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Thread: 2 week South Island DIY / Potential US Swap Hunt

  1. #1
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    2 week South Island DIY / Potential US Swap Hunt

    Myself and three buddies just booked our tickets from the US to Christchurch for a dream hunt. We'll be on the South Island from March 30-April 14 with packs and rifles. Our plan at this point is to spend a good amount of the trip chasing stag and then spending some time going after tahr and chamois. We have no interest in hunting the giant, high fence "trophy" stags. We're in it for the adventure and would be happy to have an opportunity and any good representative stag/tahr/chamois/or anything else for that matter.We didn't enter any drawings for roar or tahr blocks, so we'll be hunting open permit areas. We may try to chopper into the tops for a few days, but otherwise, we'll be packing in with camp on our backs for the majority of the trip. We're still looking over maps and are deciding which areas we would like to concentrate on and where to avoid(easy access/crowds and recent 1080drops).

    We're all experienced hunters in good physical shape and are not afraid to pack in a good distance if it means a better chance of seeing game. Our last Elk hunt ended with us packing out two elk on our backs for 8 miles(12.8km). We figure if we can get in far enough to get away from the day hunting crowd, our chances will go up.

    We would love to find someone interested in taking us out and showing us the ropes in exchange for us doing the same for you in the US. Two of us have great Turkey and Black Bear Hunting with a lot of whitetail deer just off our doorsteps about 4 hours north of New York City. Another of us runs a guiding business in Missouri geared towards giant whitetail(see pictures below) and one guides in Northern California for ducks, salmon, striped bass, and sturgeon. We hunt elk/mule deer as often as we can and would be happy to help with that in any way, or try to get you in on one of our trips. Take a look at some of our photos below. Send me a message if interested in.

    In our research, it seems that the West Coast has rougher terrain, more game, but a higher chance of having to deal with bad weather, where the east coast has less animals, but generally less severe weather and terrain. Is this generally true? I'm thinking at this point we should maximize our hunting time and spend most of it on the East coast, but maybe chopper into the tops on the west coast for a few days to experience some different terrain. It seems like James Scott is pretty highly recommended. Should be be looking at anyone else in particular(I understand this partially depends on location)?

    As far as gear, we'll likely be packing similar gear to what we would take on a September/October backpack elk hunt in Colorado, but planning on more rain. It sounds like South Island temperatures in March/April are similar to Colorado in September/October.



    If anyone has any input for us, whether about hunting, fishing, homekill butchers near Christchurch, gear, good restaurants, or you just want to meet up for a beer, it would be much appreciated.

    My public land archery bear from this past September. No bait allowed in New York
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    Me and Mike with two elk we shot within 20 seconds of each other. They died 75yds apart, 8 miles from our trucks.
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    Mike's 2018 Archery Missouri buck 187"
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    Zack's 2017 Archery Missouri buck 140"
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    John with a bunch of ducks
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    My archery Eastern Wild Turkey 2017
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    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    Great pictures you posted of some of your hunting trips. Looks as if you have done a fair bit of research on your hunting options. I am a North Islander so can't really help much on the ground but sure hope that somebody down that way could help you out. I am sure you will have a great time and hopefully a successful trip. Will keep an eye out for future posts of your trip, take care our mountains can be unforgiving but are also a truly beautiful place to be.

  3. #3
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    Thanks mooseman, we'll definitely report back with a big write-up after the trip.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
    Sideshow likes this.

  4. #4
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    Might be a good idea to book any helicopter flights now and get doc hunting permits organised its heading into the roar the time your coming could get busy for pilots

  5. #5
    Member outdoorlad's Avatar
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    Are you bringing rifles? If so when you land at Auckland International, after you pick them up here is a photo of the Police office where you go to get your temp firearms licence, it’s opposite baggage claim 4. Here’s the link to the paperwork you need to do Visitor's firearms licence and import permits | New Zealand Police

    Once outside it’s a 10min walk over to the domestic terminal or there’s a free transfer bus.

