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You are here: Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018   

Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018

The tahr rut and the tahr ballot block hunts received the usual mix of weather over the last couple of months. In between bouts of the continued unsettled weather we experienced over the roar, the odd good day was had and one 15 inch bull was taken that we’ve seen.

Tahr have become the hot topic in the last couple of weeks with the Minister of Conservation stating she has them firmly in her sights. She was extremely vehement in her recent speech to the NZ Deerstalkers association, announcing she intends to severely reduce their numbers back to something like the arbitrary number of 10,000 mentioned in the tahr plan - without any clear understanding of how to accurately measure how many tahr there are now, or how many are left after any control regime. See the Garry Ottmann’s article on page 87.

Basically, it is irrelevant how many tahr there actually are, it’s the effect they are having on the environment that is important. If the alpine vegetation is improving , then the actual number of tahr is not of huge importance. Most worrying is her statement that the order of priority for tahr control is no longer going to be recreational hunters first - it is now the Department of Conservation, then the heli-hunters (AATH), and recreational hunters last. This is just absurd and extremely inflammatory and antagonistic. None of us want to see tahr herds out of control and damaging the environment and the bulls are not able to grow good horns due to the competition for feed. We have in the pasthunted several places on the West Coast where nanny numbers needed serious reduction, but to be fair a lot of these places have had a lot of nannies removed and have turned the corner. So long as nannies are the target of the culling regimes, the thinking hunter shouldn’t have too many issues with this. They will never get them all and we don’t need a large population of nannies to maintain enough bulls to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest a trophy bull to anyone prepared to put in a little work. The issue with the current regime of shooting nannies and juveniles means young bulls up to three years old are also being removed. If this 0 to 3 year old age class of bulls is continued to be targeted, we will start to find ourselves running out of trophy bulls in the not too distant future. If DoC are going to seriously step up the numbers they are culling, they must stop shooting juveniles and only cull clearly identifiable nannies. This also gives them the best bang for their buck conservation wise.

The Minister also stated at the Deerstalkers conference there was never any promise of a Waro review by her department, and this is completely untrue as you all know. (The recent quasi consultation process for the new Waro permit conditions that hopefully you all submitted on was also a farce.) She also apparently stated there would be no herds of special interest under her watch, not even for the proven FWF Wapiti management regime, and seemed to begrudge any money going to initially help set-up and fund the GAC. She is also making it clear she is promoting increasing wide scale aerial 1080 operations. It really does feel like recreational hunters and our valued game animals are under serious siege from her at the moment.

A few of us from the Lower North Island Hunter Liaison Group and Red Deer Foundation are having a meeting with the Minister on the last Thursday in July, so we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt until we’ve seen what she has to say in person. If we fail to get anywhere with her, then all recreational hunters are going to have to band together more than ever to mount a serious challenge to the direction she seems to be steering the implementation of current government’s conservation policy. Watch this space; there may well be a serious call to arms for all recreational hunters in the very near future, as our recreation is looking like it’s under the most serious threat in recent history.

Make the most of your winter hunting opportunities and we’ll see you all in the spring!


The Spot the Logo winners for Issue 65 are Scott Chapman and Thomas Grant. Logos were on the Stoney Creek ad page 5 and the SR Marston ad page 57.

This issue we have...  

  • An exceptional Wapiti bull
  • A 337DS Otago Red
  • A bush Sika from the roar
  • Red stag from the Whitcombe
  • Record Rusa – 200DS
  • The Bulls of 2018 – a Wapiti synopsis from Roy Sloan
  • Matt Sims winter tahr adventure
  • Camera Accessories – Matt Winter
  • Have you ever heard of a Capercaille?
  • Johnny wraps up the Trapping series
  • The County Hut – the next in the remote huts series
  • Gary Ottmann talks Tahr Control 

Test Fires: We Evaluate...

  • Thompson Centre Compass in 7mm Rem Mag
  • DPT Muzzle Brake
  • Jetboil Flash 2.0
  • MSR Windburner 

Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018

Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018
Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018
Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018
Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018
Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018
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