw a map on the ground, but the last spot I seen him was different to where Ben had seen the pig running, pretty sure of my shot I get ready for the following days hunt as it is my last while Ben departs for home.

    Having a little sleep in to 7am I get up get changed into my hunting clothes and start for the last spot I seen him at my line in the sand, glassing ahead nothing then 50 meters to the right under a shady tree I spot him, a big smile and elation swept over me, but a sense of alertness came as well as he was not lying down as expected but instead sitting up like watching some sheep graze.

    With the wind not right I circle around and in doing so lose sight of him but not the tree he was under, arrow at the ready 25 meters from the tree and a few meters from laying eyes on my reward, the blasted mob of sheep had fed into the same scrub line and spooked taking along with it my dead pig which was pretty much alive and healthy as it was a different one altogether as mine had some white running down its neck and this one did not. He must have been having a rest after chewing on the bait billy all night as it was noted to have moved from the previous evening’s position.

    Anyway not to spooked but still rattled I follow him up and he leads to me another larger lone boar that grab’s my attention, they size one another up before the smaller one departs and so I focus on the un-spooked specimen and start to gain ground on him. Finding myself in familiar territory as it is was the site of the bait billys demise and subsequent dragging to the dam, my new objective starts to follow the drag trail like a kid to the cookie jar.

    As the trail goes out to the open and following would be difficult with the prevailing wind direction I skirmish along the bush line to try to get in front, whether he sensed something or caught some wind I don’t know, one second he was in my sight then he vanished like a ghost in thin air,”****, where did he go” I muttered or something to that effect.

    I start back to camp cranky and irritable kicking stones as I go like a sore loser, I look up ahead as I break the shrub line and there 20 meters in front of me is my boar dead as door nail only 50 meters from where I had last seen him, “you son of b***ch” as I start his way doing my little jig with a big smile on my dial.

    Now back at camp I pack up a little in a happy mood, moving stuff out side I noticed the wind is in a favourable direction for a quick assent onto one of the back dams. With that I dropped what I was doing and hit the road. The wind was strong so I parked closer than normal and started my way in, nearing the dam wall pigs fighting could be heard, cresting the wall I only managed to spook the 20 odd cattle having a drink which in turn sent the swine on their merry way.

    Settling down I spied 5 billys coming in off a sand hill with one being a decent head, with no cover I get into 60 meters but having to jump a barb wire fence and cover some more open country was proving to difficult and the goats started to move off, just out of view and I was going to follow them up when a small boar was spotted feeding down me off the small ridge line.

    Sweet I’m already at the water in some shade so I’ll wait and nail him when he comes down; well well well didn’t he disappoint me, he not only walked by agonisingly out of range but walked straight past the water and under the fricking barb wire fence I just crossed and continues on to the dam, ah well me and my short legs can get over another one of these I guess, I swear I have to spend $20 after every hunt I go on so my local seamstress can mend my pants in the crotch area, the results from getting snagged all the time.

    Sneaking up the bank this time but with no cattle the noise from a strong cross wind had me in range of the little deviate only to find his bigger brother had snuck in while I was away, now with eyes fixed on my new quarry I stuff it up by shooting low at around 33 meters, and he backs away to catch my wind and disappear over the bank, take two on the little one and I use a tree as cover and gain another 10 meters before he wises up but a little too late as he catches an axis 300 shaft at 220 feet per second, he darts off in the same direction as the other but stops short amongst some small rocks on the downhill side of the bank.

    He was not very big in size but he had some sizable hooks for little feller.

    Seeing that the little boar was down and out I quickly turned back and jumped the fence again and started for the goats that had just left. Weaving my way over the sand hill in some woody weeds for a few hundred meters proved fruitless in my attempt to find them, and then I spied them, moving into position at the edge of a clearing, had me all geared up for a shot but it was a different mob altogether with no shooters, letting them walk by and noticing a real good spot for a pig to camp up in the middle of the clearing had me take two steps and….

    A good solid boar stood up for a mexican stand-off, thinking it was the goats that disturbed him he lay back down for a slumber in a good position for a stalk, backing away slowly and back tracking to come in from downwind I was confronted with the goats deciding to camp up as well in the openness of the clearing, I then had to try and navigate them but in doing so the boar was disrupted and soon left and stoped at the edge of the small clearing, his body language told me the game was up as he vanished into the scrub.

    Walking over to see if any others were near I found his reason for staying which ended up being a smaller pig that had died, I kicked it in discuss before turning around and making my way back, traveling 60-70 meters and then hearing some goats bleating from behind I turn around just in time to see my pig return, now I’m in the middle of the clearing acting like a statue as this switched on critter came in very very cautious and wary, looking left, right, smelling the air and the ground around the dead pig I had just kicked two minutes ago, as expected he was off again into the never never. Man I was cranky and cantankerous as you can imagine.

    Back to the goats, with the main pad passing the trees I surmised them to travel on, it would have me at 17-18 meters from them as they passed on my right. I was waiting in the trees that the pig was camped near for 15 odd minutes before the goats even showed themselves. But instead of coming down the pad on my right they came down the left side of the trees instead, glassing them with no shooters I happened to see two billys further back in my vision that needed closer inspection. Expecting them to follow suit as the previous mob I had to move to get to a better position for a shot.

    I took one step backwards and turned on a dime for one more step forward and slap me in the face with a dead fish if that blasted boar did not come back out of the hopbush for the 3rd time and have me playing statue again. Luckily for me when I wait in an ambush or even having a bite to eat for that matter I have an arrow on the string. Waiting for the goats to pass us by he comes in and inspects his little dining area all the while I’m at 15 meters from him as seen from the footage trying to find a tunnel to slip an arrow into his vitals.

    I’m moving my upper torso around like an emu praying and looking for a window, I can’t move as he is so switched on and alert with sticks and leaves under foot, I squat, duck and weave and still nothing, the only thing I have is a coke can size window but he needs to move into that position for a shot and I can’t make that happen, and for him to move into this location is like winning the lucky number in a 100 number game of cow pat lotto.

    Well my number came up, anticipating the shot I flexed the muscles of the Hoyt and it sprang into action in record time threading the needle through the vast array of branches and twigs smacking the solid boar in the shoulder, he let out some grunts and a big “wooaath” and took off super-fast. I dear not move and only just caught sight of him as he entered the bush line, but some good blood was spotted pooling on his shoulder as he raced away tight in the crease.

    Giving him a little time I looked for my arrow and found half of it covered in blood, finding half when it has not hit anything other than the pig and he is still on his feet usually indicates to me that it may have broken as he used his shoulder muscles in his movements to hastily vacate the scene, this gave me more confidence of my shot placement in the fast paced action that had just transpired.

    Taking up the trail I only travelled 30 odd meters and found him and wasn’t I the elated one, one happy hunter indeed, finding my boar from the night before, shooting the little toothy one and now the “3 times a charm” boar yielded to one of my arrows.

    And now the action of hunt as it unfolded.