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    cattermoles butchery in Kaiapoi (10min North ChCh) do wild meat processing. Hunting and Fishing shop at Tower Junction for anything you forget. Your in the South Island so Speights is the beer to drink.
    If your going into the alps bring a good quality tent as last roar down here it blew forty bastards and wrecked a lot of them.

    You can get your hunting permits online from DOC and lastly don’t drive fatigued as we drive on the other side of the road here.
    I’ll be in the hills hunting when your here otherwise I’d offer to take you for a jetboat ride, Good luck.
    Shut up, get out & start pushing!

  6. #6
    Member craigc's Avatar
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    Iím based in Wellington and am more than happy to take you out if youíre in this neck of the woods. We have access to some great public land, all within three hours drive of the capital.
    The hunting is mainly red deer with some pigs and goats. Thereís also somewhere for you to stay while your here.
    If you donít make it to the north island, Iím sure youíll find sine keen people to take you out.
    mallard833 and 2post like this.

  7. #7
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    Thanks! That's good to know about the airport. We'll be filling out our firearm permit apps very soon. I just got my open area permit taken care of. The whole driving on the left is going to take some getting used to.

    Are most doc roads passable in an AWD van or should we be looking at an SUV or truck? We have to rent, so river crossings will all be on foot.


    Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Cameraman Dave
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    Hey guys...

    In case you're keen to get a bit of insight into the areas you're planning to hunt, you might enjoy checking out our TV series, it's available to stream on Amazon in North America - https://www.amazon.com/The-Hunters-Club/dp/B07F8FCVD7

    Or you can check out individual episodes that might be more relevant to your trip from our more recent seasons through Vimeo on Demand -

    https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thehuntersclub
    https://vimeo.com/ondemand/huntersclub2

    Best of luck!

    Cameraman Dave - The Hunters Club
    Mooseman and Sideshow like this.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Dave! I've definitely seen some of your episodes, looking forward to checking out the rest!

  10. #10
    Member Sideshow's Avatar
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    Hey @mallard833 with driving on the left. The things to watch out for are junctions. Turning onto roads. Your natural instinct will be to pull to the right. Easy to do on back country roads in the South Island with no other traffic around. Stick a big arrow pointing left just above the staring wheel Funny a drove from England all round Europe for four months without any trouble but had more miss when I got back to my normal driving on the left in England, so watch out when you get back to NY as well
    Oh and a PLB is a life saver. But I recon you have already heard of them.
    It's all fun and games till Darthvader comes along
    I respect your beliefs but don't impose them on me.

  11. #11
    Member canross's Avatar
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    I remember seeing something in the arms act changes about the process for visitor's firearms licenses changing in March 2019 - something about having to do paperwork in advance? It looks like the website information has been updated but might be worth calling Wellington to confirm the exact details ( Firearms offices and contact details | New Zealand Police ). It wasn't relevant to me so I didn't pay close attention to exactly what the changes were or if they were important, but wouldn't want it to ruin a trip over a bureaucratic change.

  12. #12
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    Canross, thanks for that. I'll email them today to verify if there have been any changes.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Hey @mallard833 some good solid tactical beards there, they'll come in handy for sure.

    Just to echo two things already said... the wind on the tops. Its made many a trip a miserable failure, both in terms of the hunting (excessive windage / dodgy shots and getting winded by the game) and especially with the tents. Sounds like you are well equipped, but do please ensure you are fully prepared for proper gale force and negligible natural shelter. I found that carry a USGI bivvy bag enabled me to avoid having to pitch a tent in locations where wind made life very difficult. Not for everyone, but works for me.

    Second thing is the driving on the left. Its the reverse for me of course, but when driving in the US wilderness areas I've found I'm very much at risk of pulling away from a quick stop onto the wrong side of the road. This when I am in maximum "awe" mode and the mind has drifted away from driving and onto the scenery, when there's bugger all else around, especially on gravel roads or narrow tarmac roads with no road markings. Its not the junctions etc that get me, when there's other traffic around I'm fine, its the remote areas with no visual cues that can be a problem. We have a DOC campsite at the end our road, and every year we watch 3 or 4 tourist vehicles casually cruising up the hill and past our place... on the right. And that's only the ones we see. Having done it myself I know how easy it is...

