I’ve been hunting sambar for around 13 years now and I’ve found it to be very enjoyable and challenging pastime. I’d have to admit, though, that I’ve never been much good at it. Sure, I’ve taken a few animals, but I’ve never really felt like I’ve been on top of the game. I’ve not shot a big stag yet, and I just don’t seem to have the same success rate as lots of other hunters. I need help! That’s why I was as pleased as anything to get my hands on a copy of Noel O’Connor’s DVD, Hunting Sambar Deer.
Noel O’Connor shouldn’t need any introduction to deer hunters. He has been hunting sambar for over 40 years and has been an active member of the Australian Deer Association for much of that time. He has written hunting books and countless magazine articles, made DVDs, and also happens to be a professional sambar hunting guide. It’s fair to say O’Connor has forgotten more about deer hunting than this scribe has ever known.
His latest DVD offering, Hunting Sambar Deer: The Ultimate Challenge is, purely and simply, an educational video about hunting sambar deer. In it, Noel takes the viewer through the many facets of hunting Australia’s greatest and most challenging game species. There’s a general section on top tips and techniques, followed by detailed chapters on bush stalking, the use of optics, hunting with gun dogs, hunting the fringe country, tree stand hunting and hunting in bushfire regrowth. The information Noel imparts is a must for new hunters, but I’d be surprised if even experienced sambar men couldn’t find a few gems in there too.
A feature of the DVD is the awesome footage of over 50 live sambar, including some very nice trophy stags, which O‘Connor uses to illustrate many of the points made in the narrative. It is captivating vision, which also confirms O’Connor’s uncanny ability to locate and get close to wild sambar. A handful of deer and a wild dog are taken on film, too, so there is no shortage of action.
O’Connor’s presentation style could be a little more lively but, that aside, this is an excellent DVD. Overall I’m quite certain it contains information that will help the majority of sambar hunters fast track their learning and be more successful in the field. I know there are definitely things that I’ll be doing differently from now on. And, to be honest, if watching this footage doesn’t get you itching to get out sambar hunting, you’re probably need to find another hobby.
Produced by: Noel O’Connor
Running time: 90 minutes