NEW ZEALAND: Wilderness Tahr & Chamois Hunt With Peter Chamberlain At Kiwi Wilderness Safaris

GKNOX

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First announcement: Crunch time: https://www.africahunting.com/threads/crunch-time.35358/#post-339130

So we made it back from our first trip to New Zealand. Amazing experience. I will try to sum it up as best I can without rambling too much.
Booked an 8 day Wilderness Tahr and Chamois hunt with Peter Chamberlain at Kiwi Wilderness Safaris. Hunt was extremely physical as we hunted public land without the use of helicopters which means lots of hiking and moving camps. Peter and his son Alistair guided us and these guys really know the animals and their spotting abilities are unreal to say the least.
Travel from Winnipeg MB to Christchurch was 33 hours with longest stretch of 15 hours from Vancouver to Auckland. Arrived day before hunt and were met at the airport by Peter. After picking up some groceries we travelled closer to our hunting area and spent the night in a hotel to try to recoup from the long travel.
Day 1 of hunt. Up early and on the road to get to base camp. Hunting in the Hopkins Valley area. Sighted in rifles and arrived in camp around noon or shortly after. Settled in to hut and packed up for a hike up river to try to find some Tahr. Peter and I were watching a good bull high on the mountain planning a stalk for day 2. Dustin (my brother in law) and Alistair had moved up river appx 1/2 mile to glass and found a good bull only 650 yards from the river bottom. They called us on the radio and we met up with them to discuss. They decided that there was enough time for a stalk so they waded the river and started the hike up the mountain. They got to within 350 yard before the Tahr sensed something was wrong. 1 shot and we had our first animal down on day 1. 12 5/8" Tahr. By the time they got up to animal and field dressed, pics etc. It was well after dark. They had to climb down and cross the river in the dark. We made it back to camp around 2:00am very tired and sore. In total we saw appx 20 bulls on this day.

Day 2. Woke to rain and fog so not much we could do. Moved down river and glassed the mountains. Saw quite a few more Tahr but nothing in a position for a stalk.

Day 3. Up early and headed back up river to where Dustin shot his bull. Hiked up high on south side of river to a good vantage point to glass for the day. Late afternoon the Tahr started showing themselves. Found a good bull on the North side of the river appx 2000' above the river. Peter and I dropped down off our side and waded across the river and started the climb up towards the Tahr. Dustin and Alistair stayed put with the radio to let us know if animals moved as we would not be able to see them until we got close. It was a long steep climb up to shooting position but only took us appx 1hr. (Felt like forever) Crawled over a rock and 6 bulls were 160yds away. Took a few minutes to find my bull. 1st shot went through both shoulders and would have been enough but I am never one to be shy with bullets. As long as he kept moving away I kept shooting. Hit him 3 times all in vital area. These animals are tough. (Remind me of Mountain Goats). Day 3 we have both our Tahr. 12 1/2" bull. We are both ecstatic. When we were on our stalk a Chamois buck appeared 150 yds from Dustin and Alistair but he was a younger animal and not mature enough to shoot.

Day 4. As we did not see much for Chamois in the valley we were hunting we decided to pack up camp and backpack up a different valley where Peter had seen a good chamois a couple weeks prior. Took off around noon by the time we had everything packed up. Hiked appx 2 miles to camp to fork in the river. We were going to camp up the left fork but wanted to hunt the right fork this evening so we dropped camp to pick up on way back and just took necessities for an evening hunt. Hiked appx another 1.5miles up drainage to head of the basin. Sitting up on a high vantage point glassing we saw a buck chamois below us. Put the spotting scope on him but again not mature enough. As we were glassing him a small red stag came out below us close to the trail back. Opportunity was too good to pass up so I shot him and had my first Red Stag and close to the trail below us to boot. Cleaned the stag and headed back to the forks to pick up gear and find a place to camp. Found a camp and by the time we set up tents etc it was 1:00am. Dinner and to bed for next morning.

Day 5. Up early as small 2 man tent was not overly comfortable. Started moving up drainage
glassing as we went. Alistair and Dustin stayed in bottom of the river bed and Peter and I hiked a little higher to get a different viewpoint. Appx 1:00pm we spotted a good buck chamois 1500yds up river in the river bottom. As Dustin has not hunted internationally before I wanted him to shoot first. We called him on the radio and they came up to meet us and plan a stalk. Started stalk around 2:30pm. Were able to close the distance to 290yds before running out of cover. Buck sensed something was not right and started to act nervous. Dustin made a perfect shot and we had a old 9" buck. Cleaned him up and started hike back to camp. We made it back to camp just after dark so had lots of time to make dinner and relax before hitting the bed.

Day 6. We had covered this valley in the last couple days with no other shootable chamois found so decided we would pack up camp and move to a completely different area. Plan was to hunt East side of mountain range but poor weather on that side made it impossible to get helicopter in to take us to camp. So plan changed to hunt Arapawa on a large private farm closer to Peter's house. Arrived in new hunting cabin around 9:00pm. Had dinner a couple drinks and off to bed.

