Hunt Smart® Training Course Success Stories

Sambar - A Highly Elusive & Secretive Quarry

Whether hunted in India or here in Victoria’s Great forested Mountains, Sambar have a well deserved reputation for being mysterious and highly elusive. There can be no doubt that the adage, ‘they didn’t get big by being stupid’ applies to the Premier Game Animal of the South Pacific Region, which arguably rates amongst the world’s top ten game animals.


Luke Myers


Hunt smart course
Success Story #48



Hi Errol

, Only 2 months after being at your course, I was fortunate enough to harvest this magnificent stag on a solo backpack trip into some remote country. The stag was right where you said he would be in the weather conditions at that time. He was following a hind and they had no idea I was there, so I was able to wait for the stag to turn broadside, and take a perfectly aimed shot at precisely the right moment. Your course really helped me gain a gre… ...

Luke Myers
, Bacchus Marsh VIC



David Stewart - Hunt smart course Success Story #47

David Stewart - Sambar Deer Success Story
Hey Errol, Finally got my first deer with the bow after doing your course. Persistence finally paid off!! Cheers

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David Stewart

Andrew Rosser - Hunt smart course Success Story #46

Andrew Rosser - Sambar Deer Success Story
It's now 3 years on since I did the Errol Mason "Hunt Smart Training Course" and my approach to hunting will never be the same. I have seen more deer and have had the opportunity to take deer on every trip since completing this course.

Since attending I have had only 3 trips into Sambar country, in this time I have shot 2 stags and this year guided a mate of mine onto his first stag and hind. I highly recommend Errol’s "Hunt Smart Training Course" it has given me the knowledge and confidence in the bush. The course not only gives you the theory behind the where, why and how but practical tools to go along with it. Thanks again Errol for sharing your lifetime of knowledge and experience. Read Full Story >>

Andrew Rosser

Clint Collings - Hunt smart course Success Story #45

Clint Collings - Sambar Deer Success Story
Dear Errol and Lynne, Thanks again for your hospitality. It was a pleasure to meet you both and get to learn so much from Errol. I learned a lot from the course, especially after reading the Secrets of the Sambar trilogy, as the course really brings it all together.

The day after attending your 3 day hunt smart course I went back to my sambar spot where, over two days, I put into practice the low impact hunting methods. I was able to see 16 unalarmed sambar, 8 of which were stags and all within shooting range. I decided to pass up a nice 25 inch as he was not quite the size I was after. Using what I learnt from the trilogy and the course on the 31st of August - less than 2 months after doing the course - I was fortunate enough to take this fine trophy. The Hunt Smart course is excellent and I recommend it to any sambar hunter of any level of experience. There is so much to learn about this magical deer. Thanks, Read Clint’s complete "text book" account as to how he harvested this magnificent stag in the next issue (#9) of our magazine. It’s a ripper story. Read Full Story >>

Clint Collings, Canberra

Mafi Parutua - Hunt smart course Success Story #44

Mafi Parutua - Sambar Deer Success Story
Thanks for all the advice Errol, Attending your course has finally paid off...I am very happy!!!

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Kind regards, Mafi Parutua

Dave Noakes - Hunt smart course Success Story #43

Dave Noakes - Sambar Deer Success Story
Errol, I wanted to let you know that I bagged my first deer a few days after the course. Having attended your course I managed to turn myself from a heavily armed bushwalker into a hunter. The Hunt Smart course taught me exactly where the deer would be so I wasn't spending my time wondering aimlessly around the forest.

Being able to drive (or walk) into a location and know where to be looking (and not) straight away is such a bonus. Previously I had spent a hefty 30 odd days out walking from 6 to 10 hours a day up and down hills on trips in the last year alone. Seeing 3 deer within an hour in an old spot the next day after the course I decided hunting pressure was too heavy in the area (this is also taught on the course), so I moved on to a new area some hundreds of kilometres away. Using the Hunt Smart system I set up several spots after some calculated scouting of the areas and shot this Sambar with the first setup scenario that I tried just 4 days after the course. Awesome!! Some great eating ahead. I’d like to also add that doing your course gives you the chance to meet other hunters that are just as serious about learning how to harvest these magnificent animals and team up to go on future h… Read Full Story >>

Dave Noakes, Dickson ACT

Karl Hartney - Hunt smart course Success Story #42

Errol, I had to let you know how impressed I have been with your Hunt Smart Course. The knowledge imparted by you in three days was a blessing for my Sambar hunting techniques. Your system has allowed me to observe, not just more deer, but deer that are unalarmed and not aware I am there.

