Since well before I was born there has been an ongoing rivalry between us normal fellas and those other fellas that stalk deer.
So when I first met up with Andrew and Tim from Roarsome hunting I was curious how they might handle a decent pig hunt. Straight off the bat I realised Tim was going to be just fine, he was a born-again deer stalker with plenty of pig hunting behind him and I saw potential to swing him back to the dark side.
Andrew on the other hand, now here was a challenge. We sat and talked as we sounded each other out , the conversation drifted to stags and the roar I saw his eyes glaze over.
Our chat immediately became more animated and as he talked at length of roaring red stags and stalking them in close I had to look away and take a breath, he almost had me.
The buggar was so passionate I had almost got excited enough to contemplate heading away with these fellas for the roar with no dogs onboard.
Sanity prevailed and as I swung the conversation back to the true sport of kings I was relieved to see a twinkle of interest in his eyes at the thought of bailing up a few pigs. “Would be good to have the dog just in case the stags don’t roar “ said Andrew, buggar that I thought if there is fresh pig sign those rats with hooves can wait.
Plans were made and we decided rafting the Motu would be an awesome trip. I stressed the importance of traveling light as I knew from experience these deer stalking fellas liked their creature comforts.
One gun between the two of them and one pack each I mentioned, freeze dried food and a shared cooker were other considerations. I rang Mark Looney from Motu River Jet to arrange the logistics of being dropped off and borrowing his raft and after outlining the trip ahead he told me he was coming too.
Now for those of you that know Mark you will realise his small frame packs a punch when it comes to experience on the river. Pack light and one person on each corner of the raft would balance things out he reckoned and with that decision made I had to deal with another deer stalker onboard.
Panicking about weight on the raft I spoke to the boys and I could see the pain in their eyes at the mention of one gun between them, Andrew even suggested that if we left the dog behind he could not only include another gun but also his binoculars and more food, He was a long way from being converted to my bark, bark bang method of hunting!
I reached an agreement with them that one pack each and one gun between them was the go, in hindsight I should have specified the size of the packs.
Now these two Roarsome fellas are fit and had age on their side but I reckoned on cunning and experience being the deciding factor and backed myself to run them into the ground with a heap of pig hunting in mind for this trip.
I nervously packed my gear to be a light as possible and with one small pack and 4 days of Absolute Wilderness food ready to go I couldn’t pack any lighter.
The little dog would dine on biscuits and sleep under my hammock and my hunting pouch was even thinned out to only contain 10 rounds of 44 ammo, a torch, pocketknife and spare batteries.
If everyone packed this good the raft would fair race down the river I thought. I didn’t realise the extent of creative thinking that deer stalking fellas obviously have plenty of time to do whilst they sit glassing for animals and Andrew used his time wisely.
The day of the trip rolled around quickly and as planned we were on the rivers edge first thing. Mark and I fussed around blowing up the raft and as things took shape we suggested Andrew and Tim grab their gear out of the ute and stow it away on the raft.
A cheeky grin from Andrew alerted me to the fact something was up and they both returned grinning like idiots with two of the largest packs I had ever seen bursting at the seams with gear.
One pack each Andrew sheepishly mentioned as he pushed and squashed his monstrosity of a pack into the raft, Tims followed and with all available space now gone my very Ethiopian looking bag and was strapped to the top.
Dog First Aid Kits
This First Aid kit is an emergency kit for your dog to help stabilise injuries until they get professional help
The ultimate in hunting vests is 100% waterproof and super comfortable.
Blast Full Zip
Blast Jacket features Ballistic nylon wear pads for durability and strength