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Thread: 18 months of hunting

  1. #61
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  2. #62
    Member Sideshow's Avatar
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    Nice @Frodo hope the winter is a kind one for you
    Sarvo likes this.
    It's all fun and games till Darthvader comes along

  3. #63
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    Hey guys.

    For those of you who do not have access to facebook, here's a quick update on the first few weeks of my adventure panned out. It did not quite go the way I planned (haha). I don't regret it, however. Met some great people and I became more familiar with the Southland area, which will no doubt put me in good stead for the rest of my journey.

    I'm now hankering to actually do some stalking.


    From facebook:

    What I've been up to...

    I left for the Princess Mountains (south Fiordland) in mid April, with intentions of doing a 21 day solo hunt in the alpine.

    I spent a day walking in to Teal Bay Hut, where I was planning to base myself for a night, before continuing on my journey.

    The weather turned to custard by the time I got there (snow and heavy rain on tops and wet as all hell in the bush). By complete surprise, the hut I walked into had 15 odd hunters bunkered there that night (all had jet boated in) and they had a massive cook up/piss up. They were all from around Southland and had met at the same hut for the roar for the past 45 years. It was all about the socialising for them, and it's a tradition they've never broken.

    Some of them had cool nicknames - like 'Captain Awesome', 'Shaggy', 'Jock', 'Big Friz', and 'Little Friz' (who was actually bigger than Big Friz).

    Anyway - as soon as they met me and heard that I'd walked in, they were literally chucking food and drink at me. I ate like a king that night and guzzled 6 or 7 beers. Their generosity was out of this world.

    I never in a million years thought I'd come across a bunch of 65 year olds dancing to the Flintstones theme song, while chugging gin out of a tea pot - and karate chopping/headbutting a roast chicken (all of this taking place in the middle of the Fiordland bush!)...but I'll be darned.

    I was nearly vomited on by an old fellow that night who insisted I was safe sleeping on the mattress beside him, only for him to hammer that very same mattress 10 minutes later - by which point I had luckily migrated to the floor! Who said you needed mountains to go on an adventure?!

    The day before they were all due to leave (and kindly drop me off on the other side of the lake by boat) a helicopter landed by the hut by complete chance. The pilot (who personally knew some of the hunters at the hut) was a professional hunter/helicopter deer recovery guy from Australia.

    One of guys introduced me to him and told him how I was gonna live on the road and hunt for a few years. The pilot said he could do with a hand with his wild venison operation. I was keen on seeing what helicopter shooting was all about and agreed on giving him a hand.

    So about an hour later, I threw my pack and rifle into his chopper, and we flew out to a station near Lake Monowai where this guy resides with his partner and couple of dogs.

    The station ran sheep and cattle, but also had a safari park on it with some amazing stags (wish I'd taken pics). The station also backed onto some prime public land where I managed to roar in a stag one evening (only to be winded), and stumble onto a younger stag approx 10m away, who got spooked and bolted off.

    During the next couple of weeks, I helped the helicopter pilot with loading deer into his chiller truck, and tried my hand at gutting deer (which proved to be a much harder than I expected - as venison intended for commercial sale has to be presented to the freezing works in a very particular way).

    Realizing that I had to continue with my journey, and that WARO (wild animal recovery) work wasn't for me, I left it behind, taking with me some amazing memories of flying around Fiordland in the helicopter and watching lego sized trees whiz past below.

    Helicopter shooting is a very technical and risky endeavor, and I take my hat off to the few genuine operators in the Fiordland area who do it with passion and integrity. It's a very controversial topic in NZ - whether WARO is conducive to good population management or not, but that's a discussion for another day.

    I'm now currently on a dairy farm south of Tuatapere, where I'll stay for another two weeks to save up a bit of $$ to get me going again.

    I'm humbled by the generous souls who have provided me with temporary accomodation along the way and shown me a bit of what they do and the lifestyles they lead. It's been a great ride thus far, and I've now got my sights on knuckling down and getting some animals on the deck.

    Cheers,
    The Gnomad


    (And a poem I wrote about that fateful night...)

    "Beer camp"

    Deep within the Fiordland bush
    A place some hunters found
    Where productivity increases in Speights
    And wives do not abound!

    Every roar, for forty years
    These men have returned with enthusiasm
    "Someplace to practice our cooking and cleaning
    Without the risk of criticism!"

