Trophy country

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New Zealand. It’s plain I will not have time to do things justice as we go, likely not until long after we’re back in the US, so snippets will have to do.

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First on the list, due purely to the location along the circle we’ll eventually draw, was hunting in the alps near Mount Cook. A little nugget of beta M unearthed led to some good advice, which led to a long 4×4 drive up a glacial valley, a small hut, and a wildly successful three days hunting.

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We hiked out with a chamois and two tahr in tow, and a story which I probably wouldn’t believe had I not been there. Thus far, sitting in a west coast motel room smelling the sea breeze, things could not have gone better. Well, maybe the above tahr could have not gone for a 700′ tumble after the second shot, but mountain hunting properly refuses to go according to plan.

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8 thoughts on “Trophy country

  1. Nice photos. From a quick search it appears that customs doesn’t appear to allow most meat from outside brought into the US. I’m curious as to what’s your strategy here. Are you planning on bringing any back?

    1. NZ is an exception to that general rule; as all the big game species are non-native and NZ is considered a clean country.

      We had tahr meatballs tonight and will eat through the meat we took before we leave. Clean hides and skulls will come back in checked baggage. All you need there is an export permit from the NZ Department of Conservation, which we easily obtained this morning in Christchurch.

      Next month I’ll write up all the details for doing a DIY hunt in New Zealand. It requires some planning, but once you’re here is probably cheaper and simpler than anywhere else in the world.

  2. I was just in NZ two months ago, and didn’t realize until we were there the awesomeness of the hunting situation. We were chatting with some guides about how hunting in AK is so restrictive in comparison (you can’t use helicopters! You can’t fly and shoot the same day!). Now that we have been there, and done the requisite S. Island road trip, we want to go back and really get into the mountains more–and hunt. I’m very jealous that you were able to figure out all the logistics ahead of time to pull off a hunt–and will definitely be looking forward to any data you write up later on. Assuming you probably aren’t heading back, will you give any more of a hint to where you were? Who knows if I will ever really make it back there, but it’s fun to dream… I have my eye on a spot near Wanaka, but we spent a few days in Lake Tekapo, which was really beautiful too…

    Enjoy your trip!

    1. Tekapo was our access point. Proper 4×4 absolutely required. The side valleys up there could easily be in the AK range if they had Dalls instead of tahr.

    2. Hunting like we have in Ak and the Yukon (where I’m from), by necessity must be “restrictive” as you put it.
      Call it what you like, but hunting in NZ is essentially pest control. Hunting Dall sheep in the Brooks is anything but.
      Imagine if Ak had had unrestricted access via helicopters for hunting purposes for the past 40 years. Pretty grim.
      However, sitting here staring out at the clearing skies over lake Wakatipu is anything but grim. We have 3 God days forecast. Hope Dave has something good planned.

    1. It is a prototype of the Seek Outside BT2. The production model is identical save for color. I have never used a supermid, but based on my experience with other square mids the added height and ability to make the BT2 12 sided, using all the intermediate guy points, vastly enhances wind resistance. It is a very quiet shelter in high winds.

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