Day 7. Up a little later than usual as Arapawa tend to move around all day. Landowner told us he wanted as many rams removed as possible as they were moving over to the neighbors property and causing "trouble" with his domestic sheep. Drove to a high vantage point to glass and found 6 rams appx 3 miles away at the top of the mountain. With no way to get closer we formulated a plan. Dustin couldn't believe we were serious about going after these animals as they were so high and far away but we had most of the day so off we went. Hiked for appx 3 hours to a good vantage point appx 1/2 mile from where we thought they should be. Peaked over the ridge and saw a chamois 75 yds below us. This got the blood flowing. I got ready and Alistair took a closer look. Unfortunately this was just a female and no males were seen. As we were looking at the chamois we spotted a band of arapawa only 600 yards away which was closer and easier to get to than the original rams. Cut the distance in half and settled in to shooting positions. In total there was 6 rams and 6 ewes in this group. Largest ram was up feeding and moved around the corner out of sight with some ewes. There was still a couple good rams in our basin. I picked out a ram and shot him at 310 yards. As we stood up and looked over the ledge there was another ram standing below us 185 yards away. Dustin settled in and made another great shot. We had 2 rams down. We hiked over to these rams and started cleaning them. Once done Alistair suggested we climb to the top of the ridge and move down ridge to where we saw the large ram go as the landowner wanted them thinned out a little. We climbed to the top and started moving down the ridge. We had went appx 1/2 mile and looked over the ledge. Below us was the group of 4 rams and 6 ewes from earlier. I settled in position as the sheep were unaware of us. I found the large ram bedded down appx 150yds away. Alistair had never shot a ram himself so Dustin gave him his rifle to use. I made a perfect shot on the bedded ram and he didn't even flinch. At the shot Alistair picked out a ram and shot him. As we were above them the sheep had to go below us to get by so Alistair was able to shoot a second ram as it went by. Now we had a lot of work to do. We cleaned all animals and loaded the packs to head back to truck. Hike back to truck only took us 1 1/2 hours even though we had extremely heavy packs. It was down hill and didn't have to worry about staying out of sight. Arrived back in cabin around 9:00pm. Landowner came by and was happy we were able to help with his problem.

Day 8. As we felt we had a great hunt already we were going to take it easy and clean up the heads for transport this day. I did go for a drive with Peter in the morning to see if we could spot a cull fallow deer. We did see a large stag but being a trophy it did not fit my budget. Back in camp around 10:00am to start cleaning trophies and packing for next day departure. Boiled and cleaned all trophies as per import regulations into Canada. Relaxing day with quite a few drinks and cigars enjoyed.
Departure day. Flight out to Auckland was 5:00pm so we had time to get export permit from Vet office as well as packing the trophies for shipment. We took all trophies home in luggage to save on freight and wait times. Said our goodbyes and jumped on plane for long flight home. No issues with customs in Vancouver as I had all my paperwork in order and looked like I knew what I was doing. (In fact they didn't even look at the trophies)
Overall a great hunt as said in the beginning. I totally recommend hunting with Peter. Especially the wilderness hunt if you are looking for a tough hunt where you truly have to earn your trophies. In total we ended up with 2 great Tahr, 1 old chamois, 1 red stag, and 4 arapawa rams. I would have liked to get a chamois myself but with the weather and a little bad luck with the young animals it wasn't meant to be. This by no means made the hunt and less of an experience just gives me something to come back for.
Sorry for the long winded post and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Thanks
Greg Knox

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BRICKBURN

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A flatlander from the prairie running around the mountains in NZ. Pretty impressive.

Some very nice trophies in all that hunting and it sure looks like you earned them with a lack of sleep and that river crossing reminds me of a few sheep hunts. Brrr!

Thanks for sharing your hunt with us. :A Thumbs Up:
 

LivingTheDream

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Awesome write up! That's a great stag on private land, totally understand why you count pass him up! Congratulations!
 

stug

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Well done in hunting your tahr and chamois properly! Good trophies and great memories.
 

billc

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congrats on a great hunt. That sounds like one amazing trip you had with some beautiful animals taken
 

GKNOX

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Thanks guys. It really was a fantastic trip and just fuelled the desire to plan the next one. I love mountain hunting so possibly Ibex in Kaz or Taj.
 

gillettehunter

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Nice trophies. Sounds like a great hunt. I hunted with Peter 3-4 yrs ago and had a great time. I would recommend him anytime. Some beautiful country to hunt in. Bruce
 

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 

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Congrats on your hunt and those trophies- love the tahr!

My wife and I are headed to NZ in June for red stag, fallow buck, sheep, etc. We can't wait!
 

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Congratulations on an outstandingly successful hunt.

No doubt your success was contributed to by your preparation and physical abilities that you took with you, well done, not withstanding Peter Chamberlain's contributions which should not be forgotten.

Thanks for your report and excellent pics.
 

50by50

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Fun read! Thanks for posting this. I'm working on putting together a hunt just like this one for next year so it was great hearing about your experience!
 

GKNOX

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50by50. You will enjoy. Shoot me a pm if you have any specific questions about Peters outfit or my hunt.
Thanks
 

MPN

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Nice! I have got to get down there soon. Thanks for the sharing your adventure.

What are you going to do with the taxi.? I love the Euro look, those sheep with the long spiral black horns will make awesome skull mounts...definitely a couple of those on my hit list!

Bowhunting possible with Peter?
 

Nyati

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Congrats, a great hunt, you guys really sweated for your well deserved trophies !
 

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What are you going to do with the taxi.? I love the Euro look, those sheep with the long spiral black horns will make awesome skull mounts...definitely a couple of those on my hit list!

Bowhunting possible with Peter?

I agree I just got back from hunting with Peter a couple weeks ago and I will show you mine then Greg can show you what he did with his.
Tom

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GKNOX

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I have posted a pic of my trophies now that I have them up on the wall. Bhfs300 that ram is an absolute giant. Curious did you measure the length of horn?
Looks good.

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Bhfs300

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Have not was just excited that it was almost a two turn one. Will measure it and get back to you.
Tom
 

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