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Thread: Are the Ernslaw forestry blocks any good?

  1. #1
    Still learning JessicaChen's Avatar
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    Are the Ernslaw forestry blocks any good?

    Thinking about signing up to get blue mountain block access from Ernslaw One, since for DOC blocks I have to wait two or more months between visits since I can only put in one application at a time... Im assuming that for DOC blocks I can only try and get another block when I have finished visiting my last one?
    It looks like most of these forestry blocks are made up of pine. What are animal numbers like in pine forests compared to native forest, not sure if there are many feeding areas? Just want to know if animal numbers in there are worth coughing up the 65 dollars for the year long membership.

  2. #2
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    Old info as I never hunted the ernslaw blocks, but I used to quite like the Westwood blue mt block. Would regularly get onto deer crossing between the pine edge and the native. I would expect the other pine blocks to be just as huntable on that edge. Pines often have grass underneath them too and fallow obviously love grass.

  3. #3
    Still learning JessicaChen's Avatar
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    Thanks. I did a search on the other forum and they say that fallow like to hang out and even play under pine and travel on edges but it depends on how old the pines are. I think it is worth at least going in and taking a look anyway, cant know for sure if there is fresh sign or feed there unless I take a good look myself. It looks like the Ernslaw block that is adjescent to westwood is called Revies. It looks really easy to travel in there because of the forestry roads. Ive put in an application for this year, hopefully will get a call back from Ernslaw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaChen View Post
    Thanks. I did a search on the other forum and they say that fallow like to hang out and even play under pine and travel on edges but it depends on how old the pines are. I think it is worth at least going in and taking a look anyway, cant know for sure if there is fresh sign or feed there unless I take a good look myself. It looks like the Ernslaw block that is adjescent to westwood is called Revies. It looks really easy to travel in there because of the forestry roads. Ive put in an application for this year, hopefully will get a call back from Ernslaw.
    Good luck. I’ve heard the ones further towards Tapanui are good too but couldn’t say for sure. I think any of them would produce a deer on any given day really.
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  5. #5
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
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    A few years ago I used to occasionally spotlight some of the Ernslaw forestry around there (legally, with one of their managers) and there were usually a good few deer around. Worth a look anyway!
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  6. #6
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    Fallow will quite happily live in a pine block. (As with other deer too) Especially if there’s good feed clearings dotted around within, or tasty paddocks etc around the outside edges.

    They’ll have particular patches they like to camp out on during the day, then as the light slips away they’ll begin to feed out on to the tastier, but more exposed stuff.

    You can get onto them with super-sneaky stalking during the day while they’re bedded up, if you find the right spot. (Most likely they’ll still see you first, but not always!)

    In my experience, fallow enjoy cooler, dry spots during the day, up the side of a gully, often towards the head etc. sometimes on a bit of a ridgetop too, still under cover.

    Then as the light falls to evening, find a nice bush edge to haunt, looking over a tasty grass clearing, maybe a track where you could see them crossing from one stand to another. Or I.D. a likely paddock or neighbouring block they might like from google earth, and try to find a nice ambush point where they might pass on the way there.

    All wind dependent, and of course, the deer are where you find them, usually just when you let your guard down!

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    Plenty of deer in the forestry mate.
    As far as the DOC blocks go: You should enter the ballot each month regardless of where you are at with any outstanding permits. If you have flexibility with your time, then just ring up the Invercargill office and you can get mid week blocks (although March through May can be hard due to popularity)
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    I've been trying to get on their system for last 3 years no luck so far

  9. #9
    Still learning JessicaChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sowslayer View Post
    I've been trying to get on their system for last 3 years no luck so far
    Aw thats terrible. Hopefully you have better luck in the coming years. Looks like they are taking in new sign ups now, and Im guessing that the successful applicants are taken at random (hopefully no nepotism). I might give them a call next week to ask if I have done the application process correctly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dama dama View Post
    .... just ring up the Invercargill office and you can get mid week blocks (although March through May can be hard due to popularity)
    I got told by DoC late last year that they were not allowing mid-week hunting for now in the DoC blocks, I think due to Earnslaw forestry operations. Anyone know if that's still the case?
    cheers
    Last edited by luckey; 08-03-2021 at 04:47 PM.

  11. #11
    Still learning JessicaChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckey View Post
    I got told by DoC late last year that they were not allowing mid-week hunting for now in the DoC blocks, I think due to Earnslaw forestry operations. Anyone know if that's still the case?
    cheers
    Pretty sure they do allow them as the options for mid week blocks are still in the application form, unless they forgot to update that. I just know that certain blocks are off limits during weekdays.

  12. #12
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Any hunting's better than no hunting right? Seriously though, yes worth a look. I manage blocks nearby and most of the deer in them come out of Ernslaw blocks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaChen View Post
    Pretty sure they do allow them as the options for mid week blocks are still in the application form, unless they forgot to update that. I just know that certain blocks are off limits during weekdays.
    That's correct, Tramways and a couple of other DOC blocks are closed week days, as are all Ernslaw blocks. Most DOC open during week, still need win them in ballot, or get issued by DOC.
    "The generalist hunter and angler is a well-fed mofo" - Steven Rinella

  14. #14
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    If you do get Revies, PM me for a hot tip.
    "The generalist hunter and angler is a well-fed mofo" - Steven Rinella

  15. #15
    NRT
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    No mid week blocks in blueys been like that since covid ,but the west blocks are open your whiskeys brandy on the Tapanui side

    Sent from my Nokia 7 plus using Tapatalk

 

 

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