Editor’s Note: “I've been wearing Mossy Oak since I was a little girl,” says Nicole Reeve, co-host of the TV show “Driven with Pat and Nicole” on the Outdoor Channel. An official member of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff for 8 years, Nicole’s an admitted adrenaline junkie. “This spring I decided I would take a brown bear with my bow. For many years, I had wanted to hunt a brown bear. I thought there would be a huge adrenaline rush when I got in close to a dangerous animal like a brown bear. I like the excitement of the hunt, and I enjoy making eye-to-eye contact with dangerous game. I’m a certified, bonafide, you can get papers on me, adrenaline junkie. What can be more exciting than getting close enough to a brown bear to take him with a bow and arrow?”
This year, we went to New Zealand to hunt red stag, and we had a phenomenal hunt. This hunt was memorable, because we were able to take some good friends and team members with us on this hunt. Pat and I had been to New Zealand in the past, but Clint and Whitney Walker, Darrin and Sherry Martin, our editor Adam Helwig, Brian Limpkey and our cameraman Kevin Fouts were first-timers to New Zealand. We all took nice red stags. In camp every night, we’d share our stories with each other about the hunts. This camaraderie made this hunt very special. I don’t believe any of us ever will forget this hunt.
We were hunting with Leithen Valley Trophy Hunts www.leithenvalley.com. The stag I took was on top of a mountain. We listened to him roar for hours, but there was no way we could get close enough to him for me to take a shot. So, we decided to go down to a waterhole that was about 200-yards below the stag, thinking that at some time during the day that stag would have to come down to get a drink of water. Our plan was to sit all day long and hope the stag would come to the water. After a couple of hours, Pat and our guide, Olly Burke, began to try to plan a strategy to take the stag. Olly’s wife Rachel’s family owns Leithen Valley Trophy Hunts. They finally concluded there was no way we could stalk within bow range without the stag seeing us. Pat asked Olly, “I wonder what would happen if we tried to call to him? Do you think we could get him to come to us?” Olly said, “We can give it a try.”
Olly started roaring like a stag, and Pat began beating the brush with a big stick to imitate the sound of a stag moving near the stag on the mountainous domain. About 2 minutes after they had started calling the stag, I looked up the mountain. All I could see was stag legs. I whispered, “Oh, my gosh; here he comes.” The stag was coming so fast and so hard I felt certain he would run over me. I realized I’d have to make a difficult shot. But when the bull walked within 5 steps of me, I was able to make a perfect shot. The stag only traveled 80 yards before he went down and piled up. His rack scored 390 inches.
I never will forget how I felt when that big stag came roaring straight toward me. I'd had a lot of adrenaline rushes in the past, but when that stag was within 5 steps of me and roaring, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. Even though there were four of us sitting around this waterhole, the stag never saw us in our Mossy Oak Break-Up camo.