    It was now getting late into the afternoon and I still had to pack the ute for the trip home which I smashed out as fast as I could so I could have time for one last hunt at another favourite spot of mine on the way home from the property.

    Once again with a good stiff breeze I geared up and headed inland to get the ideal wind direction for this location for my approach to the dam, having spotted two pigs feeding that needed closer inspection had me closing the distance to within range, seeing one was a sow with slips that moved off to feed, I focused on the other that turned out to be a good mud encrusted boar nosing in a small hollow.

    Keeping to the long shadows that the late afternoon sun provided, the dominant strong wind and my confidence of the day’s events, created a divine moment as my boar turned quartering away and I moved swiftly and silently into position at 18 meters. Coming to full draw and picking my spot behind the ribs I let loose the blackstumped tipped death of destruction and watched as it entered and then angled upwards towards the off shoulder as the arrow must have deflected off a rib.

    Still confident of my shot I shadowed him until he stopped moments later, as he slumped to the ground 100 meters away with my scent following him, I was sure he was down for the count, so I GPS’s in his position and continued on the hunt for more as I had seen some others out feeding while that stalk took place.

    I quickly located the other pigs and they were not disturbed, so using the low light conditions to my advantage I snuck out from behind my viewing point and slowly waddled out onto the feeding flat until I got to 25 meters from the unsuspecting sow and nailed her, dropping her on the spot.

    The sow was the last pig I shot before I headed home via the manager’s home to thank them for a wonderful time that was had; they were happy for my thinning of the introduced pests and welcomed me back as soon as I could.

    I thought I would finish the story with pictures and video of the last boar for the trip instead of the sow so read on, watch and enjoy.

    A fitting photo of a one happy hunter in the celebration of 6 good boars that fell to my arrows.

    Well that concludes the end of my latest adventure; I hope you all felt like you were there with me as that is my intention, all the best with your hunting endeavours.

    Love life and live the hunt.

    Ps. you might want to go warm up that cup of tea now, it might be cold.


    Sub note:

    For those that are interested about my set up.

    Bow: 2011 Hoyt carbon Element 70# 26” draw, winners choice string.
    Rest: Qad ultra rest, G5 ” peep, wrist sling. Cobra dual calliper wrist release.
    Sight: Spot Hogg Hunter sight 5 pin 2” housing, 20, 30, 40, 45 and 50 meters.
    Arrows: Easton axis 300’s @ 27/1/2” with 3x4” killer vanes
    Broadheads: black stump solid bushmasters with a steel 125 grain adapter
    Zwickey no mercy with 125 grain steel adapter, both heads weigh
    255 grain, arrow weight all up is 616 grain and flies out of my chrono
    At 220 fps, slow but hits hard,
    arrows are at 19.7% FOC and 20% FOC respectively.
  6. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Long-time ABF member Wes has taken out this month's round of the 2Blade Bowhunting Story Competition. The story was entitled 'Of Grommets and Goats', well done on an awesome hunt with your sons, it surely doesn't get any better than that! Please get in touch with Brad of 2Blade Productions to claim your prize of a 2Blade DVD. A huge thanks once again to 2Blade Productions for their continued support of this long-standing competition.

    DEER ADDICTION 3 IS OUT NOW - Order your copy at or email

    Of Grommets and Goats

    I had been waiting for this moment for years. Not the hunt… the time when I would get to take my sons on their first dedicated hunt with me. At 8 and 6, I didn't think I could hold them off any longer. I'm incredibly lucky to have two boys that share a passion for the bush and can't wait for every adventure we plan together. So with work taking me to western QLD for a trip, I managed to organise a couple of days at the beginning and bring the boys with me.
    We had managed to secure a dozen or so properties through a dedicated letter writing campaign in some of the best looking country west of the divide. I'd spent countless hours researching and licking stamps. Now as we drove through the property gates that we had chosen and sent goats running through the scrub, I was licking my lips. A wave of privilege came over me as I shook hands with the property manager whom I had never met me before. What does it take in today's age of litigation and boofheads to roll the dice with someone new? It takes a good man and he surely was.
    With a few hours of light left, I decided to see if we could catch a camp goat for my littlest boy Finn. He wanted a pet for the few days we were there. So armed with camera and a fair dose of courage on his part, off we went. Driving down to the channels we parked the car within sight of the first mob of goats we saw. I picked out a decent billy and shot him - with the camera.

    I thought he looked alright… and that perhaps we might meet again.

    Going further afield, we came across a nanny with two kids. Perfect! So after positioning ourselves in the line the nanny was feeding she walked right in to 10 metres before the boys couldn't contain themselves any more and burst forward yelling at the tops of their lungs. Obediently, both kids just dropped on the spot and waited to be picked up. Unbelievable!

    This was too easy! But on closer inspection, both kids were suffering from eye infections of some sort. I told my boys that really, they needed to stay with mum who had run off only 30 m. So with many tears, we parted ways with me promising we'd catch another. As much as I tried, and ran and ran, over the course of our two day stay I couldn't run another kid down to save myself. Billies on the other hand, well…

    The first day of hunting kicked off well locating a good mob of goats that held some in heat nannies. I heard the mob well before I saw them because of the hiding the girls were getting. Sneaking through the channels with my boys we got into bow range a number of times, but with the billies running around and fighting, they kept us on our toes. At one stage Byron, my 8yr old was behind a tree just 4 metres from a mob of unaware billies that had happened to run his way. With eyes like dinner plates, I knew that he'd never forget the experience. Finally I picked out the billy I wanted but had to wait 20 minutes before he stayed still long enough and presenting enough to warrant the shot. When he did, he stopped quartering away and looked over his shoulder at me as if to say, "Well come on. I haven't got all day!" The matrix agreed and sprang forward from my hand. I lost sight of the arrow when it left my rest, and never saw it again. It was a different story for the goat however and he lay within sight.

    Upon arriving at my prize, I felt like he shrank in size. He was quite a little goat sporting a decent set. Still at 35" it was a PB for me and the boys were smiling.

    We wandered perhaps 50 m, happily chirping away, when I noticed not 30 metres from us, a good boar. I'd been advised by the manager, a keen pigger himself that we'd be lucky to see one bowhunting because the drought had knocked them badly. Still, with this pig in front on me, we seemed to be in luck. But before we were ready, he trotted off in disgust. We followed him at distance for some time before he appeared to have settled down. So I put the boys in the safety of a tree with a radio and stalked the final 60m in their view. Perhaps they shouldn't have been watching though as they saw their old man completely stuff up a prime opportunity. Managing to sneak in to 15 metres from the bedded boar undetected, I drew back and settled for the easy shot. But for some reason, my release aid wouldn't let go - and I found my self wrestling with it and shot clean over the pig's back. What's that? Laughter on the radio? Ah well. Perhaps it didn't hurt for them to see it after all.

    It was time for lunch on day one, but the goats just wouldn't leave us alone.

