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Thread: Tahr in August...

  1. #1
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    Tahr in August...

    Hi All.... and yes this is another "where do I go hunting" thread...

    So Dad and I are investigating doing a winter trip for a bull tahr skin each. We are looking at late August for no other reason than it might work out that I could also compete the Precision Rifle match at Sparrowhawk about that time as well.

    What we lack at the moment is any sort of knowledge on a reasonable spot to go.

    We don't mind flying in to an area. I think given the time of year and weather potential I would prefer a hut over tenting.
    We don't mind east coast or west coast and the goal is a winter tahr skin not the biggest set of horns that ever existed I wouldn't mind bringing a bit of meat home as well.

    Although both of us have some mountain experience neither of us are mountaineers - we'll both be taking the cameras and are more than happy to take a few photos instead of getting ourselves into terrain we are not prepared for or shooting something we can't then retrieve. Dad is coming up on 65 next year - both of us have a reasonable level of fitness.

    So, to fly into a hut for tahr in middle to late August where would you recommend we go and who would you recommend we fly with?

    Thanks very much! A pretty picture for attention

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  2. #2
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    PM sent.

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    Thanks @Tentman. That gives me a couple of ideas to start looking at.
    My other thought was to look at the tahr ballot blocks as there is at least a bit more information around for those blocks.

    Years ago Dad and I did a summer trip into the Whataroa (specifically the top butler). We were thinking to look at the Whimper as well though August might be entertaining
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  4. #4
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    A friend of mine, a local Taranaki fella, is due out from an impromptu tahr trip tomorrow I think. When he comes out I'll let him know your query and maybe you guys could have a catch up...depending on how well he has gone obviously!
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  5. #5
    Not just an internet expert... The Claw's Avatar
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    None of the ballot blocks have huts and you can't get dropped in there outside of the ballot period, so that probably excludes them...

    It would be worth calling James Scott for some up to date local info, best time is right after the weather at 7pm. I have been into Christmas Flat, Lame Duck and Horace Walker huts in that area and it has ranged from heaps of bulls seen to not many. With a lot of the areas (from my experience) it seems the bulls are quite transient, so figuring out which valley or catchment they are in has a big impact on how successful you are.

    I really prefer hunting tahr on the West Coast, half the experience for me is the flight in/out, but also the drive there and back and the beer and feed at the local pub. Maybe it's just me, but the bulls seem bigger and their coats more impressive on the West Coast as well. The East Coast is easier hunting I reckon, but there's just not the same experience that the West Coast provides. I have a few easy spots on the East Coast that don't require a lot of walking and you can base yourself somewhere warm, with a hot shower...

    Not to put you off, but your biggest limiting factor in August will probably be access due to snow and ice. It would also pay to be aware of avalanche dangers, especially if it's warm.
    jakewire, headcase, R93 and 3 others like this.
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  6. #6
    R93
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    To be fair at that time of year most West Coast Thar country is under a lot of snow. Pretty much why the guiding season and ballots finish end june.
    If there is not much snow about then I would get hold of James as recommended.

    Bulls are generally bigger on the Coast no doubt about it.
    But east coast might be better that time of year if just looking for a skin.
    There are a couple ballot blocks that still have helicopter access but as mentioned most including the best ones are closed to landings.
    Bulls tend to start mobbing up and dissappear..... unless you know where to look.... end of July as well.



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  7. #7
    Bos
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    Yea, agreed. We've tried West Coast thar hunting at that time of year and have learnt that its best put off till October/November. Especially if you're not to worried about a trophy bull. There's always a lot of snow, ice, and avalanche danger and unless you are comfortable hunting in those conditions Id flag it for a while. East coast will be a bit more forgiving but can still be dangerous. Animals tend to be a bit lower down around Oct/Nov which can also help.
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    Hunt the East Coast. The Rut is over and the young bulls all have good winter coats. They are not very high as they can be found on tussocky areas clear of snow. This usually means, in a normal winter in August, steeper North facing slopes at mid to low levels. Steep because they catch the heat of the sun better and North facing because they get the most sun.. if any snow falls at this time of the year although the nights are still cold, the sun is gaining strength and the new snow settles and melts quickly in these area.