I not only have the time to observe them but also the confidence to choose and harvest on my terms. Hunting has never been so more enjoyable than now. A must do course for anybody who is serious about hunting Sambar. Read Full Story >>

Karl Hartney, Gisborne VIC

Dominic Stivala - Hunt smart course Success Story #41

Dominic Stivala - Sambar Deer Success Story
In the early days I spent many hours bashing through scrub and it took me 17 years to shoot my first deer. Most of my hunting was "walk them up" style and something had to change if I was to start enjoying success on a regular basis.

So I purchased Errol Mason’s three books - Secrets of the Sambar Vol. 1, 2 & 3 and started reading and putting into practice his methods. Wow!!! Immediately l started to see more deer but they usually got away as l was still not completely sure of all the things l should be taking into account when hunting. At this stage l had just five deer to my account in 22 years so l decided to book into the Hunt Smart Course that Errol runs. Bingo - all the information from his books came together as he explained it in a way that you can easily understand. First he explained using PowerPoint on a large screen and followed it up with field trips where he takes you through different scenarios and teaches you how to apply overlays to narrow down where the deer are going to be. This is where you really start to get it and it sinks in really fast. Since the course l now see between seven to th… Read Full Story >>

Dominic Stivala, Rosebud VIC

Matt Robinson - Hunt smart course Success Story #40

Matt Robinson - Sambar Deer Success Story
Hi Errol, It hasn't stopped raining since we left course 4 days ago. We put what we learnt into action and found the area has had of lots of hunting pressure, but all the signs were like blueprint as taught on the course.

We went a little more remote and found this hind high on the western face late arvo feeding on a game trail as she contoured around the face at about 3pm. Perfect broadside shot at 120 yards. She didn’t even know I was there. Finally success just 3 days after leaving the course. Thank you, Read Full Story >>

Matt Robinson, Wallan VIC

Chris Brereton, Bairnsdale - Hunt smart course Success Story #39

Chris Brereton, Bairnsdale - Sambar Deer Success Story
After relocating to East Gippsland to hunt Sambar and stumbling through the scrub armed for most of the time, I decided it was time to invest in the Hunt Smart course and have not looked back.

Finding a remote wallow in my pre-course hunts and hunting it several times over almost two years with only one encounter - where my presence was easily detected - but getting photos of many deer on my trail camera, I returned immediately after attending Errol’s course with my newfound knowledge. Over several months using low impact techniques I constructed a tree stand and waited for the right weather forecast. My first morning in it a stag rose up out of the mud. I observed him unalarmed for several amazing minutes and then calmed myself before harvesting him with one well-placed shot. An instant kill. Six days later I returned to the spot hoping the heavy rain that fell that afternoon had washed away all my scent but it didn’t matter for as the morning wore on my Hunt Smart knowledge told me I would be better to head into the gully on the opposite side of the ridge, and in… Read Full Story >>

Chris Brereton, Bairnsdale

Jonno Butt - Hunt smart course Success Story #38

Jonno Butt - Sambar Deer Success Story
Late last year my son Levi was lucky enough to win the Arthur Bentley Memorial Literary Award which is a position on Errol Mason's Hunt Smart Sambar Training Course. Not wanting Levi to gain all that knowledge on his own, I made a call and luckily Errol made a space for me on an already booked out weekend.

My normal hunting mates Paul and Jonno travelled with us and dropped us off and continued on to our regular hunting property - private property near Omeo. We had arranged to meet late on Sunday after Levi and I completed Errol’s course. Both Levi and I have hunted sambar with some varying level of success, we believed that if we wanted to land a quality trophy we needed to learn more. Errol’s course not only taught us some basic stuff that we have known for so many years, but it also some real tactics that we had no idea about and were keen to get to the bush to try. We left Errol’s on Sunday night determined to stop wasting our limited holiday time bush walking with a rifle up those hills and getting honked at. Yes - we were determined to put Errol’s tactics to use and improve our success rate. The course was a great insight into the many years Errol has spent st… Read Full Story >>

Jonno Butt

Kurt Pongratz - Hunt smart course Success Story #37

Kurt Pongratz - Sambar Deer Success Story
Hello Errol, I had been hunting this stag for several weeks. I refreshed what I learnt on your training course by re-reading your excellent books on sambar hunting. It had been a very dirty wet week up here and the weather was bad when I shot him about an hour ago.

