Chasing Wapiti in Fiordland

Breakfast was interrupted by the shrill sound of a wapiti bugle. We were camped on the valley floor and the bull had cast its call out from above us. I had heard that sound hundreds maybe thousands of times from youtube videos and how-to-bugle CDs but this was the first time it had emanated from a bull’s lungs.  And all of the recordings I had ever heard combined couldn’t come close to matching the sheer power of the raw sound the bull was making.     

Continue reading “Chasing Wapiti in Fiordland”

Lessons from New Zealand: Stalking Deer and Elk

A couple of years ago I went out to stalk deer with an experienced hunter. It was early summer in New Zealand, and we were in the southern region of the South Island hunting the Waikaia Reserve. The sun was setting at around 9pm. The reserve is beech forest bordered by grass. The fresh spring growth was drawing deer out at dawn and dusk. For the remainder of the day the deer would bed down in the beech. Our plan was to camp in the beech and stalk the edge of the grass in the evening. Continue reading “Lessons from New Zealand: Stalking Deer and Elk”

Unguided: Preparing to Hunt Free Range Red Deer in New Zealand (Part 1 of 2)

Each year in April many photos appear on social media of hunters smiling behind giant racks of red deer. Many of these hunters use the payment system in New Zealand where you can pay 10,000 dollars for a 350” red stag. Though some hunters may enjoy this style of hunting, for many hunters in the states the idea of paying for an animal dissuades them from hunting New Zealand.

What is less publicized is all of the public land New Zealand offers for low-cost free-range red deer. Max has been hunting red deer for the past three years and each year he has been among wild roaring reds. He was unable to recover two nice stags, but his efforts were rewarded this year when he shot a fourteen pointer this year. Though New Zealand is a world away and the terrain can appear daunting, a DIY hunt is possible if you understand a few steps. Continue reading “Unguided: Preparing to Hunt Free Range Red Deer in New Zealand (Part 1 of 2)”

Unguided: How to Hunt Free Range Tahr in New Zealand (Part 2 of 2)

In comparison to hunting whitetail in Iowa, Tahr are the most different species of game I have ever pursued. They live in high country and the challenges presented while hunting them are far from the challenge of deciding which treestand to sit in. My experiences have come down to understanding tahrs’ patterns, glassing, and determining which risks to take. Continue reading “Unguided: How to Hunt Free Range Tahr in New Zealand (Part 2 of 2)”

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