We just got back from a awesome trip to New Zealand. I had lived there for a year 15 years ago. Wanted to take my wife and 5 kids down there for some hunting and sight seeing. We had the trip of a lifetime. We drove to Houston from NW Arkansas. Flew straight to Auckland. 15 hour flight with a 1.5 year old is long. But it's a over night flight. Very easy time change to get used to. We hunted with Aaron Kent with http://www.huntingdownunder.co.nz/ I can't say enough good stuff about this guy. He took on my family of 7. From 1.5 years of age to 15.
We stayed off sight in a nice cabin with room enough for our family. It was a place Aaron found for us to stay. Worked perfect.
My wife has had her eye on a red stag. First morning out he spotted a nice stag. They made a long stock and had a steep up hill shot. She dropped it with her 6.5 Creedmoor. The kids and I were back up on a hill watching it all. She was not thinking it would have that big of antlers. Thing looked huge to us. Got it loaded up and back to the house. Had a taste lunch. All the food we had was outstanding.
That afternoon they had some wild rams trying to get in the fields with the sheep. My 8 year old got on them with a rifle Aaron has. It was suppressed so that made it extra cool to him. He waited them out for the perfect shot. Shot it and it stayed up on the hill. Was looking for and how steep it was. Very glade it was a good shot. Would have been a long walk up from the bottom. Was very proud of him
The next day my daughter was going for a management sika. Got onto a couple good ones but she was having problems with the scope. Did some walking and looking at different animals that day.
Next day Aaron spotted a one antler fallow deer he had seen a couple times before. She got on him and made the shot. We were a little worried about the shot. But it was dead.
That evening my son and myself were out hunting. Went on a long hike (long for us) was a great time just being out there. Aaron has a great ability to tell when your getting tired. He will stop and glass for a while and let you catch your breath. But does it so you don't feel like your slow and out of shape
We did not have any luck that evening. My wife and 4 kids stayed at his house durin that evening hunt. His wife Carla is awesome. Makes you feel at home. We had set the hunt up where we were taking care of ourselfs for food and lodging. But they made us feel like family and feed us very well. We got in from the hunt late and had a great meal before heading to our place to sleep for the night. Next morning was rained out.
Next afternoon we meet up. My 15 year old and myself hunting again. We glassed for a while then Aaron spotted a sika deer my daughter was trying for. It was a longer shot then he had ever tried. Our range only goes out to 100 yards. In AR your shots are not long. This shot was 280 yards. Deer ran 15-20 yards and was dead. Very proud dad. We hiked over to it. Took pictures. Then climbed to the next ridge and got on a fallow deer we had been looking at for myself. Made the shot and had two animals down. My boy and another guide Mark took care of his deer. Aaron and I made our way to my fallow for pictures and get him packed out before total dark. Kiwis are in great shape. He gutted the deer and put it on like a backpack and walked out. It had a big body on him. I had a hard enough time walking out with a small empty pack. Thick and steep. Was a sight to see. Got home late to the family. Wife was up waiting for us. Tried to play it off that we did not get anything. But blood on our hands and a smart wife makes it hard.
Next morning we were out again. My same boy got a chance at a awesome stag. Made two great shots and we were taking pictures again. Lucky 15 year old.
Can't say enough good stuff about Hunting down under. Not a lot of people would take on a family of 7. In the back of the truck we had a diaper bag and baby stuff. Aaron and his wife Carla treated us so well. The extra guide Mark was awesome. Fun to be around. I am very protective over our only daughter. I would have no problem sending her down there alone at 12 and knowing she was well taken care of. He does some hunting shows over in the states. He is not a huge outfitter with a giant lodge like you see at DSC. But his prices are great and his place is nice. Very good food and great people. He also has thermal hot pools not to far from the house. Pretty drive to check them out. If your going down to NZ to hunt he is the guy to use. He also does South Island hunts for Tarh and chamie. Can't wait to get back down there and hunt with him again.
We spent 3 weeks in NZ. All the way to the top of the north island then down to where we hunted by Naiper. Having lived there it was fun to see old sights and show the family around. If you ever go and are looking for things to do feel free to ask. Daughter and I went on the worlds tallest guides waterfall. Jet boating and all kinds of fun. One other cool thing about hunting in NZ is with a little paper work 1 page for NZ and 1 page for the States you can bring your meat home. We brought back 150lb of meat.
It was a trip of a life time for our family. Sorry it's a long post. Spelling and writing are not the best. Hope you could understand most of it.
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