Issue 84 - Aug/Sep 2021  |  
On Sale Mon 2nd August 2021

It’s that deepest darkest time of the year when only the keenest seem to venture far into the mountains!

We’ve had a fair amount of snow unlike this time last year, and the avalanche risk is up to Considerable or High in anything above 1200m in most of the Southern Alps. So be careful if venturing into any terrain with those classic avalanche characteristics, and remember, it’s not just what you are standing on, it’s what’s above you that can kill you. Don’t forget to check both the weather and avalanche forecasts if heading into the alpine over the next few months.

We are very pleased to see the Minister of Conservation Hon Kiri Allen has recovered from her illness and is back on deck again. Minister Allen has been a breath of fresh air and we hope to see a lot more common-sense dealings between the Department of Conservation and all public land user groups than we endured during the last government. Minister Allen, we sincerely hope your issues are in the past and you are able to achieve what you started out to earlier this year and we are really looking forward to working with you in the future. We also want to acknowledge the work of Hon Dr Ayesh Verrall as acting Minister of Conservation in Minister Allen’s absence

Some good bulls have come out of the West Coast tahr ballot blocks this year, but the future of our tahr herds are somewhat uncertain. Without belabouring what we said last issue, we really need to micro manage the culling from here on in to target those last few areas where the population is too high, and leave it at that for now until the vegetation and population studies that are underway are completed.

This year’s culling that started in July will hopefully be less intrusive due to the agreement we’ve reached with the Department of Conservation. The operators are to avoid huts and landing sites and anywhere they encounter hunters, so again, please make sure you get video footage if you encounter any who don’t.

We have continued to work with Ospri in Hawkes Bay and Taupo to design a possum control operation that will stop TB getting into the Forest Parks. Ospri’s contractors are struggling to be able to achieve the result in the winter months this year that will have the least effect on deer and all users of the Park, so we have put a new proposal to Ospri involving an intensive ground control buffer area to hold the line until the optimum aerial 1080 operation months from our perspective. These are July and August next year, when we will get the best biodiversity outcome from the operation - the possums and rats are more susceptible as there’s minimal other food available, and you are taking out the predators before the native birds breeding season when the adults, their eggs and chicks are most susceptible to predation. Also the deer’s metabolism is slowest and they are less likely to pick up baits, also there are the least hunters and other Park users in the hills. And we have our highest chance of rainfall to wash out the toxin relatively quickly afterwards to have minimal effect on valued species.  Again, this is a work in progress – so watch this space!

Another issue of interest to gamebird hunters and freshwater fisherman is the current review of Fish&Game NZ that is underway. The review panel set-up by the previous MoC Eugenie Sage delivered some very wide ranging and far reaching recommendations to the new Minister Kiri Allen. Many of these were not well thought nor fleshed out properly for the management of a user pays/user says organisation like Fish and Game NZ, especially considering it is totally funded by hunters and fisherman and gets no money from the Government/tax payer. While we support the review in principle as our legislation has not been reviewed since Fish and Game was set up in the eighties and there are several things we wanted to change, but we must not rush this through despite the up and coming Fish and Game elections. There has been a huge amount of feedback given to the review implementation committee lead by our current NZF&G Council chairman. We need to ensure we keep all that is good about Fish and Game NZ while fixing a few of the things that have been holding us back. If you would like to be involved, make sure you put your name forward soon for the Fish and Game elections in your area!   

Spot the Logo winners for issue 83 were Earl Smith and Courtney Menzies. The logos were on page 54, the Ridgeline advert and page 85, the Spika advert.

Until next issue,

In this issue:

  • Laurence Aitken’s winter tahr hunt
  • Luke Care’s account of the Canterbury stag trip featured on NZ Hunter Adventures
  • Bowhunted Sambar stags by Cody Weller
  • What Camera Should I Buy? Part 3 – Bridge Cameras, Superzooms and Spotting Scopes
  • Antlers Among the Snowgrass – a big backcountry stag by Logan Taylor
  • How To Kill A Wapiti by Roy Sloan
  • Hannah Rae – Hunting Feels Good
  • Winter Chamois Hunting with Andrew Martin
  • My NZ Hunter Rifle Build – Part five, The Wrap Up
  • Trophy Tusks by Jonathan Fulton
  • Matt Winter’s Series on Native Plants - Broadleaf
  • Fats – Part One of a Nutrition Series by Michael McCormack
  • Who Broke the Pighunter by Shaun Monk
  • The Last of Age The Bull The Series
  • School Firearm Safety Course by Nik Seath
  • Lower Olderog Biv and the Jade Huts - Permolat
  • I Think There Might Be The Odd Duck in There by Corey Carston
  • Venison Cobbler by Richard Hingston

Test Fires: We Evaluate...

  • Polaris Ranger 1000 Premium EPS
  • Tikka Veil Wideland in 7mm Rem Mag
  • Spika Terra Puffer and Xone Pants

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