Last week my very good friend Glenn (of Montana) came hunting wallabies with me to the usual destination of Thompson's Hut. Another friend, Mark, was good enough to lend us one of his 4X4s for the trip without which it would not have been possible to access the area. Glenn last visited in 2008 so it was great to see him again and take him chasing the Southern High Country Gigantic Mouse again.
The weather forecast was not great with drizzle and then rain forecast. The track to the hut is historically a bit dodgy when wet as certain parts are clay and there can be lots of ruts. Booked to stay two nights we drove in on Monday and bailed on Tuesday afternoon when the rain began to set in. The last zig zag corner at the top of the track exiting the hut area was rutted and slick clay and had I not loaded the ice breaker chains we might still be there. The mud tyres clagged up super quick and it took no small amount of manoeuvring to get past this area.
To our happy surprise we saw quite a few wallabies on the way in as the track nears its peak. This was a good sign as I had been warned hunting might be lean. Getting to the hut we unloaded and I hit the hill with my .310 Cadet. Again to my surprise I was into game within sight of the hut. The first two shots I missed offhand and began to doubt my skills then one of the wallabies I missed stopped on the opposite side of the gully where I clocked it at 130m. Sliding the sight on the Cadet up to 100 yard setting as I know the load shoots high I hunkered down and landed a round on the wallaby. Not a perfect shot but I recovered the animal. The CBE 323-125 bullet I had hollow pointed over 5gr of Unique did the job. Venturing further on another animal presented at 80m uphill. Took me three shots to level it but the little Cadet flattened the 'mouse' on the spot. Stone dead by way of a chest shot. Before the conditions became too dim for the iron sights I downed two more 'roos and a probably 5th. I returned the hut delighted with how the little rifle had done on it's first wallaby trip.
The following morning I elected to carry my .40cal caplock Wesson. Loaded with 30gr 3Fg Swiss and a 98gr paper patched baby Minie ball departing at 1500fps I was sure this was a wallaby load. Taking the same route again it was not long before I sighted game though it was all beyond the range of the Wesson. Of the 15 projectiles I carried 12 I had HPed in my mini lathe but had not shot then assuming they would shoot fine. After numerous misses on shots I knew I was holding hard on I began to doubt the load. Finally two close shots of less then 20m allowed for clean kills but beyond this was no go. This aside I had a great time and was thrilled to finally take game with the little hollow based bullet the mould for which Glen Fryxell sent me many years ago. The last round I loaded was an unaltered bullet and upon returning the hut I sent it at a 12 inch gong 125m away striking the gone solidly. HHHHMMM. Best I don't HP those bullets again.
Glenn using Kiera's Hornet bagged a hare on the first afternoon and 4 'roos the following morning prior to use bugging out.
All in all a great trip away albeit a little shorter than planned. We stayed a night with my 'adopted parents' on the farm they manage which is en route to the wallaby property and Glenn learned a lot about the dairying business. Great times.
Cheers from New Zealand