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Tips for hunting during summer and autumn

The froth levels are usually pretty high around this time of the year. Starting with a good stint of time off around the Christmas and New Year period, which then spills over into February and March (and we all know what happens in March) but there are some great  opportunities for scouting out those spots for the roar during the summer months. Long days make for an epic chance for adventure whilst checking out those spots that have been on your radar for the roar.

Personally, I really enjoy late February for hunting. It's the first occasion you start to see the epic sight of those stags stripping their velvet and unveiling their true antler potential. Plus, the meat is in prime condition as the stags are prepping for the months to come by getting stuck into the good grass.

  -Remember: when planning a climb, pay attention to when you may be leaving a water source.

Here are some things to consider before walking hours into a tasty looking spot on the map.

Pest control-Check DOC's pest control maps for recent activity.

Information-Check the DOC website for information regarding your intended area and check for any notices regarding bridges or access roads.

Forums-Social media can be a handy tool for gathering information on a area. People hold their spots close to their heart (myself included) but general information will often be offered.

I am the first to admit that I'm no hunting expert. I just use the 'walk till you see something' approach but here are a few things that I focus on around this time of the year

Height-I will gain altitude first up, this usually starts with finding a walk-able ridge that will give you access to basins and guts that will likely to be holding feed. At this time of the year, the tops can be dry and patches of green grass are like deer magnets.

Water-A follow on from the first section. With height comes an issue with water. Sometimes when hunting new areas, known source's of water are hard to find. When you become dehydrated, your performance is severely compromised. So, it's worth loading that pack up with an extra couple of litres as an insurance policy, even if it is just tipped out later on.

Being Selective-Hinds will be with Fawn this time of the year, so keep that in mind when taking animals for the freezer. Hinds will often have their fawn just off to the side of them, so be careful even if it looks like the Hind is by itself. Another aspect to think about before pulling the trigger is your trip plan since this has as an impact on meat recovery. If your planning on a multi day loop, you may want to wait until the last day to take an animal for meat as it doesn't take long for it go off during the warmer months.
Gear-This one's important. Just because it's blistering hot when you leave the truck, it doesn't guarantee the weather will stick around for your whole trip. March can bring brutally cold weather. I personally don't focus so much on weight but more on being comfortable. You need layers that can handle temperature regulation while controlling odor and merino is unbeaten at this.-
 It pays to pack the rain gear, you never now when a weather system will roll in.

Hopefully, some of these tips will make sense and may help you on the next mission. Happy New Year.

Cheers, the BL team.
Photos by @thehuntersjournal-If you need some epic content, Cam is your man!

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