    They are indeed an exotic breed
    Self-improvement fuels their motivation
    For once dishes are stacked and stomachs are in-tact
    They begin working on their 'hydration'!

    The nights are long and full of song;
    beer bottles glistening in the moonlight
    Scraggly beards and dance moves, weird
    Make for an experience they regard as 'alright'.

    But when their trip is finally over
    And they're packing up their gear
    The realization finally hits them;
    "...shit, we forgot to shoot a deer!"

    Sorry for the lack of regular updates...trying to save phone data! :/

    Hope lots of you have been having a successful roar period.


    Cheers,
    Arash
    Tahr, veitnamcam, madjon_ and 19 others like this.

  4. #64
    Caretaker jakewire's Avatar
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    Great to hear from you Frodo,what a wonderful start to your adventure.
    Blisters and Frodo like this.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakewire View Post
    Great to hear from you Frodo,what a wonderful start to your adventure.
    +1 and good on you for trying your hand at waro, many hunters would have has other words with the pilot....
    Frodo likes this.

  6. #66
    Member Sideshow's Avatar
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    @Frodo sounds like your having a ball......keep it rolling!

    ps nice write up! Keep them coming for those of us that don't do feckbook
    veitnamcam and Frodo like this.
    It's all fun and games till Darthvader comes along

  7. #67
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    Cheers guys. Yes, i'll be sure to post updates on the forum.

    Yes WARO was quite exciting actually (I'll get shot for saying that)...but man - what an office. It's truly one of the last 'wild' ventures taking place in NZ. I don't think I heard the words 'health' and 'safety' muttered once!

    To be honest, as a hunter, there were moments where I just got sick of seeing so many dead deer. And there were a few decent stags shot which I would have been happy taking myself. But the reality was - most of the deer on public land were shot in some very treacherous alpine areas (few people would climb up there) - and the bulk were actually shot on private property.

    Apparently there's quite a bit of competition between WARO's, and sometimes jealousy can crawl it's way into the picture, resulting in rumors being spread online; helicopters being tampered with etc.

    It amazed me how much of a problem deer really are in rural areas. Driving down rural highways, past blocks of bush gracing the hillsides - you'd be none the wiser. But we targeted one property in Southland, where approx 40 deer were shot in the space of 4.5-5 hours. And that was just in one small area of the property. Southland is CRAWLING with deer. It's amazing.

  8. #68
    SGR
    SGR is online now
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    Just took the time to go back through this thread sounds like a bloody awesome adventure mate ! Look forward to hearing more
    Frodo likes this.

  9. #69
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
    Cheers guys. Yes, i'll be sure to post updates on the forum.

    Yes WARO was quite exciting actually (I'll get shot for saying that)...but man - what an office. It's truly one of the last 'wild' ventures taking place in NZ. I don't think I heard the words 'health' and 'safety' muttered once!

    To be honest, as a hunter, there were moments where I just got sick of seeing so many dead deer. And there were a few decent stags shot which I would have been happy taking myself. But the reality was - most of the deer on public land were shot in some very treacherous alpine areas (few people would climb up there) - and the bulk were actually shot on private property.

    Apparently there's quite a bit of competition between WARO's, and sometimes jealousy can crawl it's way into the picture, resulting in rumors being spread online; helicopters being tampered with etc.

    It amazed me how much of a problem deer really are in rural areas. Driving down rural highways, past blocks of bush gracing the hillsides - you'd be none the wiser. But we targeted one property in Southland, where approx 40 deer were shot in the space of 4.5-5 hours. And that was just in one small area of the property. Southland is CRAWLING with deer. It's amazing.
    Great experience to be involved in and fast track your hunting, you will now have a good eye for "deery" areas.
    ROKTOY and Frodo like this.
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire

    Chicken Intolerant.

  10. #70
    Member ROKTOY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veitnamcam View Post
    Great experience to be involved in and fast track your hunting, you will now have a good eye for "deery" areas.
    I like looking at "deery" areas but my wife keeps reminding me I'm married... I guess she thinks I am making an ass of myself
    veitnamcam, Mathias and Frodo like this.

  11. #71
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    Great start unforgettable experiences

  12. #72
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    Wow cool adventure your having and thanks for not just restricting it to those on fb some of us still use old school methods of communicating and this place is all some of us need
    Blisters and Frodo like this.

 

 

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