    Really when they are interested in girls, the sunglasses are dark! This mob could have fallen over quite easily if I was feeling blood thirsty.
    But, finally I found a billy that looked the goods. Maybe 38 or so???

    But after getting pinned at 50m, I decided I'd practiced enough on my range at home to be confident (or silly) at that so I let rip. Number two on the ground! I'm learning quick!… quick that I'm rubbish at estimating horn size. He went 34".

    The boys were starting to feel like old men and dragging their feet. I, on the other hand, felt like I was 18 again! After deciding to drive around for a while, I found a mob in the distance that had the lads groaning and moaning. "Oh alright," came the resignation, and off we went one last time for the day. I spied a white goat that looked good but I'd given up trying to estimate size and concentrated instead on enjoying the experience. It was close to sunset and the birds were celebrating a beautiful day in the outback. With Byron shadowing my every move, I paused to think of the countless dads and lads over the millennia who had shared the beauty of moments like this. I certainly felt alive, sharpened, empowered as a father. I looked around, a quiet grin told me much.

    Out in front the goats were on the move. With little cover, except the approaching darkness, the sentiment had been getting the better of me, and it looked like we had blown it. But in one fatal mistake, my billy propped at 54m, angling away, perhaps to wonder what those silly gooses were grinning about. And Mick Bakers broad head was slicing through the cold dusk air and finding its mark. The goat broke the silence with a yell that sounded more like me than I cared to think about, and broke for the bush. But I could see the claret flowing in the gloom. Spilling out like wine. And he was down.

    It was a special moment. My boys and me. And a goat that grew as we approached. 37 1/2 with a broken tip.

    I reckon Finn took a great shot, don't you?

    Day two had all the boys feeling a little tired. We took it pretty easy and wandered some new sections of the river without seeing much. We drove some more and came on a mob of about 150 goats. This was the chance to catch Finn his camp goat I thought. The mob panicked as I ran at them and piled up in the middle. I got within a metre of some pretty big billies but it was the little tackers I was after. But small as they were, they were running rings around me. We needed lunch.

    Back at it we found the goats thin on the ground. Funny that. I thought they wouldn't mind a crazy dad running at them with wild eyes and evil intent. Change of plan…

    I'd heard one noise in the opposite direction that I thought were billies so we took a stab and headed there. But walking quietly through the bush with two small boys was challenging to say the least… oh they could walk quietly if they wanted to - but only for 25m at a time. Then it was time to bust out the latest Michael Jackson moves or whack their brother on the back of the head with a stick to see what would happen. It was starting to mess with my Christian experience. But right front of us stood 20 or so goats milling around with nothing better to do.

    After a counsel of war where I took the advice of my generals, we backed out and took a long wide berth to get the wind right. These goats appeared to have a couple of very decent billies with them but were pretty switched on. What they didn't count on was the special forces kids with their camo and grimaces. Sliding up a perfectly placed channel I popped up 40m from the biggest billy. With his horns swaying from side to side, I was in love. Could he really be 40? I'm 42… what a coincidence! We're made for each other!

    I really was a scene from the movies… the timing was perfect… every other goat was magically moving its head behind tree trunks, or looking the other way as I stalked my prey. The wind was right… the music was playing… sorry, I digress. He fed away from me, but slowly. I pulled back the string… I think… I don't remember doing it. I do remember he was 34m and hard angling away but was about to move down a corridor which would have put him into the texas heart shot position… one I don't like to shoot. So with a surprise release, the Mayhem Hunter 350 flew straight and disappeared just in front of his left back leg. He lurched forward, arched his back and ran, bellowing and belting his horns on the timber as he went. Round the corner at 50m and out of sight. Waiting still, I heard the sound or horns - crack, crack, smack. I waited and still the sound. Finally all three of us moved forward in the safety of another shallow channel. Still the cracking. As we rounded the bend where we lost sight of my billy, we saw the sound - more billies fighting over a holed up nanny. Our eyes met as if she was pleading for help. I thought, you know what, I think we might be able to.

    Byron had wanted to break out his Hoyt Ruckus and have a go. I wasn't sure. I knew he was pretty good, but even though my 8 year old boy is tall, he was still 5 in my eyes. Finally I agreed… he did get broad heads for his birthday after all. So after a little pep talk, I sent him in. Well, the final 10 metres before the spot I had told him to stand up and shoot. It was magical really - there were billies fighting 10m to the left of our 2m deep channel and the same to our right. All Byron had to do was sneak up to the tree, pull back, step out and fire at 5m. He did so well, just stepped out before he pulled back. That was really all the extra 4 seconds the billies needed to get out of there. He was heart broken, but I encouraged him that all was not lost.

    We continued on only 20m further where we found my billy had expired after a complete pass through had exited inside his right shoulder. And we also discovered that I really am rubbish at estimating size. I guess not all romances go the distance right? 36".

    There were still goats feeding and carrying on unaware of our presence so I encouraged Byron to have another go. Following the channel up to a big tree we could see 3 goats feeding in its direction. Two appeared to be small billies. With Finn and I right behind Byron this time I was able to coach him through the timing of his attack and the shot itself. The billy turned left and slowly fed side on to us at 15m. "Ok, staying behind the tree, slowly pull back. Now, slowly step out from the tree and put your second pin right where we talked about." Showing the steadiness of mind of someone much older, Byron took the shot. I remember watching the arrow arch over the grasses and into the sizeable mass of the billy. The very next thing I saw was the billy hitting the deck. A perfect shot dropped him on the spot and Byron, my 8yr boy going on 5, had his first animal with a bow. And wasn't it a beauty. It turned out to be the one we had photographed on the first day - all 34 inches of it!

    Not all hunts turn out this good. But for my first hunt with my boys, it was a dream come true. Driving out of the gates Finn said to me, "You ought to be happy now dad. You've got two more hunters in the family." Yes Finn. Yes.
  7. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    We love seeing the effort that goes into some of these articles - mixed video, photo and text content always makes for an awesome read/watch. This month lvkmi has put in a cracking effort and taken out this round of the 2Blade Bowhunting Story Competition. The story was entitled 'Black Soil Boars & Billies from the Blind', well done on a great hunt with plenty of action!! Please get in touch with Brad of 2Blade Productions to claim your prize of a 2Blade DVD. A huge thanks once again to 2Blade Productions for their continued support of this long-standing competition.

    DEER ADDICTION 3 IS OUT NOW - Order your copy at or email

    Black Soil Boars & Billies from the Blind

    Part 1 of 2

    Day 1
    We arrived at the property mid morning. Scotty had a couple of jobs to do so he sent me off to knock over a bait goat to put on the dam behind the quarters in the hope of attracting a pig or two in the days ahead. I kitted up and headed off in the direction Scotty suggested. I'd walked about 500m when I spotted a black cat lying under a hop bush (the cat had actually spotted me first!). I knocked an arrow and ranged him at 30m. As I drew back, he looked to his left where a second cat was sitting only metres away in the sun before bolting off into the scrub. Turns out this black cat would be a bad omen for one of us the rest of the trip....

