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You are here: Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018   

Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018

Tahrmageddon! Most of you will be aware by now that the Minister of Conservation has Himalayan tahr well and truly in her sights. Make no mistake, if she has her way, it will be the end of tahr hunting as we know it! Read Joseph’s article on page 34 for more background around this issue.

After DoC met with the representatives from a new Tahr Liaison Group in August, they have now released their revised control plan to satisfy her objectives (since Joseph wrote his article). The main take home message expressed by the TLG was, while they acknowledged tahr numbers needed reducing to some extent, DoC must not cull bulls - the NZDA has since publicly stated this is their bottom line. DoC acknowledged that at the TLG meeting. However, their proposed control plan ignores it by saying outside the National Parks they will only shoot 30% identifiable males (the age of which is not defined) plus all juvenile males - which is a complete joke – identifiable males are only about 30% of the population anyway!In other words this is no concession to recreational and commercial hunting interests at all! They are going to shoot alltahr in the Westland and Mt Cook National Parks, attempting to eradicate them all together. Initially, on top of the 2,500 they have already culled in the last few months, they are going to shoot 3000 bulls and 7000 other tahr in all the country east of the main divide from Lake Pukaki northwards – all of the Jollie, Cass, Godley, Macaulay, Rangitata and Rakaia catchments before mid-November. This is all the most accessible, heavily hunted areas of the tahr range. If they take 3000 bulls out of this country and all bulls/tahr out of the Parks, that will be the end of the most popular trophy hunting areas. On top of this, they are expecting us to dig our own graves. The plan states they are expecting recreational hunters, guides, WARO and AATH to kill another 7500 tahr and provide proof of this on a monthly basis by the 1stof May 2019. If we collectively don’t make the required number of kills, DoC will cull the remainder to make up the total to 7500. The only areas they are not targeting immediately are the Landsborough and Adams wilderness areas north and south of the National Parks on the West Coast. They are expecting us hunters to do this for them – the most heavily bushclad and remotest areas in the tahr range – and by far the hardest areas to cull. They have taken the easiest East Coast country where hunters collectively could have a chance of controlling numbers, and left us the short straw. The cynic in me says they are absolutely setting us up to fail! I’m sure none of the groups DoC have given these ultimatums to will play DoC’s game – they would be absolutely stupid to under the current plan, and would be just putting nails in their own coffins.

This control plan is simply bad science, focussed on outputs not outcomes. The outcome should be firstly a healthy environment and secondly a tahr resource that produces quality animals for everyone’s needs. All the information from Tustin, Caughley and Parkes which we don’t have room to go into here says the tahr population is not increasing out of control, and with the current harvest level it has largely plateaued. Yes, there are still too many and we have this number of 10,000 in the 1993 HTCP, but there is no need for an immediate panic to get it back down to this level - nothing that requires this knee jerk reaction from the Minister and her department – causing them to ignore the input from all interested parties and destroying a huge recreational and economic resource. And we’re talking overseas export earnings here – the average bull tahr trophy is worth $14,000 all up to the country; multiply that by the thousands of bulls they intend to cull and we’re talking multi millions of dollars a year of lost revenue. Let alone the huge economy that is based around NZ locals’ recreational tahr hunting and the ancillary industries that it supports – importers and retailers of hunting gear and clothing, accommodation, taxidermists, helicopter and other transport operators, 4wd dealers etc.

There is a much better way of achieving the 1993 HTCPs objectives, without decimating tahr hunting and everything that goes with it. All the science tells us that targeting the females only is the quickest and most cost efficient way to achieve population objectives (even the 1993 HTCP says its preferable to target mostly females and acknowledges that bull tahr are required to motivate interest from all hunters). This time of year the bulls are off on their own and targeting them just means you’re wasting helicopter time flying around where there are no nannies. And a nannies-only regime is one that hunting organisations will buy into and do their bit to achieve – organised culls etc. I’m sure our hunting representatives will have put an alternative plan to the Minister by the time you read this, but we will most likely need huge political pressure from others in her coalition government to make her see sense, judging by what we’ve seen so far. Keep up to date with our social media if you can, and we will tell you when, what you need to say, and to whom as we’ll most likely need to mount a huge email/mail campaign to all the relevant politicians to get them to demand the Minister look at sensible alternative proposals.

The logos winners for last issue are Ngaire McGowan and Nathan Roberts. The logos were on page 10 – Beretta Axil Sport Ear and page 32 - Tight Lines Ledlenser.

We’ve also drawn our latest subscription prize winners and they were Grant Wilson – East Kaweka Helicopter flight, Stewart Bernard - AJ Productions Spypoint Force 11D trail cam, Don Ranby – Points South FirstLite Cirrus jacket and Ross McLean – Tight Lines Leatherman’s Signal.

Do stay in touch with our social media and when the call to arms comes, tell all your mates! We do really seem to be under siege lately, but this latest is the single biggest threat I’ve seen in my years as a voice for our big game animals.


This issue we have...  

  • An ancient West Coast tahr
  • Tom’s first chamois
  • Adam Nicolls summer double – Chamois and a Westland Red
  • The monarch of the Alps – A huge main divide Red stag
  • Into Thin Air – high country Colorado wanderings
  • A commentary on the DOC tahr culling by Joseph Peter
  • Spring Jetboating
  • Basic 4WD Recovery
  • Quick and Easy Camp Cooking by Paul Garland
  • The Waikiti Hut – the next in the remote huts series
  • The Right boot for the Right Purpose by Joel Bradley
  • The GAC talks Tahr Control, 1080 and Tahr and Bovine TB 

Test Fires: We Evaluate...

  • Swarovski BTX Spotting Scope
  • Meindl Dovre Boots
  • Rab Mythic Sleeping Bags
  • Ledlenser MH8 

Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018

Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018
Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018
Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018
Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018
Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2018
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Issue 66 - Aug/Sep 2018
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