Issue 83 - Jun/Jul 2021  |  
On Sale Mon 31st May 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!

It's tahr and chamois rut time, and we’re trying to get in the hills every suitable weather window – of which there haven’t been many! You’ll have to wait until next season’s episodes to see the results, but let’s just say – girls rule!

The 21/22 annual tahr control plan we’ve been trying to work on with DOC has now been released. It is written only at Management Unit (MU) level, and on the surface we are happy with most of it, but as the saying goes – the devil is in the detail. We have given DOC extensive information on areas within the management units that require more attention, and areas that should be left alone. It’s all about killing the right tahr in the right places, and until we see the results of this season’s control, we won’t know whether DOC got it right.

The sad thing is that bulls are still going to be targeted in National Parks, and with another 90 hours of helicopter time DOC are still going for zero density. This is so futile and unnecessary but until we get the Conservation Authority to see sense and use the exemption available to them under the National Parks Act, this stupidity is going to continue. 

Bulls will not be targeted anywhere else inside the management units, nor outside the units but still inside the feral range. Outside the feral range everything goes, and so it should. 

We will need to be very careful how much lower we take the nanny population in a lot of areas though, or the population will fall off the cliff in a couple of years. DOC is doing some population monitoring flights currently, and we are waiting to see their results. The feedback we’re hearing from the tahr ballot blocks is most guys are seeing few nannies, so it will be interesting to see if DOC’s results align with what we are seeing and hearing on the ground.

There are still some dense bush and scrub areas on the West Coast that need extensive further culling, where the choppers have been fairly ineffective at control, like the true right of the Karangarua from Lame Duck down past Misty Peak and into the Copland, including the lower Douglas and Regina; and also the middle section of the Jacobs. DOC is looking at trialling some ground hunters in these areas which may well be a more effective method of control, if managed carefully.

The culling will start at the beginning of July, weather permitting, so make the most of June especially in the National Parks! The operators are supposed to do a better job of staying away from huts and camp/landing sites than they did last year, so hopefully we won’t end up with so many reports of guys having their tahr hunt ruined by the control operations. Make sure you get some footage if you do encounter a culling operation and it effects your hunting. Without proof there is little we can do.

We are working through this winter’s planned 1080 operation in the Kawekas with Ospri at the moment. This is in response to the TB outbreak in Hawkes Bay that started in the Waitara Valley and has spread into the Patoka area. While initially in the cattle, this infection will now have spread into the possums, as there had been little control done for some years. There are now six farms infected between Patoka and Puketitiri and we need to lower possum numbers immediately around the farmland border and back into the Forest Park to stop the infection getting into our Kawekas. Watch this space.

We have drawn the latest subscription prizes and the winners were, Reedy Candy – a return helicopter flight with East Kaweka Helicopter worth $1200,  Craig Brian - a Garmin Instinct Tactical Watch valued at $869 and Alister Bungard the Spika S2 8 Gun Key Safe (Cat A) valued at $549. The winners for last issue’s Spot The Logo are Mark Sceats and Fletcher Sanders. The logos were on Athlon Optics advert page 64 and the Huntech advert on page 97 

Pick your weather windows, and get out and make the most of the crisp, clear winter days in the mountains. We sure will be!…

In this issue:

  • Hannah Rae’s Red stag journey that featured on NZ Hunter Adventures this year
  • Finding Success in a New Spot – Ryan Hart
  • Josh Wiggin’s First West Coast Bull Tahr
  • Jake Purdie and his South Island Chamois Adventure
  • My NZ Hunter Rifle Build – Part four, The Results
  • Day Walk Wonder – Fallow with Pat Barrett
  • James Lambert – Two In One Day – a Galatea Rusa Story
  • The Process of Reloading – by Jared Hearsey
  • Tahr Rut Stages by Points South
  • Luke Care – West Coast Pig Hunting
  • Red Stag Roaming – Cody Weller
  • Luke Care – What Camera Should I Buy? Part 2
  • Johnny Bissell – A Letter To My Younger Self
  • The Art of a Good Sausage by Christie McCarthy
  • February – The Time for Ptarmigan in the Swedish Mountains - by Filip Ornerkrans
  • Griffin Creek Hut, Rocky Creek Biv and Scottys Biv- Permolat
  • Is it safe to eat? Part XI by Corey Carston
  • Going Mega – by Corey Carston
  • Venison or Pork Blood Sausage by Richard Hingston

Test Fires: We Evaluate...

  • Swarovski’s Gen 3 EL Range with Tracking Assistant
  • Ridgeline’s Kahu Binocular Harness
  • Labradar – the handloader’s life saver!

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