    I kept trudging along further into the hop bush when I suddenly spotted a white goat only 70 metres ahead. The stalk was easy with plenty of cover and the shot was taken at 25 metres. Although the shot was good, taking out the lower part of the heart, she determinedly stayed on her feet long enough for a nosy old emu to come along and take a look at her before she collapsed.

    I walked over to collect my arrow when I saw a few more goats heading my way. I sat crouched down in some shade waiting in ambush for them to pass me by. I had a 130gn Stealth II ready at full draw for what seemed like minutes before the nearest goat was under 10m from its razor sharp blades. I let her rip taking her down in quick time, less than 20m from where she last stared me in the eyes.

    That afternoon we went out the back of the property to a windmill for a wander and to set up the blind and put some salt out to help keep the goats in the area. I glassed a good billy on the flood plain but ended up getting winded, Scotty called up on the UHF to say a few billies had moved into a small patch of lignum near the truck. I walked back over to the spot and could see the small billies feeding on the fresh lignum shoots. It was another easy stalk with plenty of cover allowing me to get within 20m in no time flat. I nocked an outback and sit in wait as a white Billy slowly fed a bit closer. A nice quartering on shot soon presented as he stumbled forward at the impact of my first arrow. A second arrow was quickly on its way as the opportunity was too good too pass up, sealing his fate some 30 seconds later. I called Scotty up to deliver the good news and was greeted with this short, sharp response "natures calling mate, be there shortly"

    24 inch white Billy

    Eventually Scotty drove the Ute down to pick me up and we headed over to the tank to set up the blind. It took a good 10 minutes for us to figure out how to fold it out before Scotty spotted a good size billy coming over the sand hill in need of a drink.

    We quickly scrambled into the blind, no video camera and no rangefinder, just me, Scotty and my bow sitting inside a half pegged down blind. Eventually, the big black billy presented broadside on the waters edge, around 25m from my shot window. The Mathews solo cam rocked forward sending a 523gn Easton arrow low into his chest.

    31" Black Billy

    He walked off slowly toward the sand hill and bedded under the nearest tree. We waited a good 45 mins before we decided I'd have to make an open air stalk to finish him off because we were chewing into precious late afternoon hunting time that we wanted to spend on the pigs. I managed to creep into 20m before delivering the final blow.

    We finished setting up the blind and putting out the salt before making our way around the floodplain that was home to many a hungry goat this particular afternoon - this bloke nearly got run over!

    We kept on driving on toward the next hunting spot where we would spend the remaining 2 hours of daylight glassing for pigs. The only one we saw that day was the arse end of a boar crossing the track in front of us along the way. No pigs were seen on the next tank so that was it for the arvo.

    Day 2
    Up at 5:30am and off to the chosen tank for the morning. With a poor wind direction noted we went scrub bashing in the ute to a better position for our morning assault on the ferals. Scotty took this thing today, and in the days ahead to places I would not take a tank – FFS Scotty, It’s a Colorado not a f#@king Monster truck!! We pulled up in the scrub about 600m off the dam and made our way across the flat. No pigs were found on the dam today or the surrounding area so we continued on through the hop bush to check out a few more flats that Scotty hadn't explored before.

    I soon spotted some black legs through the low scrub and called Scotty on the radio to tell him that pigs were heading his way but turned out to be a black goat in a mob of 7 or 8 nannies and kids. We pushed on over to the flats but nothing but roos and a few sheep were seen enjoying the morning sun.

    We walked the 2.5 kms back to the truck and drove over to a creek bed filled with lignum and lined with good shade trees along each side, a perfect bedding area for a hog or two. We kitted up and Scotty suggested I walk along the opposite side and we meet up on an island about 1200m further up the creek. I strolled off down the bank and made it about 50 meters all in the knowing view of Scotty when I hear him yell out "hey Luke you going bush walking or do you wanna go hunting and come get ya bow" I turned around sheepishly red faced to see Scotty having a good old belly laugh at my forgetfulness comparing it to an incident he had had only a week earlier which I believe he will post a video of in the near future titled “when it all goes to s#!t”…

    Now with bow in hand I set off along the fence line that cut a path straight through the thick lignum to the opposite side of the creek. I was about 500m along when I spotted 2 billies walking out from under the comfort of some shade trees half way up the bank. I pulled out the monocular for a closer inspection of the horn potential when I caught movement of a third billy emerging from the shadows.

    This fella was noticeably larger than the other 2 and a lot wiser and intelligent to boot. He stopped in the edge of the shade and had a good look up and down the creek before coming out for a chew when I noticed one of his horns was broken off about halfway along.

    One horned Billy goat

    I slowly stalked into 20m with minimal cover and as I drew back he spotted movement and trotted off to join the safety of the others. I called Scotty over to have a crack as he hadn't fired an arrow as yet and this fella was a worthy target. Scotty tailed him for a good 400m before he had a chance to close the gap.

    I sat back with camera rolling and watched the stalk unfold. With a poor wind to his right and the remaining goats bedded up 40 meters to his left he done really well to close the distance out in the open with a direct approach but alas, it was this goats lucky day as he too managed to catch Scotty out just as he was about to draw on him from under 20m.

    We headed back to the quarters for a feed and a much needed rest before doing it all over again that afternoon. I decided to go and sit on the tank behind the quarters while Scotty had a nap. I managed to get up close and personal with a family mob coming in for a drink.

    We headed off around 4 pm to another flat way over the other side of the property. It looked a bit drier over here compared to the other side which still held many puddles of water noted on our quest for hoof and horn. We saw 3 lots of pigs just driving along the fence line that led us down to our intended destination, the signs were looking promising! We split up and headed into the tree line on the western side of the tank. As we approached the dam I could see a couple of pigs feeding out on the flat beyond.

    I called Scotty on the radio and as I was telling him he spied a good boar only 150m off to our right making its way out of the timber. Scotty generously offered me the shot but I insisted that he should have a crack at the boar as I'd already shot a few critters the previous day. We slowly moved over to where the pig was but he was nowhere to be seen. Thinking he had winded us or spooked from some departing kangaroos we crawled through the fence and looked up to see another mob of smaller pigs rooting up the dry earth only 70 yards away. Scotty maintained that I was to have a go as he could come out this way anytime. There were no decent boars spotted in the mob that were worthy of Scotty’s arrow so like a kid in a candy shop I didn't have to be told twice. I quickly closed the gap to within 30m of the unsuspecting family group. I just needed to move another 10m to my right to clear some small shrubs in order to get a shot on the small boar at the back of the mob.

    As I got into position I noticed a good sized hairy boar feeding right in close in the shadows amongst some foliage. I ranged him at 24m and split my pins on his shoulder for a good quartering on shot. Scott looked perplexed as I drew the 70# Mathews into anchor thinking I was shooting the small boar that moved off at the back. The arrow was gone in a flash and the single bevel supreme punched straight through the thick fighting pad half way up his chest taking out lungs on the way through. He took off in top gear and made it about 70m before piling up in a cloud of dust. Turns out this boar was the big one spotted earlier by Scotty! He was just as happy for me as if he had shot it himself although he said it with gritted teeth and a wry smile, thanks mate I owe you one.

