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Goat city (NZ)


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Another local goat hunt. I've been concentrating my efforts on an area of public land which adjoins private farmland that I have permission to cross. I've come to realise that the spot is a conservationist's nightmare. The native bush has literally been eaten away by goats. It's more like a European forest in places than the jungle I'm used to hunting. Good for me as it's easy to navigate, traverse and spot animals.

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On entering the bush, I caught a glimpse of a small animal. Couldn't quite identify it. As I got closer, I could see three of them. Curious. They disappeared in to a fallen tree...

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Couldn't resist having a peek with my torch...

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I could see two little kittens hiding in the darkness, presumably the third was behind them. No sign of their mother, but they looked in great shape. Another conservationist's nightmare as feral cats predate heavily on native birds. These cats were very lucky it was me that found them and not someone else. No doubt they would have been shot or worse. I have my own ethics on these matters and left them to it.

On with the hunt. There were game trails everywhere and I found some fresh footprints.

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It wasn't too long before I heard a commotion in a denser part of the bush. I climbed over a fallen tree to get a look. There was a depression in the ground on the other side with several goats in it, but I couldn't get a clear shot at any of them. 

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In the end, I crawled along the fallen tree and was able to shoot one of them which was standing on a big tree stump. I saw it jump/fall from position, but couldn't be sure I'd hit it. Close range shots are just as likely to go wrong as longer range shots in the heat of the moment. Another animal appeared and I shot it to ensure that I was taking some meat home. It fell down dead on the spot and I climbed down off the tree.

There were goats everywhere! I often hear how easy goats are to hunt, that's not been my experience so far, but these animals were very naive. I'm guessing they'd never seen a hunter, or indeed any human before. I managed to get a photo of a few of them before they ran off. Most hunters here would have shot them all and left them to rot in the bush.

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It turned out that I had hit the first goat as intended. Now I had two goats to process. I just took a photo of the second as the first was heavily bloodied and covered in forest floor detritus. This was no issue once skinned. Perfect eating size.

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The walk out was uneventful until I got back on to the farmland. There were goats all over it! I had the meat that I needed in the bag, so let them go about their business. 

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It was a fun and rewarding morning. A few calories burnt, meat in the bag and lots of animals seen.

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