Any do-it-yourself Tahr & Chamois stories?

Discussion in 'Hunting Australia & New Zealand' started by 50by50, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    Hey guys- just got back from New Zealand. My wife and I toured the north island. Incredible place!- and now I can't wait to get to the South Island for some hunting.

    At the SLC show last week I spoke with almost every outfitter and am starting to put together some plans.

    Best prices I was seeing was:
    - 380" high fence stag: $8500
    - fallow: around $2500-3500
    - tahr: $4000-4500
    - chamois: $2500

    As I've been watching YouTube videos, I'm seeing a lot of guys that are doing the tahr and chamois on their own and it looks like an awesome adventure!

    So my questions to you guys that hunt New Zealand: is this feasible- DIY? I'd love to put more into a stag and fallow and then hunt the tahr and chamois on a back- packing adventure without a guide and the price tag.

    Thanks!

    IMG_8583.JPG
     
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  2. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    Awesome photo!
     

  3. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    Thanks @ArmyGrunt!
    I had to memorialize the fact I made it to the top. If I actually do this tahr/chamois hunt in my own, I'll need to get in better shape!
     

  4. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    I have a great friend who would answer that with.....round is a shape!
    I agree though, I fancy myself as pretty fit, but when I finally get setup for a mountain hunt I'm certainly going to need to practice more. The whole "mind over matter" thing starts to matter when you go uphill for...ever
     
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  5. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    I like that! I'll have to remember to tell my wife that round is a shape. She'll get a laugh.
     

  6. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    Be careful when you pull that line out, context is everything!
     

  7. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    Haha!!! You are wise! Man- I might have really messed that one up.
     
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  8. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    DIY tahr and chamois is perfectly feasible. I have seen and shot tahr from the roads around Mt Cook village. Chamois hunting is avaliable by walking in to a lot of public land around the South Island. If you are an experienced mountain hunter then you shouldn't have any problems.
    May is a good time to hunt because the chamois are in the rut and in their winter skins. Tahr are also starting to rut and winter hasn't really started.
    November is a good time for tahr as the Bulls are low feeding up on fresh growth, but their skins aren't so great.
    If you want to spend a bit of coin then there are a number of chopper pilots that will drop you in at a hut.
    The solohunter channel on YouTube will give you a good idea of what to expect.
     
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  9. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    @stug

    Great information. Thank you Stug!

    Getting dropped off by a helicopter isn't a bad idea. i see a lot of advantages. Namely the ability to bring in more food for an extended stay and having fresh legs to access deeper country after getting into tahr and chamois country.
     

  10. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    @stug

    Do you know how big those helicopters are? Could they take 4 guys and their gear in one trip?
     

  11. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    50by50 let me say first that I love NZ, especially the south island. go for a big one the avatar is 509sci.
    I have been a couple time keep in touch with friends made there. locals like stug def walk in hunt or heli in. helis are a def way of life in NZ. Dont know what the lic and export issues would be for you??
    I would recommend my good friend Richard Burdon who owns and runs Glendene it is a beautiful huge estate in the south island. His family has been there for generations. I think they pretty much own lake wanaka and the lake on the other side of the mtn too and the mtns all around. Stug was right on point about time of yr may for tahr and chamois as the coats are beautiful and in rut. and for a tahr you are partly shooting for the beatiful golden fur mane. I killed the #12 sci tahr also with Richard, so he knows where the monsters are. take your wife please she will love it and they will pamper you and her, . PM me if you want his info he does whats app. he has more red deer than you will ever want to see of every size possible and chgs less for those outside the fences on his property.
     
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  12. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    @50by50 with the choppers a lot of helicopter operators run a range of machines. Most will have a Hughes 500 and/or Squirrel. The squirrel will take 4 and gear.
    The east coast valleys are also accessible by 4wd, but not sure how rental companies would feel about that.
     
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  13. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    @Buckdog

    Your stag is HUGE! Congrats man. Thank you for the info. I'll send you a PM as I'd like to chat with Glendene for sure.

    Right now I'm thinking of a May (next May) trip for Tahr and Chamois and then the following March or April come back and hunt stag with a bow at the beginning of the rut. I'll bring my wife on that one as she's dying to come back... but not at the cold time of year!
     

  14. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    Thanks @stug for the advice.

    I have been watching the youtube channel (solo hunter) you suggested. It's getting me jacked! I'm interested to know if you would hunt the east side or the west? The west is more rugged right? Which one has the better population and trophy quality of tahr and chamois?

    Last question that's been on my mind: what's appropriate for a game hunt like this? If I were to take a big bull tahr and a couple younger ones for the fur, would that be frowned on by you kiwis?

    Thanks for the responses and help. It's invaluable.
     

  15. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    I hunt the east coast because that is where I live, (about 45min from Christchurch). The West coast has the bigger numbers, but is a lot steeper and harder hunting. The scrub is thicker and harder to get through.
    There is a ballot for helicopter access to a lot of the popular westcoast tahr areas/blocks over the may/june/july period. It does not give you sole access to the area, but does allow helicopter access, as the west coast restricts where helicopters can land hunters.
    The east coast is much more open and easier to get around, but the numbers and trophy quality is lower. You will still see pleanty of tahr, not so many chamois, and the chance of a 12" bull tahr or bigger is there.
    No one will worry if you shoot a few tahr. The meat off the nannies is very fine grained and delicious, the bulls are big goats and taste like it.
    Don't shoot too many chamois on the east coast as their numbers are lower.
     