    We marked his position in the gps for a later photo and we kept on trekking up to the next mob which could be seen only 200m further ahead. It turned out to be a couple of sows followed by a small boar which was to be Scotts focus, I didn't have to ask Scotty if he wanted a turn this time as he already had an arrow on the string and he was off!

    He put in a good stalk on the ever constant moving boar and sent an Easton axis straight through the little fellas shoulder.

    As this was going on I could see another 2 pigs feeding out onto the flat so we quickly followed them up with Scotty stepping up again to take them on. While he stalked in I made my way into the timber to his right in anticipation of the pigs heading back that way after the shot. Scotty let rip on the closest sow and sure enough, the rest of the mob started heading my way at a brisk pace.

    As they passed by at 20m I put my pin right on the front of her chest and sent some carbon her way. I looked on as the pig had managed to run right past my arrow only for it to punch into a small sucker that was hot on her heels, dropping him on the spot! With light now fading fast we found both our arrows and followed the blood trail for a few hundred meters until it petered out and disappeared (that bloody cat was back, Scott reiterated).

    We then headed back to my first boar for a photo session before calling it a night.

  8. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Black Soil Boars & Billies from the Blind

    Part 2 of 2

    Day 3 BIG DAY

    We planned to spend this day sitting in the blind. We knew the goats would be active with the salt Scotty put out 2 days earlier and the legs were looking for a rest after putting in the miles over the previous two days. We jumped in the blind about 7am and I'm glad we did as it was quite cold this morning and the wind had picked up considerably after a thunderstorm had moved through only a few hours earlier. It didn't take long for the first mob of bachelor billies to move in for a drink and with nothing worth taking we just snapped them with the camera instead.

    As the sun began to warm the morning air a second mob could be seen slowly feeding over the Sand hill to our right, but once again, no shooters.

    As the third mob rolled in the temptation was becoming too great for Scotty so he decided to take out the biggest billy with a brilliant heart shot.

    Heart shot Billy

    A group of nannies came and went and were quickly followed by another mob of four billies of which one was definitely a keeper. I nocked an arrow and brought the Z7 to full draw just as this big boy began to quench his thirst at the water’s edge. Unbeknown to him, this would be last drinks for this bloke before 28 inches of steel tipped carbon arrow was busting through his shaggy hide. The shot left plenty to be desired so I quickly redeemed myself with a cracking follow up shot from 28m, bringing him down in seconds.

    106 6/8 DP score

    It was now close to lunch time and we had goats hanging around all over the place as we crawled out of the blind. Scotty decided he would mimic a goat by holding his bow on his head to see just how close he could get before scaring them off in order to take a few happy snaps of the 2 goats we'd shot earlier.

    Scotty the 2 legged goat!

    That afternoon we decided to hunt an area of lignum on the opposite side of the flood plain to where we had been sitting in the blind that morning. The wind was still blowing hard from the south so we had to pull up about a k from where we wanted to hit the lignum and walk in through the sand hills.

    Scotty glassing the lignum from up high

    Once there, Scotty went right and I went left and we were to meet up on the fence that dissected the far side of the floodplain. I glassed a few goats milling around the hop bush along the fringes of the dry swamp. I walked up into the sand hill to get a better look as there were a few goats getting about but there was nothing decent to be seen.

    As I walked back down to the tree line I saw a good size boar walking between 2 clumps of lignum. I quickly snuck into range only to see him bed down deep underneath some lignum. I crept in to 10 m before I saw his head poking out of his comfy little bed. With no shot on offer I tried to maneuver around a bit further to see if I could get an angle into the vitals but he must have spotted my movement in the end as he erupted from his hole with a loud “woof” leaving a trail of dust in his wake.

    Feeling a bit disappointed with myself for being impatient, I moved on to see what else might be lurking about. The lignum started to thin out as I rounded a bend and some more goats could be seen feeding on a large open flat off to my left which was only separated from the swamp by a narrow strip of hop bush. I crossed the sand to be greeted by no less than 60 goats, all spread out across this wide open plain. I started walking out toward the goats when I noticed a lone black pig walking out from the hop bush to join the menagerie of ferals already dining on the fresh green pick.

    The wind was good (but blowing a gale) and I just had to contend with a few roos and goats that stood between us. I managed to subtly move in their direction getting close enough to make them uncomfortable in my presence but not enough to spook them into panicking everything off the plains. The stalk on this pig was going to be tuff - with no trees, bushes or clumps of grass within cooee of this critter. I managed to get in reasonably close at one point only to see him trot off as I stood up to draw.

    I tailed him for the next half hour as the sun started to sink over the horizon but was struggling to get closer than 100m. I kept telling myself that if I can get to 40, I will take a shot and with a few short bursts of quick stepping while his head was turned, I was soon at 35m and holding the Z7 at full draw. I could see white tusk clearly flashing above his top lip every time he chomped on the grass.

    I felt like I had to lean into the wind to stay upright and my pins were waving all over the place like a 2 year old holding a crayon! He eventually turned broadside and I clipped off the release as my pin floated back across the boars shoulder. I could see my arrow move from right to left in the wind and it appeared to sail harmlessly underneath him in line with his pizzle. My heart sunk as I watched him take off across the open plain toward to lignum, my arrow skipping along the dirt far beyond where the pig once stood.

    I stormed over to where my arrow came to rest and picked it up to find it covered in sh!t. I immediately looked over to where the pig was headed and could see him slowly walking into the edge of the lignum.

    I started jogging toward him some 200m away to see if I could get a follow up shot before he made it into the thicker stuff further in. I hit the edge of the swamp but could no longer see the boar. Light was fading fast and I was trying to tell myself not to follow a wounded pig into cover on fading light, particularly one with choppers as big as his! But, being the idiot I am I thought I'd try it anyway, you just never know your luck! I hesitantly walked around a few clumps before spotting him 40 m ahead slowly walking further into the swamp.

    I could see he was hurting from my initial arrow as he kept pausing every four or five steps. This allowed me to quickly close the gap to under 20m. I drew back as he rounded the next lignum bush and when he emerged from the other side I put the pin on his arse and sent an outback broadhead sailing straight up his freckle. I saw the FOB pop of his ring as the arrow slid through him like a hot knife through butter. He let out a bit of a squeal before staggering to his death only meters from the point of impact.

    Note the blood trail!

    To say I was excited was an understatement as I could already see those pearly white teeth protruding well above his curled top lip without even having to open his mouth!!

    I conveyed my excitement, followed by my location to Scotty over the radio so he could bring the truck down to pick me up. Quite a few photos were taken before removing the jaw for boiling out later on.

    That bought a very happy ending to day 3 for me and I lay in my swag with a huge smile on my face that night, reliving the moment over and over as I drifted off to sleep.

