Mountain Stags

Last year hunting this area and probably this week was one of the last days heading out there. I grew up here and this has been my school, learning all that I know now. A complicated place to hunt, low density and tough terrain, but as beautiful as it can be.

 

This was my third stag on 20 years of hunting, so when we spotted it across the valley at 850 meters we couldn’t believe this was happening, especially after the rut was over. Last year I didn’t see a single bull all season.

The stalk was on and we got to where the bull was feeding but he wasn’t there. We waited and since we were running out of light, I decided to do some calling. The bull was alone, so I called as a bull controlling his hind group. It didn’t take long and we saw the bull coming running straight to us to check who was in his territory.

At only 70 meters he felt something but I couldn’t take a shot due to the heaths on the way. He runs away and I pulled off from the sticks a 200-meter shot that dropped the bull in his tracks. We couldn’t believe that everything worked out! When you less expect it, things happen so be persistent! Thanks to Hernández Fernando for always being there by my side and to Pepe Marti for his help from the distance allowing me to enter his subzone!

It is impossible to pack a full stag on a 50 liter pack with all your stuff in it… I have heard that a bunch of times so here is the proof that you can if you have the right pack. This is a full stag including the four quarters, backstrap, neck, tenderloins, and head. Everything was deboned quickly, to remove unnecessary bone weight, and packed on structured game bags so all the loose meat has a bit more consistency to put on the pack.

The pack is the KUIU Icon Pro 3200. It has a carbon fiber frame and the bags separates from it to carry all the meat attached to the frame. It is more stable and load is carried better. All your items in the pack bag can stay there and never mix with the bloody meat. So you are using the full 50l to keep carrying your stuff without having to worry to use a larger pack in case you are successful.

We couldn’t weight the whole pack but our guess was that the meat 35-40kg, the head a bit over 5kg, my gear on the pack (camera, rain gear, spotting scope, water..) should be around 10kg, plus the rifle which is over 5kg. So total around 55-60kg.

Having a frame pack is a must since you need to carry all that load in your hips. If you try to carry that on your shoulders it can be even dangerous. The only truth is that the computer bag on mondays on the way to the office feels ten times heavier than this!

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