Issue 82 - Apr/May 2021  |  
On Sale Mon 29th Mar 2021

We hope you’re all enjoying the new season’s TV Show episodes, Wednesday nights on TVNZ’s Duke. It’s been a trying season thanks to Covid, getting them all filmed and edited and to air but thankfully, judging by the feedback we’ve been getting, it looks like it’s been well worth the effort!

By the time you read this the Wapiti ballots will be well underway and the Red roar will be kicking off everywhere as well. The guys from our main TV Show sponsor Continuous Group won the Wild Natives 1st period, and have asked one of us to show them around the block. As Willie’s still too busy editing this season’s episodes, I’ve got that privilege – it’s a tough job mate but someone’s gotta do it!  As usual the weather will play the biggest part of what we film where for the rest of the roar, so we’ll just have to see how that all pans out!

We know it's stag time of year and for most hunters that is their first priority during the roar. But don’t be afraid of shooting a hind or two if you want to take some meat home. Most animals are in their best condition for the year now, so its prime time to fill the freezer as well as to hang a hat rack on the wall.

The Sika foundation in collaboration with the Game Animal Council, the NZDA, LandCare Research and the Kaweka Liaison Group is developing a proposal for a science-based management programme for Sika deer in the Kaimanawa and Kaweka Forest Parks that will benefit both hunting and conservation. 

The objective is to reduce the impact of Sika in areas where forest damage has been identified and to achieve a higher-quality, lower-density hunting resource that ensures beech canopy regeneration.

The programme will begin by focussing on areas where undesirable Sika impact has been recorded and where the quality of the herd is showing signs of decline. It is proposed that a range of management tools be used including; improving access to remote zones for recreational hunters and encouraging them to target breeding females; employing professional ground-based hunters with indicating dogs to target hinds in priority areas; and where other methods are unsuitable, using helicopter-based aerial control of hinds.

As Tim Gale from the GAC says “Hunters want to hunt good healthy animals in a healthy environment and that requires careful management. Deer density above the forests' ability to sustain them is bad for the ecosystem and results in poor quality hunting. The Game Animal Council supports this project as we see hunter-led management as one of the most effective means of providing long-term sustainable management of both Sika and the environment.”

The proposal for a Sika Research and Adaptive Management Model for Kaimanawa & Kaweka Forest Parks is available at  

The process for compiling the tahr control operational plan for 1 July 2021 to 30th June 2022 is coming to a close. DOC has released its draft plan, which we gave considerable feedback to at the 16th of March TPILG meeting where we represented recreational hunters. Now we have to see how much of what we said is incorporated into the final 21/22 control plan. Watch this space…

The 26th of March was the anniversary of our dear friend Ziggy’s untimely death last year. With the game season just around the corner, it seems untenable that we are going to have go through another season without listening to his hilarious wise cracks, laughing at his bumbling mistakes, and sharing a wee dram with him each night. Hot barrels wherever you are Ziggy…

In this issue:

  • A behind-the-scenes look at the 2019 NZ Hunter Sika roar by Matt Cleaver
  • Editor Luke Care’s Red stag for the wall
  • The Wild West – Sam Manson’s South Westland stag and wild bulls
  • Hamish Schwass and the Ice King – a 14” bull tahr
  • My NZ Hunter Rifle Build – Part three, The Testing
  • A New Approach for Game Management – Part Three – By Cam Speedy and Roy Sloan
  • Brandon Goeller – An Unforgettable South Westland Adventure
  • A Bush Hunter’s Guide to Shooting a Red Stag
  • Using a Reloading Manual – by Jared Hearsey
  • Hindsight is 20/20 – Cody Weller
  • Online Tools for the hunter by Points South
  • Our Canine Pals – What Do Dogs Mean To Us? – Hannah Rae
  • Luke Care – What Camera Should I Buy?
  • Johnny Bissell’s Story Of A Wee Rifle 
  • Moving in the Right Direction by Michael McCormack
  • Tyron Southward hunts Alaskan Moose
  • Townsend and Koropuku Huts - Permolat
  • Is it safe to eat? Part X by Corey Carston
  • What is it about waterfowling? By Luke Care
  • Corey Carston’s Duck Tips for 2021
  • Whole Boneless Roast Duck by Richard Hingston

Test Fires: We Evaluate...

  • Thompson Centre Venture II
  • Huntech Tussock Jacket
  • Swarovski NL Pure in 12x42

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