  16. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    Good information @stug.

    I appreciate it. I think I'd like to take the helicopter into the west side wild country. I'll need to look into the restrictions. Is there a helicopter service the locals like to use?

    Another question I have after watching all these youtube videos is how possible it is to get a big fallow on public land. I've watched guys hunting them without a guide but it might be private land they paid to get access on or something? I'd assumed it was near impossible to get a big stag and fallow buck on public.
     

  17. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    Big Fallow and Red stag are really only possible on private land. There are some areas where you can get fallow on public land, but a good buck will be hit and miss.
    For helicopter operators here are some links
    http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-re...e-west-coast/west-coast-helicopter-operators/

    and https://www.scenic-flights.co.nz/

    The last link is for a company owned by James Scott. Up until last year he was the go to guy for NZ'ers. But his company had a chopper crash in 2016? and gave up his licence http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/natio...firm-gives-up-licence-after-fox-glacier-crash

    He was the cheapest and best operator, haven't heard much about his new operation.

    The tahr ballot info is here http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-re...ns/hooker-landsborough-and-adams-tahr-ballot/

    I have no experience of the ballot areas, but some are bloody steep and nasty and get zero sun in winter. They are not for the faint hearted.
    The east coast might give better chance of success, but with smaller animals. All the solo hunter vids are east coast valleys. Mainly the Hopkins river area.

    Tahr are not hard to shoot and very predictable in their habits.

    Let me know what else you want to know.

    Stu.
     
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  18. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

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    Stu- tons of awesome information! Thank you so much! I reached out to the second heli link and got a response. $900 round trip for 3 guys and 400 kilograms. Fantastic! He said there is cheaper rates for closer drops but this rate is for taking us deeper into the west coast.

    Thanks again!

    Matt
     

  19. expresshunt

    expresshunt New Member

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    You can get a NZ Hunt license, and a Rifle License to bring your rifle on the internet. That's the easy bit. Here is some info from my experience...

    1/ DYI Wilderness: A lot of flat footed Aussies fly over for DIY hunts, and unless we train very very hard its a disaster. Most need 2 or 3 trips to get a nice one. DIY involves booking a hire car, leave it at a Heli pad, fly up with your gear and supplies, start glassing, and get lucky... costs might be $2800 to $3500 for 2x depending on the Heli distance/time. You will need the right gear should you be snowed it, your buddy must be bush and mountain smart, survival knowledge, super fit, and it will be a big learning curve. Plus you both might not get anything... yes you will see Tahr, but they are damn hard to get close to, and that can lead to taking risks and safety concerns. Plus if one person looses his will to be in such a harsh difficult environment and physical stress, then its a DISASTER as you should always hunt together. If the other guy says stuff this, has sore legs, or blisters, or has a fall and damaged knee or pulled muscles, and decides to sit in camp, then it is unwise to then go out by yourself. All the young local Kiwi hunters are super fit, and go with a well matched mate, with equal stamina. Half a day of untrained unfit legs can cause them to feel like jelly and painful, and not work on day 2... then the brain can crack, and its a mental problem then. We also had a big high wind storm and luckily our 1x cheap, and 1x 3rating tents held together. I know this can be a real problem, as it happened to me, we heli'd out early and thus my/our hunt finished before success. However DIY has its own special memories and achievements.

    2/ Many of the main hunt operators do 1 day Tahr heli hunts, which are nice if your over 50 and unfit for severe mountain hunting. Not for me... yet..!!

    3/ Guided "True Wilderness" hunt costs much more, and because you both are paying, you train bloody hard. If you can save up for a wilderness hunt, then thats a great experience, as the guide will know the area, he will supply all the right camp gear 4 rated, radio and satelite phone, etc etc, and probably a 95% success rate. Heli up, then 5 or 6 real hunting days, then heli out.. This will be one of your most demanding and rewarding hunts ever. If you can save $5000 or $6000 for 1x1, or maybe $4000each for 2x1 with a mate of same abilities, I'm sure you will get a good deal from a strong wilderness guide, who provides all references. There are Ranch, Private wild, Estate, Wilderness... all sorts of ways it is described and percieved. Make sure you get the hunt you want.

    Season - Early winter April, May, June, July is the preferred time for nice coats, but still has a risk of being snowed in, and time lost, or late out. I'm a 54y/o warm blooded Aussie so Summer Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb is much nicer for 'soft' me, with minor chance of snow or storm, however I'm only after a skull mount, or summer coat.

    CANT WAIT TO GET BACK...!!!

    Pic are near MtCook... Weatherby Ultralight was long, 1.2" x3 grouping 100yds and not light, later S old it for a Tikka T3 superlight 300WSM, same hole at 100, apple" at 500yds..!!. Other pic a young Tahr.
    DSC00144copy.JPG DSC00210c.JPG DSC00192cc.JPG DSC00130c.jpg
     

  20. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    Beautiful photos, wonderful wording. Thanks for all of that. Tahr is on my *huge* list of dream hunts.
    I fancy myself as pretty fit, and I don't give up easily, but your tale certainly says I'm not quite up for this yet.
     

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