NEWS & REPORTS
Bunch of bad luck, best hunt ever! III
Day 3 As Horace said the day before, we were waiting for Mendonza to start roaring and so to make his first new mistake.
Bad luck N6: Out of range to use the radio and call the guys at the lodge.
We were hiding in between those big thorns and after a few different kinds of roarings, Horace finally told us: That’s him!! (yes, these guys are able to recognize one roar from the others).
50 minutes later we were close enough to try a new shoot. Again, the shoot was not going to be that clean but at least we had a chance there. We could barely see his head and very little part of his neck. Horace started to set up the sticks but because any reason we still and never will know, one of the “stick legs” wasn’t working.
Forget about the stick Steve, Said Horace. We are gonna have to shoot him just with the rifle.
Buum! Fist shoot and nothing happens. Buum! Second shoot and again, nothing happens!! Mendonza didn’t either went down or started running. Remember he was covered by a bunch of branches, trees & bushes and if the bullet just touches one branch is gonna explode and will not get the target. Buum! Third shoot! Now Mendonza started moving fast, but he wasn’t running. Horace took his gun and made two shoots this time.
We looked him for about an hour but there were no traces of him.
He has to be very wounded said Horace, 2 shoots and he didn’t move at all!
I think it’s better if we leave him right now and we come back this afternoon and started chasing him as soon as he starts roaring. I prefer not to be seen too much so he does the roaring again this afternoon. It was a difficult call since we were getting out of days, but Steve never hesitated about Horace’s strategies.
Bad luck N7: Stick didn’t work.
So that afternoon was the day we had left the truck as far as we could. We walked like about 45 minutes just to get close to the hill he was taking his females during the afternoons. The plan, one more time, was to wait for the roaring. But the roaring time arrived and there were no signs from him. We heard many different roarings but Mendonza was not one of them. I realized Horace definitely wanted to listen to him before we make our first move. But it was almost 6:30 pm and nothing happened yet. We had waited for about 90 minutes when Horace finally thought we should move. So with no clue at all, we started walking. We were having no trace or sounds from Mendonza that afternoon. I was getting very nervous. We had one day left and that afternoon wasn’t going well at all.
It was like about 20 pm. The sun wasn’t on this side of the globe anymore. The only light left was from the sunset shimmer. We were walking a thin “road” now (we weren’t walking hidden in between the bushes anymore). But Horace and Steve they never stopped looking to every side for any mistake Mendonza could make. I realized we were getting close to the “water area” because now the ground wasn’t presenting this big bushes anymore. It was nice not to walk surrounded by those big thorns for a while. So, with almost no light at all, I suddenly saw Horace doing 10 quick steps to the left and Buum! He reloaded his rifle, makes a few more steps and again: Buum!
Steve was also aiming with his rifle but it was really dark, so he preferred not to take the shoot. We walked for about 5, 10 minutes but it was impossible to see anymore.
He made the biggest mistake ever, said Horace. He came to the “open” area. He must be really thirsty to make this move. I bet he is with a very high fever at this point.
And the good thing is we know he is still alive, said Steve.
And he was right! A dead Stag is always so much difficult to find than a live one. They can be lying in the ground anywhere in between any bushes. You might pass five steps from them and not see them at all. So yes, Steve was totally right, at least we knew Mendonza was still alive!!
And again I thought, this guy has an amazing attitude. We have only one day left and he is still too positive.
Day 4 it won't take long. Now finally lucky was on our side and even though Horace decided to start walking the “water area” first he thought Mendonza might be on the hill, where he knew is very difficult to have a clean shot. But it seems our buddy was very depth into a fever ‘cause after walking like about 40 minutes we finally saw him walking, with his low defense, in the open area. Steve set his rifle and Buum! It only took him one clean shoot to put our red friend down forever.
There were no many bushes or branches anymore. So Steve’s shoot made straight contact with our little buddy, Mendonza. He made his last “goodbye sound” and he finally entrusted his soul to the mother nature and collapsed on it.
Horace was as excited as Steve was ‘cause he knew there was a special boon in between him and Mendonza. They finally shook hands giving the end to one of the best hunting’s ever at La Pampa Lodge for the last 20 years. That’s what Horace told me when we were having a drink later at the lodge and where of course, I told Steve about this and he agreed with Horace saying that this was also one of his best hunts ever.
Even though Mendoza's horns weren’t as big as we thought for a gold trophy, his reputation exceeds any measure. Mendonza became one of the most respectable and wanted stag at La Pampa Lodge. Making many guides to give up on his search.
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