Read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. Well it’s been about six months or so since we were in New Zealand and it seems like forever ago. Time is short as we are in the midst of hunting season so there won’t be much words for this final installment but be looking for some content to roll out around the New Year. For now enjoy the photos and be looking for more here on the website and through our Instagram page.
Read the first part of this series HERE. After a few weeks on the island we had put some great fish in the net but conditions had been tough. The rivers had blown out twice and most of the fishable days had overcast skies which made spotting tough in lots of the water we were fishing. We pushed through and made the best of it. We spent some time fishing the flats for kingfish which was a wild experience. I think we were a few weeks behind on timing and it seems that the locals feel the fishery is getting heavily pressured and there’s some shady tactics being used by guides with boats. We had a good time despite few kingfish sightings and wen’t back to town before being flow deep into the backcountry.
The backcountry was amazing but the fishing was tough! Coming that late in the season meant that the easy to see fish were insanely spooky and picky on flies. We all got into beautiful fish but our hookup to sighting percentage was definitely in the single digits. Finding fast water and taking extra time to try to spot fish in that water made things easier as it seemed these fish hadn’t been pressured as much. Be looking for Part 3 soon.
New Zealand Tahr Hunt – Day 2 started with the crew sleeping in till just after sunrise. With one bull in camp we felt confident in saving our energy for another solid evening hunt. Travis finished up taking care of his hide and skull as the guys fixed up a mean lunch of more tahr meat, potatoes, and onions.
After filling our bellies and taking a quick snooze in the sun we loaded the packs and started our trek back up the valley.
This afternoon we decided to go up the opposite side of the head of the valley. We wanted to look further back into the end of the drainage. After getting in position we started picking out tahr all across the upper half of the mountain. A few hours later and a small band of tahr had fed to within 50 yards before winding us and moving off. We had spotted a cool looking one horned bull up high on the mountain. His cape swirled and billowed in the wind and we knew he was a mature bull. After telling Josh I’d shoot him if he didn’t he decided this would be his bull to make a move on. After watching him move lower and lower it was time to make a move to get into shooting position. Josh and Ben set off while myself and August held back and kept an eye on him. Within twenty minutes of the guys being gone the bull had dropped so low we could no longer see him. Just a few minutes later we heard a shot echo through the valley. We picked up our packs and quickly hustled up the drainage to see what had taken place.
As we caught up to the guys Josh was admiring his first tahr. A unique and old one horned beast. We quickly shot photos as light faded and again we had a long packout in the dark followed by another dinner of backstrap and cold beers.
Want to see how close the bull got before Josh took his shot? Watch the following as we take you through Day 2 of our hunt!
Special thanks to Ben and August and if you’re interested in hunting any big game animals free range in New Zealand definitely hit up Ben at his website > www.bghnz.co.nz/
Written by : Zack Boughton