    (I did this in Colorado once, neither me nor the South African I was travelling with noticed what I'd done until a F250 came towards us in the distance, slowed up and carefully parked across both lanes... we had an entertaining conversation with the fair minded driver, who ended up giving us the advice on locations that turned that trip from good to bloody fantastic...)

    Also of course here in NZ we have hundreds of roundabouts, whereas you have hardly any. This is where many a tourist comes unstuck by dithering and getting rear ended, or failing to give way and getting t-boned. Roundabouts, especially the 2 lane ones, caused my back country Colorado cuzzies some problems at first.

    You'll be used to the lack of water in some the environments you hunt in the US, on the tops in the tussock or on the rock, good water can be very hard to come by. A bit counterintuitive that, for such a wet environment, but if you're in a windy dry spell it disappears very quick. Has caught out many an unprepared bloke. Definitely a case of use it and fill up whenever you come across it.

    We have very high UV levels here, it will still be quite high in March. Sunburn is a killer here, and again many a tourist gets hammered. SPF 50+ a must.

    Saving the worst til last...

    We have the sandfly, nature's most disproportionately itch size to insect size biting bastard, it will deliver an itch completely out of control to those with no built up immunity. High up you'll mostly be fine, but the minute you go down lower, especially on the West Coast, you'll get hammered. Ever been bitten inside your ears? You will fucking hate them. Cover up, use DEET, keep your tent closed and do not take sandflies lightly. Take hayfever type antihistamines proactively to control the itch response and use topical anti-itch creams immediately you get bitten, Anthisan is the best.

    Good luck and please write up your experiences for us.
    jakewire, Sideshow, WillB and 2 others like this.

  14. #14
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    To answer one of your other questions, I drive a four-wheel-drive truck but on a recent tour of the South Island and accessing numerous trailheads I can't honestly remember a time when four-wheel-drive / high clearance / low ratio was a requirement to get in there.

    Some of the roads are pretty rough and you have to be very aware of washouts, but a decent AWD van should be fine. I am reminded of the fact that whenever we have covered a particularly rough part of road there's always a regular Subaru or SUV in the carpark at the end. I only use the full capability of the four-wheel-drive going past the road end, up the braided river systems, or on properly rough four-wheel-drive / quad tracks, which you won't be allowed to do anyway with a hire car.

    If I were you I would hire the largest all wheel drive SUV you can according to your budget. It is a better option for carrying your gear than a truck (called a ute here). You would certainly need a canopy on a truck... a couple of hired trucks i've used recently in the South Island have had a leaky seals on the canopy resulting in a shitload of dust all over the gear. Irritating. And SUV is more secure than a truck.

    A Toyota Highlander AWD would be a bloody good option for you. Massive trunk, heaps of power and very reasonable cruising fuel consumption for the size of the vehicle (I've got one of those as well, great touring car).

    And one last comment on the security side of things. Unfortunately in recent years there has been an increase in car break-ins at trailheads, particularly on roads that are easily accessed from Christchurch where there is a large population of shitheads. So it really is the best policy not to leave significant valuables inside your vehicle, and definitely find a place like under the carpet or up behind the glove box for things like passports, if you don't want to take them up the mountain with you. My cuzzies used a safety deposit box at a company in Christchurch and left all that stuff there.
    Last edited by Flyblown; 20-01-2019 at 12:47 PM.
    WillB, mallard833 and dannyb like this.

  15. #15
    Member Sideshow's Avatar
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    @Flyblown has covered most of the bases here @mallard833 if you follow that advice you should have a ball.
    On a totally separate note have you tried any of the white tail calls?
    When in NY just now I purchased a Extinguisher deer call to try out on them for my trip to Stewart Island this March April.
    Just wondering if you had any tips on when to use how often extra? Hunters here in general don’t use them here, just bush stalking them.
    Cheers
    It's all fun and games till Darthvader comes along
    I respect your beliefs but don't impose them on me.

 

 

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