Chad Niebling

Severn River Park… by Chad Niebling
A new property to check out and first time fallow hunting for me so I was looking forward to the experience. A short  4 hour trip from the Gold Coast and my mate and I were shaking hands with host’s Larry and Sue Trask upon arrival

At the time of my visit there were two camp sites to choose from, one centrally located on the property or down by the river.  Both sites had plenty of shade and level ground to set up a comfortable camp.  There were provisions for a camp fire and firewood at each site.
We set up down by the river which holds Murray Cod, as a few lures were going to be cast between hunts.

Driving from Larry’s to the camp site gave us our first glimpse of the land we were going to hunt for the next three days and my first look at fallow deer in the wild.  For this time of year I was surprised at the amount of lush green grassed areas that were seen in the shaded areas of the small ridge we passed.  Approaching our camp site down by the river and to one end of the property we drove around a cultivated paddock which looked more like the land I had expected, browned off grasses feeling the effects of those New England frosts.

With tent pitched and swag rolled out it was time to familiarize with the layout of the property from the map Larry had provided, showing boundaries, dams, tracks etc.  With that information in mind it was time to check out the land.  We headed off from camp each in our own direction the first afternoon, basically covering half the property each.  The next morning we did the same thing only swapping halves so we had both had the opportunity to cover the whole property.

From memory the majority of Severn River Park would be roughly rectangular in shape.  It is bordered by adjoining properties and a river section to one side.  The deer roam free and I guess come and go as they please.  You can access all areas of the property on foot and easily walk the length of the property in an hour or two depending on your pace.  The highest point on the property is a hill at one end that gently gives way to a few gullies.  A small hill or ridge runs through the centre and nearly the the length of the property before a small drop down to the cultivation at the other end of the property.  This centrally located ridge has numerous granite rock formations throughout and sides that gently fall away to a few small sheltered gullies and small lush green grassed clearings that are found along its length.  The bulk of the land is moderately treed allowing plenty of glassing opportunities and good cover for stalking.  There are also a few larger grassed clearings scattered over the property. 

Considering the size of the property, deer numbers were more than I expected.  Rising at dawn, deer could be seen grazing in the cultivated paddock while still in my swag at camp.  Numbers of deer varied from three or four to a dozen or more in a mob and were spotted on each walk at locations all over the property.  I did not get a photo to back up my story but I had the pleasure of watching a white (albino) doe grazing with her fawn one afternoon.  Although the rut had well passed, I was still fortunate enough to see my first fallow stag one morning.  I would say an estimate of 100 deer were seen over the three days and one fox.  There was evidence of old pig diggings in a few places from their last visit and goats also frequent the property.    

I did not release an arrow during my stay, even though a few were knocked as I put in one or two stalks on deer each hunt, unfortunately I could not get within my comfortable bow range for a clean kill shot.  However, my mate was fortunate enough to take a meat doe. 

Severn River Park, great property, great host’s and plenty of deer, see you next year!