Luke Neesham - HUNT SMART COURSE Success Story #23

This was unbelievable - I'd just shot my first Sambar stag! And not even an hour after taking my first Sambar only 500m back along the creek. Luke Neesham - one very proud hunter with his first Sambar stag - his second Sambar for the day.

G’day Errol,

It’s been less than 12 months since my brother Matthew and I did your "Hunt Smart®" Training course. I’m very happy to let you know that I’ve taken my first Sambar deer, a hind then unbelievably took a Sambar Stag in the same day, using your ‘Hunt Smart’ theory from your training course and the Secrets of the Sambar books.

A good mate Ben and I decided to hike into a secluded spot where we had hunted regularly over the summer and seen a lot of sambar sign. We knew as the gates were closed off for winter that the deer in the area would be less alarmed. After a 2 hour hike we made it to the hut around lunchtime, had a feed, dried off our hunting gear and planned our afternoon sit and wait tactics. It was 3:30pm, the rain had stopped, the sky had cleared and the sun came out - perfect hunting conditions.

We decided to split up and I’d planned to sit and wait in a nearby gully. It had a small river which previously showed sign of well used game trail where the sambar where regularly crossing, a definite highway where they made their across to head to a farm fringe. I climbed over a log across the river and as I made my way to a hide on the opposite gully face, I heard a honk then a young sambar hind appeared on the opposite face. I had a fallen tree right in front of me and I rested my Sako 300WSM on it and took the shot and she dropped where it stood.

As I got to within 30m of where the Sambar hind had fallen, I looked towards that direction only to find a pure black Sambar spiker standing right next to the shot deer. I stopped immediately, removed my phone camera and began to video the spiker as it stared directly at me. It stood facing me, stomping its front right hoof at me in a defensive manner, watching me however completely unaware of what I was. I decided that I would let this beautiful young stag live to grow a large set of antlers especially as I had the venison from the hind. It was only after a 15 minute stand off and me slowly moving behind a tree much closer would the Sambar Spiker turn and bolt away. As I walked over to the deer I couldn’t believe it, my first Sambar. I removed the legs, backstraps and took all of the meat back to the hut.

I decided to continue along the same gully face as it was still late afternoon, the wind was right and I thought as I fired my rifle nothing else would be around so I could do some re-con for the next morning’s hunt. I followed a major game trail along the edge of the river where I could see up ahead where the river hooked around there was the next gully with a very lush green and well covered floor. I noticed the game trail turned up to rise over the saddle to the next gully however I thought I’d sit, wait and glass the floor and surrounding faces to see what was around. As I stood half way up the face, glassing the surrounding faces, I noticed an unalarmed fox make its way past me about 5 metres away, then move down into the gully floor where is suddenly stopped, looked up and then realise it was face to face with a Sambar stag! The stag moved towards the fox which quickly moved away and the stag slowly walked in my direction. It would have been 40m away and had no idea I was there. The stag was heading towards the game trail and as it got to about 25m from me, stopped looked in my direction although still completely unaware of my presence, I fired hitting it in the neck, killing it instantly. This was unbelievable - I’d just shot my first Sambar stag! And not even an hour after taking my first Sambar only 500m back along the creek. I radioed Ben to let him know that I’d got a stag. I walked back to the hut to meet him and then we both made our way back to the Stag just as it got dark. Ben helped me cape, butcher and carry out the meat from this fine animal.

I really believe that without doing your ‘Hunt Smart®’ course and studying your books, I would not have known the principals and theory to take my first 20inch Sambar stag. I’d like to thank you Errol for the knowledge and insight you’ve given me to watch and take these truly amazing animals.

Luke Neesham

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Errol Mason