New Zealand Ram Hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting Australia & New Zealand' started by nzhuntinginfo, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. nzhuntinginfo

    nzhuntinginfo AH Member

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    Hi There,

    One of my specialist interests is the rare New Zealand feral sheep...there's about 8 small flocks on public land in New Zealand.
    Yesterday I went into the mountains behind Christchurch in the vain hope I might get a photograph for an article I'm writing.
    The flock has only about 200 animals left.
    (Many New Zealanders don't even know about them.)

    And I got lucky with the photo...these sheep originate from escapees soon after New Zealand was colonised in the 1800s.

    What do you think about the rams in the picture?

    woodstockramsthb031_zpsbc2da98e.jpg
     
  2. owenowen

    owenowen AH Veteran

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    Very nice pic, they look a lot like merino sheep that we farm with in SA. I can see those are wild ones looking at their skin and wool condition :) thanks for the post !
     
  3. nzhuntinginfo

    nzhuntinginfo AH Member

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    You're dead on the money there.
    Apparently they originate from merino sheep that were introduced to this area in the 1890s.
    They are clean faced, shed their wool without problems, don't get foot rot and so have survived well in the wild.
    Many of these ones are "badger faced" but I didn;t get a photo of one of these.
    This flock seems to have a lot of ticks.
     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    It is a nice picture.
    Do you actually hunt these sheep?
     
  5. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Cool, this is the time of year I hunt for my Merino wool socks and underwear! :D
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Now if you were tough like a good Kiwi you would go shear one of those wild ones and knit your own socks on the way up hunting.
     
  7. nzhuntinginfo

    nzhuntinginfo AH Member

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    Do We Hunt New Zealand Feral Sheep?

    The feral sheep are so far and few between that few hunters specifically target them.

    We used to hunt them for the meat of the young which is excellent eating and also for any big double curlies....which became very rare.

    This is a picture from the mid 1970s of Woodstock sheep on the tops at about 5500 feet.

    Being of merino stock these sheep can handle pretty rough high country.

    woodstocksheep013.jpg
     
  8. mykc

    mykc AH Member

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    Great photos, it's always good to see the old snaps.
     
  9. nzhuntinginfo

    nzhuntinginfo AH Member

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    I've got to fess up and admit that I can't shear sheep so I buy my sox from the shop...and while I wear a bit of fine wool clothing I never wear woolen underpants...
     
  10. MountainEdge

    MountainEdge AH Senior Member

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    DSC05165.jpg View attachment 14368 Here is a ram I took on a trip to Pitt island in 2007. Pitt Island is part of the Chatham islands which is about 800km east of New Zealand remote islands awesome experience!!
     
  11. owenowen

    owenowen AH Veteran

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    Hi there, just curious whats the main reason these sheep dont breed well in the wild ? Are they over shot or not enough wild land , or just getting sicknesses ? I would think they dont have many natural predators and like goats i thought they would be spreading like mad... cheers
     
  12. nzhuntinginfo

    nzhuntinginfo AH Member

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    Mountain edge.

    My friend....That is an impressive sheep and an impressive photograph...
    The Pitt Island flock are recognised as one of the true offshore feral flocks. The other offshore island sheep were on Campbell Island (now shot out) and the Arapawa Sheep which are well known and common on safari parks throughout New Zealand.

    The following is a quote from the rare breeds society website.
    "Pitt Island sheep are almost all coloured and have the self-shedding fleeces characteristic of feral breeds. The rams are impressively horned up to a metre long measured around the curve.
    In a study made of the sheep on the Reserve in 1981, Dr M. R. Rudge found that only 11.1% of rams and 8.8% of ewes were white; 97% of rams were horned but only 13% of the ewes had true horns, though 54% of the ewes had scurs."
     
  13. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Come to Canada, we'll have you in a good set of woolies in no time. Current temp: -15 with a good stiff wind. Current time: quarter past time for your woolies!!! LOL

    A good set of nice soft non-itching Merino wool underwear is almost standard issue mid-October until April.
     
  14. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Did you swim, boat or fly over. Looks like an incredible place to go hunting.
    great picture.
     
  15. MountainEdge

    MountainEdge AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Nzhunt i took three while I was there. Note the sheep on the cliffs behind me in the dark colored sheep photo. DSC02889.jpg DSC02890.jpg DSC02891.jpg DSC05130.jpg DSC05219.jpg
     
  16. MountainEdge

    MountainEdge AH Senior Member

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    We flew to Chatham island in passenger/cago plane then took a small fixed wing aircraft to pitt island. The flight to Pitt was an experience, really windy and landed on a bumpy grass strip running up a hill into the sun turned out the pilot really wanted to get back to the island to see his girlfriend haha
     
  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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  18. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Sounds like flying in northern Canada. Always an adventure.
    Great to have a motivated pilot. :)
     
  19. nzhuntinginfo

    nzhuntinginfo AH Member

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    Woollies & Winter & Hunting in New Zealand

    Here's a pic from a chamois hunt I went on a couple of weeks ago.

    Problem is that snow has fallen at least five times in October... which is pretty unusual for New Zealand considering it's supposed to be spring.

    Actually the temperatures aren't too bad when this pic was taken...the powder snow was the problem.

    HkBelowthb028_zps34c0a1c7.jpg
     
  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Looks like my backyard today. We're supposed to have snow though.
     

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