Wonderland. The cold of the December night froze the moister to the treas and ground that morning. The mountains looked like they were covered in snow. It was just one day before Christmas, and I felt like it does not matter if my hunt will be successful or not, I already received a gift from nature.
I have been walking the woods of Börzsöny mountains since November, but did not have the chance to take my first flintlock red deer. I promised it to my wife so we will have the favorite of the family on the table for the Christmas dinner.
I had this stress somewhere deep inside, but this morning the beauty of the enchanted forest was enough joy. Walking the white stalking roads legally with my Pedersoli flintlock Jäger on my shoulder is a gift itself as the Hungarian Blackpowder Shooters and Hunters Association worked hard 15 years to achieve this.
I loaded my my Jäger with 110 grains of 2Fg Swiss powder and a lubricated 300 grain Lee REAL bullet. This conical has flat trajectory with this charge so I am bale to hunt without repositioning the sights up until 80 meters or so. The muzzle energy of my projectile is around 2700 J. Enough for any big game in my country.
We were stalking up the hills quietly with good wind, stopping time to time to hear if something is moving, or to check the surrounding woods though the binoculars. My guide, Tamás Bényei is one of the most experienced professional hunters of the area. He is not just my guide but my friend as well. Many things in life connect us. The most important is the way we think about hunting. We share the values of sustainable hunting, temperateness and hard work.
Our plan was to approach slowly a shooting stand in the heart of the revier where we expected wild boars. But the boars decided not to wait for us. We continued the journey to an area with really dense bushes, a perfect place for the game to hide during the daytime.
Suddenly Tamás spotted something moving in the dense bushes. We tried to figure it out what it is thru the spotting scopes. It was the irregular antler of young red stag. It was only 50-60 meters away, and he was leading a small group of female deers on a route that crossed our way in just 30-35 m distance.
The irregular red stag was a weak one, but our permit was only valid for hind or calf, so we had to choose from the others. The stag stepped out from the woods, and slowly crossed the road. He was followed by three hinds, but another calf was following them as well. The calf stepped out in front of us. The distance was not more than 35 meters. I cocked my hammer quietly. “If it stopped, aimed at the calf!” Whispered Tamás. My heart was beating like drum. I felt like it wants to jump out from my chest. I pullet the stecher. The sound of the click felt so loud like a shot to me…
The calf stopped for a sec and I pulled the trigger. For a moment I could not see anything thru the smoke, but as it dissolved in the air I saw that the deer made one step forward and collapsed immediately. It did not suffer. The bullet hit where I aimed, just where the heart is.
This is how I received my Christmas gift…
I wish all my shooter and hunter friends a Happy and succesful New Year. A lot of inner tens for my target shooter buddies and no misses for my hunter friends! Or as we say it in Hungary: Boldog Új Évet!