NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand Tahr, Chamois & Rusa

Justbryan

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I hunted Red Stag and Fallow in. 2019. This time I hunted Tahr and Chamois (South Island (Geraldine Area), and Rusa (North Island). I shot a second Rusa much larger but my guide has not forwarded pics yet. I am still in New Zealand on Holiday for another week. What a trip. It was extremely cold hunting the Chamois. Will post report when in the States. But a few picks for now.
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mark-hunter

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Great photos! Congrats! New zealand hunt is one of my great wishes!
Did you hunt on ranch, or on public free range?
 

cpr0312

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Wow! Congrats on a great hunt and thanks for sharing!
 
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Congratulations on your trophies. I look forward to reading your report.
 

Justbryan

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Thanks. Doing a week of whatever the wife wants. We are in Queenstown for a few days enjoying the winter wonderland.
 
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gillettehunter

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Congrats. Looks like a lot of fun.
Bruce
 

Justbryan

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July 11-23, North and South Island Hunt with Kuranui Hunting Lodge.

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My wife, Andrea and I started for New Zealand on Saturday, July 11 after years of delay and planning. We were grateful that the covid-19 pre-testing requirements were lifted by New Zealand and United States. We booked a skycouch on Air New Zealand which was difficult for two people to negotiate so we shaped out time lying down.

We arrived on Monday morning but our connecting flight was canceled so we got a shuttle to Rotorua on the North Island. We were met at the gate by the owner/guide for a short ride to the lodge. When we got to the big valley it was full of fallow Deer and one very nice Rusa bull that stood broadside at 50 yards for a long look. This was the last time we would get this close to a big Rusa.

Day 1 Afternoon Hunt- We started by double checking the 308 Sako at the range. Guide asked if I wanted to take a little walk. I knew there was no such thing as a little walk at Kuranui. My wife decided to accompany us on the walk. It was a steep climb up and down the trail to the valley. About 30 mintues down the trail the rain began. It would rain off and on for the rest of the day. When we arrived at the valley there were 14 fallow and a couple rusa does. We found a huge tree to retreat from the rain. We sat several hours with no bulls. We returned to the lodge soaked, cold, weavy from travel, and hungry. We were told by our host at dinner that they were retiring and had sold their hunting estate. Looking forward to tomorrow's hunt.

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Day 2 Morning Hunt- Ater a coffee by the fire the guide and I returned to sit under the same trees, more fallow and rusa does, intermittent rain with an occasional heavy downpour, rusa disappeared when raining, so we returned for nice lunch at the lodge.

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Day 2 Afternoon Hunt- Because of the heavy intermittent showers we took the 4 wheeler on the main road in case we needed a quick retreat for shelter.. While riding on the road we saw a nice bull in the valley. We stopped the 4 wheeler to get a better look. We watched the bull for a few minutes before the does broke for dense cover. I had decided to take the bull just before he bolted from the opening. I instinctively shot the bull between the front shoulders as he ran up the well worn trail. He came crashing down the hill, one shot to the spine, a representative animal, off to the shed to skin, cold and wet. We had a great venison loin before retreating to my warm bed.

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Day 3 Morning Hunt- I decided to go for a bigger rusa. We are going to try a different trail behind the lodge. I have painful memories of this trail from a few years ago. I could barely get out of bed the next day. So, we headed for the thick cover of the steep mountain to look for a big bull. We finally reached the open hillside but there were no rusa. We sat, watching the hillside for a few minutes and enjoyed the short break from the rain. Suddenly from nowhere a rusa doe appeared below us at about at 75 yards. She stayed for a long time before retreating to the dense cover. A few minutes later, a good bull came out on the same trail but not an upgrade. I had to pass on the bull but I enjoyed watching him.

Day 3 Afternoon Hunt- The day started off with a heavy downpour so we took the 4 wheeler again so we did not get stuck in the rain. We spotted 3 rusa bulls on mountain but they were quickly gone. Suddenly we were in the heavy downpour.
We sat under a couple trees to stay dry but we got soaked.

The ladies returned from shopping. We decided to walk the upper trail to top of mountain where we had spotted the 3 bulls earlier. When we got to the top we saw a nice bull standing in a clearing but he disappeared. The guide spotted 2 more bulls at 300+ yards bedded in the moutain. I could not get steady on the sticks because of the angle so I found a good prone shooting position. We talked about the shot and decided to take the bull. I shot low in chest, unsure of shot, we waited an hour. We knew where the bull went after the shot, bedding down about 20 yards, out of our sight. We saw the second bull final leave, unknown how badly he was injured, curious about why he only went 20 yards, we assumed he was badly wounded, so we quietly walked up mountain watching for movement. We jumped the bull in some really thick cover but we could not get a shot. The terrain was dangerously steep and muddy but there was no blood trail. We tracked the bull. We caught up to the bull quickly but the first shot missed the bull. We continued to slowly track the bull. The quick second shot went high in back and the third shot was also high in back because the bull was lower on mountainside. The shot broke the spine so I took a close heart shot. The large rusa expired in a bad, slick, muddy slope. We had to let the bull down on ropes. I fell down several times before reaching the bottom. We headed back to shed in a downpour. We had a celebration meal before heading off to see the Good Shepherd chapel in Tekapo.

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I don't have a picture of the second rusa yet.

Continued in next post.
 
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Justbryan

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Day 4- We flew from Rotorua to Christchurch then drive to Geraldine on the south island.

Day 5- We drove to hanger but it was very cloudy. There was no chance for Chamois due to clouds but we could have done the Tahr hunt. We decided to try again tomorrow.

Day 6 Morning Hellicopter Hunt- The sky was completly clear. We saw several fallow, stags, and young bull tahr on drive to hanger. The pilot gave me a few lessons and rules on getting in and out of chopper. The takeoff was very smooth. We saw several chamois but the their location was too dangerous. We made an attempt at one chamois but it was extremely steep. The second attempt was very smooth. He hid behind rock 300+ yards. We waited a long time and finally the bull ran up the mountain in waist deep snow. He ran up a rock ledge standing facing us then turned broadside. The first shot missed high but he did not move. The second shot was a perfect shot. He fell off the rocky outcrop to the snow below. We took a few pics on a nearby rock.

Day 6 Afternoon Hellicopter Hunt- Off for the Tahr in different area. The first few bulls passed due too step. We finally saw a good bull hiding in creek but he would not flush from the creek. The guide waked to flush the Tahr from the deep snow. The guide had to get within feet of the bull before he flushed down the creek. He moved several 100 yards down the creek and finally I was able to see half the Tahr above the deep show. I shot and the bull disappeared. I heard the hit and the Tahr disappeared. Where did he go?? The guide radioed the chopper, still unknown about shot, helicopter let down rope and I knew it was a good shot. The helicopter brought the animal and guide to take pics and pick me up. I rode back to hanger with trophy below helicopter, took pics with both animals, off to the pub to watch rugby game and eat.

Day 7-12 The guide dropped off at Christchurch Airport for another week of vacation, Omaru, penguins, bolders, Dunedin, Nugget Point lighthouse, Te Anau, Queenstown, Auckland, home. A great week in New Zealand.
 
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