He was bedded exactly where you said he would be in these rainy conditions. And he was in a zone of silence. I just wanted to let you know that all your help has ended in success - a magnificent and better than 30 inch sambar stag. The excitement of taking my first sambar stag has been so great that I have had many sleepless nights since. Read Kurt’s full story in SOTS magazine Issue # 6. Read Full Story >>

Kurt Pongratz, Eden, NSW

Sam Van Assche - Hunt smart course Success Story #36

Sam Van Assche - Sambar Deer Success Story
Gooday Errol, I have taken an amazing amount of sambar since doing your course including this old malformed stag - my 2nd stag since doing your course but I have also taken several hinds for venison. The difference it has made to my success rate is simply amazing.

Thanks again for all your help. Your course really is an investment in a lifetime of more successful and more enjoyable hunting. Read Full Story >>

Sam Van Assche, Malvern, VIC

Andy Ziems - Hunt smart course Success Story #35

Andy Ziems - Sambar Deer Success Story
Employing sambar behaviour and tactics learnt on Errol Mason's Hunt Smart Course I took this fine young stag.

The great benefit I got from doing the Hunt Smart course is that now I don?t spend all my time walking the bush. I just have my go to areas where I have learnt they will be in the conditions and without a doubt they are never far away. They are creatures of habit. I now use low impact tactics and I know my hunting area well. All these elements and many more assisted in taking this young stag, My 2nd since doing the course late last year. The thing about the Hunt Smart system is that it just works. It’s that simple. Read Full Story >>

Andy Ziems

Michael Pritchard - Hunt smart course Success Story #34

Michael Pritchard - Sambar Deer Success Story
Hi Errol, My second stag since doing your course in October 2013. A 28 x 28 incher. Using the Hunt Smart system I shot him whilst he was completely unalarmed. An instant one shot kill.

Read Full Story >>

Michael Pritchard

Sandro Deluca - Hunt smart course Success Story #33

Sandro Deluca - Sambar Deer Success Story
For 2 years I had been hunting sambar nearly every weekend during the cooler months. I was putting them up but never able to get a shot. They were always running and gone in a flash so I decided to attend Errol's Hunt Smart Sambar Training Course.

Using knowledge learnt on the course, I sat motionless in the right spot and waited for this young stag to walk right past me. When he was a mere 20m away I made him stop and took the shot. I was stoked. If I hadn’t attended Errol’s course I would still be walking aimlessly around the bush putting them up and never getting a shot - let alone a perfectly aimed one at a motionless deer. Read Full Story >>

Sandro Deluca, Tarneit, VIC

Jayson Dehn - Hunt smart course Success Story #32

Jayson Dehn - Sambar Deer Success Story
G'day Errol, I thought I'd share this with you. On Saturday I finally shot my first sambar since doing your course in July this year. It's not a big stag but it's a start! It was exactly where you said it would be. It had got down to about 3°C overnight but the days had been about 25°.

I had picked out a saddle I was going to hunt. I planned to hunt the west face first and then drop back over the east side if I saw no deer. I walked the spur up to the saddle and noticed it was a little windy. Based upon your advice I knew the deer would not be there. However I did have the wind in my favour so I pushed up towards the saddle. As I got closer to the saddle I started glassing the head of the saddle and noticed the bush was still - a zone of silence. Sure enough as I came around the corner of some dogwood I spotted a spiker bedded just to the side of the saddle in filtered sunlight that was shining through. We spotted each other at the same time but by the time he stood up I had already had the rifle up and shot. I saw his legs buckle instantly so I knew I had hit him. He gingerly started to run so I shot again but missed. I watched him slow down start to wobble then lost … Read Full Story >>

Cheers, Jayson Dehn

Michael Pritchard, Melbourne - Hunt smart course Success Story #31

Michael Pritchard, Melbourne - Sambar Deer Success Story
After 4 mates and I had spent several frustrating and unsuccessful years hunting sambar, we decided to attend Errol Mason's Hunt Smart course. We attended on 5-7 October 2012 and on the 20th of October - just 2 weeks later one of my mates and I went on our first hunt since the course. Using the system which Errol's course had armed us with, we began hunting sambar with a totally new approach. And right from the start the plan came together.

At dawn on the first morning of our hunt - for the first time ever - we got to watch sambar that did not know we were there. First we watched a hind travel down a spur line, backlit by the red glow of the rising sun. What a spectacular photo that would have been. Then we spotted 6 or 7 others with calves on what Errol calls a feeding hub - the hub of his wagon wheel approach to understanding sambar. Then I spotted him on a distant hub just 100m above the valley floor - a young stag grazing in the soft diffused light of dawn. I stalked into a patch of wattles - set up my shooting sticks, took careful aim at his broadside form and from 250m and released a 180gn Core-Lokt. He ran 50m then fell over dead. Instantly Errol’s Hunt Smart system made what previously had seemed nearly impossible, almost too easy. Read Full Story >>

Michael Pritchard, Melbourne