Matho’s blog: Choices and luck when hunting

Hunting can be so much about luck. But then again, you make your own luck. It’s all about the choices you make.

I went out the other morning with Alex. “Will we go to Twin Ridges or the dams?” he asked. We picked the dams simply because we’d been to Twin Ridges more recently. We arrived, parked and looked around.

“Which way are you going?” Alex asked. I could have gone west around the hill, but then I figured I might head over open ground, even though the wind was at my back, to see if there was a bachelor herd of fallow out on a particular dam.

“That way,” I pointed, out into the open country. “Then I’ll loop around up the piny gully.”

“I’ll go this way,” he said, indicating east up the fenceline. And off we went.

There were no deer, and I almost turned around and went back to the wooded gullies but figured, no, stick with the plan. So I trudged over a saddle into the piny gully. I was looking down it towards farmland when I heard Alex shoot. Good on him. Then I turned and contoured up the gully.

Another choice came: continue to contour or cross to the shaded side at an easy spot below me.
I crossed.

Next choice: head up and look into the next gully or stay on this side. I stayed.

Walk straight up the spur or detour right so I could look into the bottom of the gully? I detoured.

Avoid that rough bit of rock or go over it so I could maintain my view of the gully’s floor? I took the hard way.

This gave me a good look into the next little clearing, where there was a patch of blackberry, lots of green grass, a big tree and a large, charred-black log. Promising place, but … Then the log moved. It was a mass of pigs and piglets asleep on top of each other.

My final choice was whether to shoot into the mass and see if I could double or triple my value with one bullet, or to watch for a while. They were peaceful and resting, so I watched. And sure enough, three young boars soon revealed themselves about 50m up the hill.

All my choices had paid off. If I’d made one different decision, I wouldn’t have been here, now, with all these pigs in my sights. I might’ve been two kays away and seeing nothing.

I whacked the biggest boar and emptied the rest of the magazine into the fleeing pigs. I was sure all four shots hit yet I only found three dead ones, but that’s the way it goes. I wasn’t unhappy, that’s for sure!


Mick Matheson




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.