    I know of a place that might suit you down to the ground with a small hut and places that Tahr rest up not far away toward the end of winter. The terrain is of the more forgiving nature than the west and the walk in is not very far. Give me a pm if it interests you.
    Last edited by headcase; 07-06-2018 at 06:23 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshC View Post
    A friend of mine, a local Taranaki fella, is due out from an impromptu tahr trip tomorrow I think. When he comes out I'll let him know your query and maybe you guys could have a catch up...depending on how well he has gone obviously!
    Thanks Josh, yep I know a couple of people around here that have done a bit of hunting down south for Tahr but most either in the early summer or during the rut...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Claw View Post
    None of the ballot blocks have huts and you can't get dropped in there outside of the ballot period, so that probably excludes them...

    It would be worth calling James Scott for some up to date local info, best time is right after the weather at 7pm. I have been into Christmas Flat, Lame Duck and Horace Walker huts in that area and it has ranged from heaps of bulls seen to not many. With a lot of the areas (from my experience) it seems the bulls are quite transient, so figuring out which valley or catchment they are in has a big impact on how successful you are.

    I really prefer hunting tahr on the West Coast, half the experience for me is the flight in/out, but also the drive there and back and the beer and feed at the local pub. Maybe it's just me, but the bulls seem bigger and their coats more impressive on the West Coast as well. The East Coast is easier hunting I reckon, but there's just not the same experience that the West Coast provides. I have a few easy spots on the East Coast that don't require a lot of walking and you can base yourself somewhere warm, with a hot shower...

    Not to put you off, but your biggest limiting factor in August will probably be access due to snow and ice. It would also pay to be aware of avalanche dangers, especially if it's warm.
    Thanks and yep the weather is going to dictate a fair amount where we go. I was half sort of planning on taking a couple of weeks off work then just heading south when the weather was looking to come good. Maybe leave the planning and decision on where to go pretty late.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by R93 View Post
    To be fair at that time of year most West Coast Thar country is under a lot of snow. Pretty much why the guiding season and ballots finish end june.
    If there is not much snow about then I would get hold of James as recommended.

    Bulls are generally bigger on the Coast no doubt about it.
    But east coast might be better that time of year if just looking for a skin.
    There are a couple ballot blocks that still have helicopter access but as mentioned most including the best ones are closed to landings.
    Bulls tend to start mobbing up and dissappear..... unless you know where to look.... end of July as well.
    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
    I am heading south again in November for another long range shoot - maybe better to leave the west coast till then
    Not going to get a full blown winter skin in November though...
    You cannot miss fast enough!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos View Post
    Yea, agreed. We've tried West Coast thar hunting at that time of year and have learnt that its best put off till October/November. Especially if you're not to worried about a trophy bull. There's always a lot of snow, ice, and avalanche danger and unless you are comfortable hunting in those conditions Id flag it for a while. East coast will be a bit more forgiving but can still be dangerous. Animals tend to be a bit lower down around Oct/Nov which can also help.
    Yep, listening to the advice here and sounds like east coast it is... for this time at least.
    Thanks very much!
    You cannot miss fast enough!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by headcase View Post
    Hunt the East Coast. The Rut is over and the young bulls all have good winter coats. They are not very high as they can be found on tussocky areas clear of snow. This usually means, in a normal winter in August, steeper North facing slopes at mid to low levels. Steep because they catch the heat of the sun better and North facing because they get the most sun.. if any snow falls at this time of the year although the nights are still cold, the sun is gaining strength and the new snow settles and melts quickly in these area.

    I know of a place that might suit you down to the ground with a small hut and places that Tahr rest up not far away toward the end of winter. The terrain is of the more forgiving nature than the west and the walk in is not very far. Give me a pm if it interests you.
    That's some awesome advice and offer @headcase - pm incoming!
    We are fine with the cold - we still have our cold weather gear from our Alaskan winter trip last year...
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  14. #14
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    We went into Bush Stream on the road up to Mt Cook in 2016 (Late April) we seen heaps of Tahr. No hut but a 5 minute flight with the Helicopter Line who have a base along the Mt Cook road. It was country that I could get around, some very steep but there was a lot of huntable ground as well. We would have seen 100- 150 Tahr over the 3 days we were there.
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  15. #15
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    Bush Stream is a good place to go Ice climbing in the winter... Just saying!

    But you are right, there's plenty of tahr up in there

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