Prois Ambassador Rachel Heinen with her first stag!
I have been dying to get this email and pictures off to you! I know we spoke at the ATA Show (when I was hobbling out of a wheelchair) and I informed you of my torn Achilles and surgery. I was supposed to be immobilized for at least 6 months to a year because of how badly I ruptured my right Achilles tendon and the gap in between the two tears!
I am proud to say 14 weeks later I was hunting Australian Red Stag in Central New South Wales, hiking hills (slowly but surely) and after 5 days in the bush I was rewarded with this bad boy! A nice looking 5×5 with excellent height. This hunt was just before the rut started. We were hoping that about midway through our trip the cold weather would make these stags switch on and start roaring but the temperature never dropped like we had expected.
On the second day of our hunt we spotted a bachelor group of 5 or 6 good stags while glassing from a top the hills. All of them were decent 4×5 and 5×5’s. We kept searching and on the 4th day of our 7 day hunt I spotted this stag carrying 7-10 does on the next hilltop over. I sat and watched them all morning slowly make their way down a valley where the creek ran through the bottom and most of them bedded up for the afternoon sun. I was instantly mesmerized by this stag and his unique roar. That evening I mapped out my plan with my boyfriend and trusty hunting partner. The next morning I hiked up into the hills and posted up in the gully where the creek ran through and sat patiently for what seemed like an eternity. Although much later in the day than I expected, I finally spotted the group of does making there way down to the creek. I had placed myself about 40 yards from the area they were bedded down the day before. The wind was perfect! Last but not least my stag made its way in for a drink. I drew back knowing that at that angle, I needed him to lift his head before I released and all at once the does spotted me. I thought for sure I was busted but with my eye on the target he turned almost completely broadside and I pulled the trigger.
As soon as I caught my breath I knew it was a good shot and was certain I hit exactly where I was aiming. I expected him to bolt straight down the gully in to the thick brush but to my surprise he only made it about 30 yards before stopping, doing the “wabblies” and hitting the deck. 40 yards with a 45 pound bow and the arrow passed right through both lungs and tip of the heart. I couldn’t be more pleased with this stag!
It might not be an epic hunting story but when a doctor tells you no hunting or doing anything physical for 6 months at least, you tend to want to prove them wrong! Now it’s on to the Fallow Deer rut!!