    Day 4
    This was to be our last day on the property. We hatched a plan to hunt an unknown area of floodplain that was ringed by a thin band of lignum. As we approached in the vehicle, Scotty quickly killed the engine and pointed his binos toward the right edge of the plain. A lone pig was spotted and the stalk was on. Scotty moved in on the medium sized sow and placed the 20m pin low on her chest. The shot was away and the pig let out a squeal before heading off into the sand hill never to be seen again.

    As we walked over to where she was last seen I spotted another 2 sows only 100m further out. I sent Scotty in again but with minimal cover to conceal his approach the sows got a bit restless and decided to get the fark outta there.

    Still determined to shake off the curse of the black cat, Scotty took off in pursuit of the sows while I headed in the opposite direction with a plan to meet up later on the other side. It wasn't long before I was onto another mob of sows, putting in a quick stalk and taking out the nearest one with a cracking double lung shot from 30m.

    I marked her in the GPS and kept on following the rest of the mob along the edge of the scattered lignum. I got close a couple of times but they were still on edge from losing their mate a few minutes earlier and kept moving on just outside of my comfortable shooting range. I called Scotty on the radio to see how he was travelling and he replied with "got a cheap bow for sale if you're interested". I suggested he come over to where I was as there seemed to be a few pigs getting about in my little patch. I waved my arm in the air so he could see where I was and he started making his way over to see if he could get a piece of the action.

    As Scotty got to within 200m of my location I noticed another pair of sows heading straight toward where I was waiting for Scotty! I quickly alerted him on the radio of the oncoming pigs and squatted down into position for a shot. The sows walked straight into 15m before one turned broadside and copped a broad head to the spine, dropping her on the spot.

    I'm not sure what was running through Scottys mind at this point but boy was I having a blast! As I walked over to the pig I saw another 2 half grown suckers trotting out of the lignum and heading straight toward Scotty who was still trundling across the open plain blissfully unaware of what was heading his way. I jumped on the radio again and pointed them out to him and he lay in wait with the Hoyt at the ready. The pigs cut a path directly between Scotty and I so he had to wait till they passed my line of fire before launching 600+ grains of fury into the little black suckers shoulder bone.

    The sucker took off with Scottys arrow still attached, heading back toward the cover of the lignum. As the pig got close to my position, I decided to give chase just to make sure he wasn't going to make it all the way into the thick stuff with his arrow. I'd just hit full stride when I tripped on a lignum stump which sent me flying into the grey earth below. I rolled over and jumped back up hoping Scotty hadn't noticed my quick trip and eventually caught the little fella, turning around only to see Scotty having a good old laugh at me and my two left feet. A few photos were taken of each of the pigs before we headed back to the Ute to go looking for a meat goat for me to take home that afternoon.

    As we got back near the quarters Scotty spotted a few goats on the edge of a small clearing and decided to put in a stalk while I looked on through the video camera. Before I knew it Scotty had 2 goats on the deck and was heading back to the Ute to begin the retrieval.

    I knocked the hind quarters off one of the goats and we headed back to pack up our gear in preparation for the drive home that afternoon. I got a few snaps of the trophies I was taking back with me before saying thanks and goodbye to Scotty who was staying on for a late arvo hunt.

    Turns out I was bringing the bad luck to Scotty by crossing paths with that black cat on the very first day as he managed to smoke two good sows that afternoon in my absence.

    All in all it was an unbelievable trip for me and I am very grateful to Scotty for offering me the opportunity to hunt alongside him. He is a great bloke with a passion for bow hunting like no other. Thanks again mate and I hope to be able to return the favour someday soon.

    Here is Scotties write up of the afternoon’s events;
    Black sow hunt

    The prevailing wind was south west today and with some time up my sleeve I decided to venture into new grounds situated on the western side of the usual vast hunting flat that led to a ground tank that I normally hunt. The colarado became a tank once more as I forged my own track around a rise and descended down upon the flat 2 kilometres south of the tank. I noted many game pads that sheep and goats use that went from this new found land and weaved its way over a little ridge and down to the dam. Definitely a spot to check when the weather warms up.

    I reached the water and as I crested the bank I found a pair of brolgas frolicking and cavorting around until they sensed danger and shrieked their call and flew off into the horizon, beautiful to watch and listen as their cries echoed across the small valley I was situated in.

    I moved to the trees beyond the water inlet and noticed some fresh wallows before looking up and seeing some swine milling about feeding.

    I was momentarily from view with a great wind in my face when I found myself at the opening with no pigs to be seen. Setting off in the proposed direction I thought them to leave seen my stumble upon them 100 meters further near some fallen down timber surrounded by some small lignum.

    A small standoff occurred before the nosy sow determined that no danger was present, boy she was wrong as I crept in and around some small bushes as cover in to 20 meters from the logs the two sows were taking refuge under. Drawing back the Hoyt with Felix the cat (aka Luke) now well and truly out of the country, confidence was lifted as I settled into anchor and drilled the unknowing sow low down in the chest. A short death run transpired before the sow cashed in her chips. I was back baby.

    The light was fading so I punched in the coordinates and continued on the hunt up a nicely shaded tree line to a few feeding areas I know pigs like to frequent. Practically at the end of the line I pushed forward to the northern side to glass a large open expanse and seen some legs moving low covered by some shrubs and bushes. Noting the direction and pace they were moving I back tracked and circled round to hopefully ambush them. Arrow knocked I broke through the last bush and was 20 meters from them.

    Just about dark and basically speed stalking the now family mob stopped in the open to nose around, gaining 5 more meters quickly, I guessed twenty and was drawn back in a flash before the 70# element erupted into life, a confirmed hit was evident by the squeal that enveloped the area and the hastily retreating hogs seen on the run.

    It was well and truly dark now so my head lamp and torch were donned from my back pack and the trail taken up, finding my arrow with minimal to no blood found I quoted “that freckin cat is back” or words to that effect, you know what I mean. I followed the spoor for a few meters before finally seeing some blood and each step taken their after was more and more, “I got this” I whispered and began following “I hope” as I ducked and weaved my way under and around a very thick patch of hop bush in the middle of the night after a wounded critter….

    But alas the heart rate soon slowed and the pulse weakened as she was found moments later under a thick bush. I did note that she had turned 180 degrees and lay in wait for her attacker, lucky I have little legs and don’t step as long as some and this gave her time to pass. Upon inspection she was heart shot and did really well to get as far as she did, they sure are tough.

    I made my way back to get some happy snaps of the first sow and started heading back to the ute. I was packed up ready to leave in no time, I just had to open all the gates myself this time, take another day of work next time Luke and stay for the arvo hunt hey.

    The long trip back home to civilisation was exciting, I’m pretty damn sure I must have been catching Luke who departed several hours earlier as I came into trouble with not one, not two, but three big red hopping native’s on my departure not to mention the darn black cat that morphed into an enormous black cow, one close call I tell ya. It has been confirmed mate; I had a missed call from Dubbo’s Taronga Park Zoo, their missing their black panther and I gladly sent them your way!

