Nando’s Fallow Hunt

Nando Sciacca’s fallow season a while ago now yielded some nice bucks.

The plan was to dedicate sections of the property for the different days and not to put our scent all over the property on the first day. The first morning was all about getting to the highest point of our designated area and listening for a croaking buck. There was a good amount of sign around, plenty of tree rubs, scrapes, footprints, poo but no croaks. But we knew that there was a buck not too far away. We hunted most of the day as the weather was overcast and cool. That afternoon on our way out after lunch we saw three pigs 50m from camp rooting around. With the wind in our face this gave me a good opportunity to take some good video and photos at about 30 metres. With some light cover on both sides of us, this would have been an awesome take with the bow and it would have been all on camera.

We worked that area pretty hard as the sign was promising and that afternoon it paid off. As we crept up to a clearing we spotted a buck walking slowly through by himself. We were amongst some good cover on the fringe of the clearing so I leaned up against a tree and took the shot at 120m which was checked with the rangefinder the next day. He took

off as if he wasn’t even hit, straight into the scrub. We walked to where he was hit and there was not one drop of blood so I thought I had missed him. We only had about 20minutes of light left so the search was on. I was confident that the buck had been hit. We worked the area hard looking for any sign of blood or hopefully a wounded or dead buck. We were almost 2 hours into the search and it was well and truly dark (luckily we had our head torches in our packs) when my mate suddenly found some white deer hair on the ground which looked like a good match to the Buck that id taken the shot at. We were on the right track and sure enough after a look around that area and a wiff that we got of a rutting buck we found him lying dead under tree. A few happy snaps then the capeing and salting. Was a very late night.

The next morning we had planned to try and catch up with a dark grey buck we saw the day before hopping away in the distance as he was making his way to a clearing that we were glassing. The quick glance we got of him didn’t give us enough time to look through the bino’s to see how big his antlers were so I was determined to try find him and have another look. An hour into the hunt I spotted antlers moving around amongst some small bushes. The wind was perfect and we kneeled where we were and waited for him to walk out. The buck made his way straight towards us and as he climbed a small ditch of about 1metre high he froze and was looking straight at us at under 20m. At this point I was ready for the shot and put one straight through his neck. He basically dropped in his tracks. While we were taking some photos a doe came in for look but she very quickly worked out what was happening so didn’t hang around for too long.

Was an awesome weekend. We didn’t hear any croaks but we managed to put 2 bucks on the ground and see a few other ferrals along the way. And I also managed to get caught speeding on the way home doing 122km in a 100km zone. Happy hunting.




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Marcus O'Dean