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Thread: Winter Sika

  1. #1
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    Winter Sika

    So I'm a complete Sika newbie.... Plenty of experience with Reds, Fallow, Tahr etc but keen to get on the board with a sika stag. Having moved to the NI a year ago i've been getting the odd hunt in and bagged a few Reds and Rusa over the dog in the thick stuff. However I have been missing the open country style of hunting I'm familiar with from down sth... Have been wondering if Sika stags behave like reds down sth and can be found around the bushline/sub alpine scrub this time of year? Or does their small body size make them hangout in the warmer bush over winter?

    Being pretty time poor with a young family so was thinking a quick trip up to the Thunderbolt tops or such for a poke about (I enjoy a good slog ). Being Rotorua based this looks to be the most accessible "tops" area? Unless folks can recommend anywhere else?

    look forward to the forum knowledge!

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    You got it. Top spot there, but bloody frigid up there at the mo.

    Spend some time on WAMS satellite view and check out northern facing basins anywhere from a quarter to two thirds the way up out of the river valley. Its frozen down closer to the river valley bottom, and the altitude and wind closer to the upper bush edge will rule out deer being there unless on the move to get out of a change in weather direction. Then go slow as. They will be attempting to recharge their batteries any place out of the wind and in the sun. Good pair of binos, even when in the bush. Allows you to check out stuff that doesn't look like a deer, but actually is.
    7mmsaum, Carbine, Hunty1 and 1 others like this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunty1 View Post
    So I'm a complete Sika newbie.... Plenty of experience with Reds, Fallow, Tahr etc but keen to get on the board with a sika stag. Having moved to the NI a year ago i've been getting the odd hunt in and bagged a few Reds and Rusa over the dog in the thick stuff. However I have been missing the open country style of hunting I'm familiar with from down sth... Have been wondering if Sika stags behave like reds down sth and can be found around the bushline/sub alpine scrub this time of year? Or does their small body size make them hangout in the warmer bush over winter?

    Being pretty time poor with a young family so was thinking a quick trip up to the Thunderbolt tops or such for a poke about (I enjoy a good slog ). Being Rotorua based this looks to be the most accessible "tops" area? Unless folks can recommend anywhere else?

    look forward to the forum knowledge!

    Cheers
    If the tops dont work out there are plenty of animals along Clements road especially if you hunting with a dog. Good luck either way, ive hunted Umukarikari like 9 years ago and had an awesome roar trip but lacking knowledge of sika and winter habits but there's a great hut in Waipakihi hut and some good open ground around the hut to investigate. We had reds roaring in one gully and the next one over the sika were going for it was an epic place and trip.
    Pushover likes this.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbine View Post
    If the tops dont work out there are plenty of animals along Clements road especially if you hunting with a dog. Good luck either way, ive hunted Umukarikari like 9 years ago and had an awesome roar trip but lacking knowledge of sika and winter habits but there's a great hut in Waipakihi hut and some good open ground around the hut to investigate. We had reds roaring in one gully and the next one over the sika were going for it was an epic place and trip.
    Cheers mate, yeah been into Clements a few times. Definitely no shortage of deer in there! First NI hunt for the dog was in there. She looked very confused by the first sika that squealed at her. You could see her brain going "smells like deer, sounds like my squeaky toy!

  5. #5
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    Hunting Sika in winter IS quite challenging Hunty. They basically bed down, and you're fortunate to see them in the open.

    Heading right over and in to Thunderbolt is a bit of mission, likely not worth the risk/reward in winter. I would recommend you just head over Urchin, then work your way across the bush saddle between Urchin and Umakarikari (there's a 'track' now), glassing and SLOWLY and QUIETLY hunting the bush edges and inside the bush edges as you go. If you don't see anything, nip in 'behind' Umakarikari itself and, like the other Member said, slowly hunt the north-facing slopes and bush edges/inside edges there.

    This is a most enjoyable day-trip or overnighter route, even if you don't see anything.
    Carbine and Hunty1 like this.

  6. #6
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    Hunting Sika in winter is great. I have seen them right out in knee deep snow in the Kaimanawas in the middle of winter.
    There was a great Sika tracking study a few years back which showed some surprising trends as to where they were hanging out seasonally. It was published in one of the hunting magazines but can't remember which one. Someone may be able to help dig that up.
    Rusky and Hunty1 like this.
    Experience. What you get just after you needed it.

  7. #7
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    pmd you Hunty
    Hunty1 likes this.

  8. #8
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    I was in the Kawekas for a few nights last week. Certainly tricky hunting where I was with only bush hunting options available. Deer seen ranged from 900m to 1100m elevation. All were in places out of the wind and lots of thick cover. Typical winter mode where they are close to shelter and food and not wanting to roam around.
    7mmsaum and Hunty1 like this.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbine View Post
    If the tops dont work out there are plenty of animals along Clements road especially if you hunting with a dog. Good luck either way, ive hunted Umukarikari like 9 years ago and had an awesome roar trip but lacking knowledge of sika and winter habits but there's a great hut in Waipakihi hut and some good open ground around the hut to investigate. We had reds roaring in one gully and the next one over the sika were going for it was an epic place and trip.
    If you are looking at hunting around Clements Rd and over to Te Iringa onto the Kaipo be aware that 1080 was going out this month as far as I am aware, won't be good in there with a dog especially ..

  10. #10
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    Pretty hard hunting sika in winter, they don’t move around a lot. One bonus is you won’t be bumping into many other people.
    Carbine likes this.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mooseman View Post
    If you are looking at hunting around Clements Rd and over to Te Iringa onto the Kaipo be aware that 1080 was going out this month as far as I am aware, won't be good in there with a dog especially ..
    last i herd they put it off until next year

  12. #12
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    Thts v good news if correct.
    Danny likes this.
    Summer grass
    Of stalwart warriors splendid dreams
    the aftermath.

    Matsuo Basho.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Thts v good news if correct.
    The Sika Foundation has been notified by OSPRI that they will be postponing those parts of the proposed 2021 Kaipo Operation that fall within Kaimanawa Forest Park, until winter 2022.
    Danny and Mohawk .308 like this.

  14. #14
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    Good. After all the trapping to protect blue duck in the kaipo by the hunters this 1080 drop was a real kick in the guts by Ospri.
    Mohawk .308 likes this.
    Summer grass
    Of stalwart warriors splendid dreams
    the aftermath.

    Matsuo Basho.

 

 

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