    I hope you enjoyed the story and thanks for reading!

    Cheers, Luke & Scotty
  9. Ben S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Consistent bowhunter and contributor Rob H, who's never too far away from his bow and a mob of goats, has taken out this month's round of the 2Blade Bowhunting Story Competition. The story was entitled 'Steep Hills and Stinky Bills', good on you for getting out there in amongst the action mate, and cheers for putting a top effort into your ABF articles! Please get in touch with Brad of 2Blade Productions to claim your prize of a 2Blade DVD. A huge thanks once again to 2Blade Productions for their continued support of this awesome competition.

    DEER ADDICTION 3 IS OUT NOW - Order your copy at or email

    Steep Hills and Stinky Bills

    On Saturday the 20th i went on a solo hunt in search of some goats for dog tucker. I hadn’t been shooting that flash the past week so i had some target time before i was happy enough to go hunting with a shot from 10m, 20m and 30m all touching. I pulled up hearing goats just up the hill from my ute so off i went. I circled above them before coming back down on them. A billy got up from his bed in the sun as i made my way down the hill halting my progress for a few minutes until he moved off down to his mob who were now down at the base of the hill. I kept making my way down until i heard another mob coming down fast. I dashed beside a kurrajong tree and watched the small mob run at me. I was up high on a rock shelf and they were to pass beside me at about 5m straight down where they would cross my scent. I drew in anticipation and as soon as a young billy came around my side of the tree he smelt me propping and looking up at me. I lowered the pin but just rushed it as i knew i didn’t have long. I released prematurely, taking him under his chin travelling straight down towards his chest but pulled up just shy. He went about 20m before stopping so i got in and rushed another shot from 10m taking him too high. At this point i was pretty frustrated with myself for not composing myself enough. It just wasn’t my day at all. I followed him up again and this time made myself focus. He was bedded up quartering away. I closed into 15m, drew, actually settled into the shot before touching it off. Finally, he stood up, turned to me and fell over forever. I got some dog tucker from him and hung it in a tree to pick up later. I walked a few more km in a round trip finding goats as i returned to the hill above my ute. I decided to leave them as Hanna and I would be returning the next day to have a crack.

    The next day we planned to do a pretty big walk onto a ridgeline we hadn’t been to yet. Lets just say we did a lot of walking all day and had a few chances blown. First up we got winded by a mob of the best billy’s we’d seen on the place as we crested a ridge. We tried to track them but all to no avail. After we had some lunch a mob of billy’s came down to the gully we were in to feed, eventually they walked over where we ate and got our old scent. They propped at 12m so i told Hanna to draw as it was her shot. I looked to her why she hadn’t drawn and her release wasn’t on the string.... She fumbled with the release but they were gone. Lesson learned for the rookie. We followed them up and they met up with another bachelor mob making about 40 billies from 2 years old to 2 about the 30 inch mark. Now these billy’s played us for the rest of the arvo, we would make our way in only to have them turn and change direction out of the blue. They didn’t smell or spot us, just walked off as they were just in my range. After the fourth time Hanna had the poos and said lets go home. Atleast we found some ok goats to chase in the future.

    .................................................. ...........
    Hat-trick day

    Saturday the 27th i went on another solo mission. I pulled up and climbed the hill near my ute. I circled its top looking for any goats soaking up the sun. All i found was a nanny and young kid so i headed down to the gully where i could hear a few bleats. As i reached the valley floor a mob was making its way down. I spied a couple of good billies through the trees so backtracked and waited for them. All i got was a mob of nannies come over, the boys must have gone off on their own unfortunately. Not to worry as another mob was coming down. I let the nannies go by and sat up on one side of the gully watching the mob make its way down. Most of the mob remained half way up the hill and kept making their way along at that level. I tried circling below them but after about 500m they caught my scent and headed to the top and back in the direction they came. I made the climb to their level and then circled them before having a good look at the mob. It was mainly nannies and young with a few young billy’s perfect for a bit of dog tucker. They were on a flat shelf grazing along so i went off infront of them before coming down to just above the same shelf. I was stopped short of where i wanted to be by another mob calling and running in from the other side of me. They had a meet and greet with the big mob before continuing along the shelf below. A couple of young billies lead the way towards my biggest shooting lane. I was in a thick patch of pine with small windows of opportunities. A billy started to move into my lane so i drew and lowered into the steep downhill shot. I flinched as i stopped myself from releasing as he stepped out of my lane. He was soon back in it so i settled the pin and let him have it. He was lucky to make it 5m before rolling another 3m to his demise. I paced it out to 33 steps steep downhill so i was very happy with the shot.

    Shooting lane

    Bow at hit site and billy behind

    Billy 1

    I took all of his legs as i was out of goat meat and continued on. Walking on top of the ridges i made my way over to a good goat bedding area. It was now about 4pm and all i found was tracks from the morning but no goats to be seen and none were coming up to bed. I then contemplated which route i would take back to my ute. Down into the valley and follow it around, or straight down and straight up and over a hill. I decided on the later as it meant i could have a chance at more goats at the top of the hill.

    As i approached the top i got the unmistakable wiff of billy. Firstly i thought it was just stale pee from beds i was walking through but then it got fresher and stronger so i knew they were close. I nocked an arrow took off my hat and pack and made my way closer to the rock shelf that crested the ridge. As i peered over and through the rocks i found a mob of goats, the same mob i had taken the billy out of a few hours ago! They had travelled a fair way to get here, well so had i, i guess. Anyway i was perched up on top and the goats were from 5m out to 60m with the young billy’s scattered throughout. 3 young billys were at 20m feeding, rubbing their horns and mucking around. I drew and let down once as one presented a shot but he turned away and was blocked by shrubs. I watched them from above for the next 10 min waiting for an opportunity. The bigger of the young billys started to walk towards a clear patch i could get an arrow through, so i readied for the shot. He stoped perfectly and none of the close nannies and kids were looking my way so i drew and settled into another steep downhill shot. His heart was covered by rock so i settled just under his shoulder blade knowing with the angle it would carry down and out just infront of his offside shoulder. The arrow flew true and hit where i wanted it to, he only made it about 15m before collapsing. The rest of the mob split in 2 and just looked at the downed billy. I waited a couple of minutes as they normally move off in that time but these goats weren’t all that smart. I threw a rock at a few nannies at 5m and they went to 10m before stopping again, sigh. The sun was starting to set so i just got up, grabbed my pack and walked down to the billy. Finally one half of the mob gave me that oh poo look when i was about 20m from them and casually trotted off.

