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Trip to the Southern Alps with my "Three O Three"


Recently I was back home in New Zealand,my wife and I went on a Hunting trip into the Southern Alps in New Zealand South Island.

I decided to take one of my favorite Rifles,a Range pattern MLE in .303 British.The .303 has a legendary status in New Zealand,it was used my Government Hunters up untill the 1980s and was New Zelands most popular centerfire cartridge up untill the mid 90's.

My Rifle was made by BSA in 1898 and sometime during the 30's it was rebarreled with a Lithgow Heavy Barrel as well as having the volley fire sights removed,the woodwork shortened and the bayonet boss reattached.This was to create a Rifle with the same barrel length as the MKIII's used in competition.

After driving a couple of hours from Christchurch,we parked the car,donned our packs and hiked five hours into an Alpine valley where I used to hunt as a teenager,(you are eligible for a firearms licence at 16).After pitching our tent we had a poke around in the river bed for any fresh sign before retiring for the night.

At 0400 my alarm went off and my wife decided on a sleep in.I drifted up the valley making sure to keep out of the stream bed as the sun came up and my scent would be carried ahead of me.Finally I pushed out into the Alpine basin I was after,glassing around the fingers of Native bush that run out into the Tussock I was awarded the sight of a Hind and Yearling feeding in the sunshine.I decided on a strategy for the stalk,which involved Leopard crawling through the Tussock to a dry stream bed,then making my way up that to where I hoped the Deer would have fed along in front of me,then I could take a shot from a couple of hundred meters.

The Leopard crawling went well,slithering along in the Tussock,pushing the Rifle ahead of me.Slipping into the Creek bed,I carefully avoided the loose stones and gravel whilst taking my time and periodically checking on the position of the two Animals. Then suddenly I heard the sound of Hooves and saw both Animals trotting down the stream bed towards me,hastily unscrewing the Diopter from the back sight I popped it in my mouth and pushed my body flat against the bank as two Deer hurtled past me,as they ran out of the stream I swung the Rifle onto the yearling and dropped it with a shot through the shoulder,the momentum of the Animal cartwheeling it down the slope.

After butchering the Deer I carried the hind legs and back steaks back to camp.

Sadly I lost my Wifes hunting knife,so I had a pretty pissed off missus.


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