    I was happy with 2 billys for the day but what happened next would have made some great footage. As i reached the downed billy the remaining half of the goats were stopped out at about 50m well aware of my presence snorting away. My girlfriend has nicknamed me “goatman” due to my good goat mimicking skills. I decided to put these skills to the test as i nocked an arrow and made my way closer to the mob bleating and snorting my way in. The 2 remaining young billy’s started to walk in to me, mainly to check me out better. Anyway this continued until i was into about 15m when i drew and came round a small shrub. The billy had a shocked look on his face, finally realising i wasn’t the billy he thought i was but it was all too late. He spun and propped quartering away for that last look over his shoulder which cost him his life. He made it 30m before piling up. After that i headed back to the previous billy taking some happy snaps and his back legs before returning to him and doing the same. Darkness was setting in now and luckily the ute was only downhill from here as i was well and truelly loaded up.

    Billy 2

    Billy 3


    The next day I had Hanna by my side. As we pulled up i could see some goats directly above. We kitted up and climbed to their level, the wind was swirling as it does on these steep hills and they winded us and headed for the top. By the time we made the top they had settled again but were in an unstalkable position right on top with a 360 view of their surrounds. We waited them out and they eventually moved down one side just enough for us to close in. But again the wind played havoc and they were off.

    We then continued along the interlinking hill tops following goat highways until we decided to go and check out a gully system below. As we walked down the head of the gully we heard the first bleats not to far away. Upon reaching a branch in the valley we found the goats grazing on the side of a hill just above the gully we were in. They were feeding back and forth so we circled above them to get the wind right. We went over the other side of the ridge out of sight before popping back up directly above them. As we were cresting the ridge a billy came up and met us head on. We nocked arrows and Hanna readied for a shot as it was her turn. The billy presented a shot so Hanna drew, but the billy went just behind a fallen tree covering half of his vitals so she let down. He fed behind the fallen timber for some time before making his way back to the mob below which fed off away from our position. We trailed them but had to retreat back the way we came as they started to feed back our way again. We lowered to their level and waited in the shade of a couple of trees. It was still Hannas shot so i positioned her a metre above me with clearer and wider shooting angles. They were coming straight at us, it was all starting to fall into place. The property owner had asked for a young meat billy so her targets were either the biggest billy in the mob or a young one for the pot. Both of which were leading the mob to our position. The biggest billy lead the way and made his way just below our level at 15m, while a young billy was just behind but obscured by branches. Hanna and i turned downhill simultaneously in their direction. About 1/3 of the mob that were at our level spotted our movement and propped glaring at us. I knew we were almost out of time, the biggest billy was now coming directly below me at about 8m and the young billy was still covered by branches. Hanna whispered “you shoot him”! Moments like that make me think she is a keeper. Anyway i drew and lowered into the downhill shot. The pin hit its mark and the arrow flew true, he took 3 steps before rolling 5m down the hillside. The mob fled the scene so we went about taking some picks. He was a big bodied goat, i could hardly drag him the 4m to a rock to set him up on to stop him rolling downhill. I knocked his back legs off for the dogs and we headed for the ute.


    Saturday the 11th October my girlfriend Hanna was coming off a night shift so i had to be quiet all morning so she could get some sleep. What better way to be quiet than go for a hunt! So thats what i did with plans to come back and pick Hanna up and go for an arvo fish. I rode to the neighbours from home and headed over the back of his place. There were fresh ute tracks and i was later told a pig dogger had been out for a look that morning. I was after a goat for the dogs anyway so it didn’t phase me to much. I pulled up at my game camera and had a look what had been past. Goats everyday the past week and some at 6am so off i went in their direction. As i came to a rock ledge overlooking the valley below i heard rutting billy’s down at the valley floor. I quickly made my way down the steep slope and soon layed eyes on them. They were spread out over a couple of hundred metres chasing nannies around and bedding up out of the hot sun. It took me about 2 hours to close from 100m to 20m from the closest bedded nannies and kids. I ran out of cover at about 60m out so the last half was a slow tedious affair. Anyway at 20m i waited, the closest a billy came to me was 30m but only briefly to check if the nannies were on and then returned back to harassing nannies further away. There were about 70 goats in the mob which were spreading towards my downwind so it was only a matter of time before they got my scent. As they did i started stalking out and back to my bike, all that effort for nothing.

    Back at my bike i headed for the river to see if anything was about. Nothing at the first spot, so off to the next. Off the bike went and into neutral for the final coast down to the river. As the bike came to rest i noticed a strange object laying on the sun near the river, a goat! Then another appeared and laid up on a rock facing me. I put a tree between me and the young nanny and headed in. The tree started to get skinnier than me so she became a little aware of me and walked off towards the one near the river. The one near the river was hidden by a rock ledge allowing me to close in quick to 5m from her. By now the young nanny had came down by its side. As i peered over the rocks something was amiss. She wasn’t holding her head right and it was then i noticed a wound in the back of her neck 4 inches below the base of her scull. She was laying on solid rock so i said hello to her to make her rise, in an attempt to save my arrow from smashing. She was still rather alert and dashed to the river 10m infront of me. Already at full draw i settled into the steep downhill shot. I let rip, finishing her suffering. She spun towards the river, claret now covered the rocks beneath her and she collapsed head first into the drink. Upon inspection she had been shot with a rifle in the under side of her neck just below her jaw, exiting through the top of her neck 4 inches below the base of her scull. Not something anyone likes to see.


    After that I knocked her back legs off and headed for home to pick Hanna up for our arvo fish. The arvo fish went well and while trying for a yellow belly i managed 3 cod and hanna got a carp. Biggest cod was 65cm. (all cod were released)

    The next day Hanna was to go onto a night shift so i planned to go for an arvo hunt and fish while she had some rest. I rode to the neighbours again and headed to where i had taken the nanny the previous day. This time as i coasted to a stop i spooked a mob, bugger! I followed them up but they were to quick and kept motoring. I headed over to a rock ledge overlooking the river where a nanny took off down a vertical drop of about 3m and stopped looking up at me. Her kid was left behind on the ledge with no way off as it was vertical down and vertical up for 1.5m. I jumped down to retrieve it and it wasn’t on the ledge. I then saw a crack in the rocks with 2 little hooves poking out. It let out an ear piercing bleat before i lobbed in up and to freedom. After that i kept riding along the the river until i came across an active rabbit warren seeing them flee down the burrows. I gave them time to come out again and went for a strole to the river. I heard a bleat not far along so checked it out. I found a nanny and kid with a young billy trailing her. I quickly made it into 20m of the trio and waited for a shot. A few minutes later he turned broadside and i slipped an arrow into him seeing him down in 5m. After some pics i took his back legs for me and a shoulder for the neighbours dog.

    Heading back to my bike i could see rabbits out again. I havnt taken a rabbit in a while so i stalked in. All to no avail as i missed. Time for a fish so i headed back to a good hole and got the rod out. As i started casting some goats made their way down for a drink, i happily watched them come and go. On about the fifth cast i hooked a good yellow belly, all 49cm of him. I then had 3 hard hits on surface lures but they only knocked it out of the water. The end to another good day out in the bush and i set off home as the last light faded.

    Thats me up to date for now. Hope you enjoyed.

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