Mathews Inc.
Cabin Fever..How about a 2013 NZ hunt?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
Florida Mike 10-Feb-14
Thunderflight 10-Feb-14
orionsbrother 10-Feb-14
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
Chip T. 10-Feb-14
Pat Lefemine 10-Feb-14
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
Pat Lefemine 10-Feb-14
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
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Jaquomo_feral 10-Feb-14
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
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Bowboy 10-Feb-14
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t-roy 10-Feb-14
LckyTylr 10-Feb-14
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
Chip T. 10-Feb-14
COLT45 10-Feb-14
Medicinemann 10-Feb-14
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orionsbrother 11-Feb-14
Bill in MI 11-Feb-14
otcWill 11-Feb-14
Florida Mike 11-Feb-14
Clutch 11-Feb-14
TMA1010 11-Feb-14
Medicinemann 11-Feb-14
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Dirty D 12-Jan-15
From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14
This is about the time of year that most people have hung up their bow (except for practice shooting). We may be scouting for spring turkeys, but it sure would be nice to have a hunting story to temporarily stop the cabin walls from closing in......

Therefore, if you are a glutton for punishment, read on. Nancy and I traveled to New Zealand on March 1st of 2013 for Red Stag and Arapawa ram. Many individuals enjoy estate hunting in New Zealand, and I spoke with others that have had a great time doing so. However, with the exception of a hog hunt a few years ago (when I was trying to get Nancy involved in bowhunting), my personal preference is fair chase....and this would be a fair chase bowhunt....no fences.

I would like to make this thread about the COMPLETE New Zealand experience. So it won't just be about the hunt...it will focus on the entire adventure.....so that others hoping to do the same journey, may be able to benefit from our experience and our photos.

It is my intention to post a gazillion photos, just to illustrate the vast difference between the west side of the south island, with the east side.....

With that preamble behind us, let's take a trip "down under.......For you hard core hunters, relax.....you'll get your fair share of blood......

From: Florida Mike
10-Feb-14
While I don't have "cabin fever", its because I live in Florida...LOL, I still think this should be a great thread. That is if someone doesn't drag his feet posting! Mike

10-Feb-14
Wow! Definitly looking forward to this one!

10-Feb-14
Cool. Red Stag are on my bucket list. Lay some pics on us!

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14
First, we live in western NY. So, our trip started when we drove to Cleveland, Ohio and flew to LAX. After making sure that our gear arrived in sunny California, we got it transferred to the Air New Zealand terminal.

Our plane fare cost about $2,200.00 per person for the 14 hour flight by way of the North Island (by far, the more populated island of the two...if you are counting people).....South island has more sheep than people.

NOTE: I wanted to be one of the earliest hunters there, as most people that hunt the "roar" do so with guns. While getting there early would be an advantage, it also meant that we would hear very limited roaring, though we did hear a modest amount....late March is when the roar really kicks in.....and it goes into April.

Because we flew in March, we were considered to be traveling during "peak season", as opposed to "off season"....which increased the cost of the airfare. If you are willing to fly in early April (considered off season), you'd probably be charged a MUCH cheaper cost for airfare, and yet you'd still hear the roar....hope that this helps!!

Now, for those that haven't met me, I am a little on the tall side. Trust me when I tell you that a 14 hour flight with 57 year old joints is no picnic, but the anticipation on the way down kept it at manageable levels. Since we crossed the international dateline, it sure was bizarre to leave the US on March 1st, fly 14 hours, and arrive in New Zealand on March 3rd!!

Upon arriving in Auckland, security was no big issue, but New Zealand is particularly attentive to your boots. Really. I had cleaned mine with a toothbrush before I departed, just to make absolutely certain that they wouldn't be detained/confiscated for soil related pathogens or whatever...just remember to pitch the toothbrush when done...especially if you have chickens, like I do!!

After a brief layover, we then flew to Christchurch, on the south island. They had a significant earthquake down there about 4 years ago....(6.5 to 7.5 on the Richter scale, I believe), and there are STILL parts of the city where entire blocks of homes are condemned. I personally saw one reasonably major route that still had 2-4 feet of vertical displacement....even three years later, traffic was still being re-routed.....While I did have photographs of the seismic displacement, for whatever reason, I cannot find them....but I hope to make up for it with other pix.

We ended up spending our first night on the south island at a B&B that was recommended by our outfitter, Wilderness Quest....Te Oka Lodge....Peter and Carolyn Graham.....63 Mill Road, Ohoka, Christchurch (phone) + 64 3 327 0006 cell + 64 27 206 9598 email p.graham@kaiapoi.school.nz

From: Chip T.
10-Feb-14
A few comments. Florida, go easy on the big guy:) A little tall. I still laugh when I recall you comming up the hill at MHH when I was in the tree with a pig in front of me and you tried to hide:) Hope you do a critique of the New Zealand wines which are excellent. Now on with the show.

From: Pat Lefemine
10-Feb-14
Can't wait to hear how you trained for this hunt.

Did you rub Kiwi's all over your body for three months to acclimate?

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
We were picked up the next morning by Zion Pilgrim of Wilderness Quest. Zion had to run a few errands, including the local taxidermist (more about that much later), but within a couple hours, we were heading west.

Christchurch is on the east coast of the south island, and since it sits on the edge of a major plate boundary, as we headed west on route 73 (towards Greymouth and Hokitika), there is not only decreasing seismic activity, but the land changes dramatically. the east side of the island requires significant irrigation.... and everything was rather brownish while we were there.

The south island is a classic "rain shadow desert". Most weather comes from the west....and the moisture-rich air dumps the vast majority of precipitation on the west side of the island. As we headed west, the landscape became more mountainous, and greener. The first photo shows us approaching the mountain range that runs north-south down the western side of the island. The vegetation will green up in a hurry as we head west and gain altitude.

BTW, this photograph is apparently in the very area where the movie trilogy "Lord of the Rings" was filmed....at least, that is what I was told by some of the locals.

Pat,

How is it that you have the time to peruse your website, and even bust my chops about hunting in NZ, but when I ask you for your preparations regarding our upcoming bowhunt in Africa, all I get is "I am absolutely swamped....what research have YOU done so far?" In many instances, I fear that your aboriginal height will preclude you from being able to ride on my coattails, regarding my gear selections.

From: Pat Lefemine
10-Feb-14

Pat Lefemine's MOBILE embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's MOBILE embedded Photo

My preparations are right on track here at the Sofitel in downtown Philly.

And to answer your question, tormenting you is my highest priority regardless of locale.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
I have several photos that I will post later about driving in NZ. They do drive in the opposite lane than we are accustomed to, but you'll be pleased to learn how quickly you can acclimate. I will address the driving and some of the road nuances later in this thread.

After a couple hours of driving, we arrived at our destination...located to the southeast of Greymouth, and to the northeast of Hokitika.

The next few photos show the luxurious conditions and the cabin that we got to stay in..... and all I can say is, I wouldn't trade the memories of my alpine sheep hunts for anything. Sleeping huddled next to a rock in the rain, 300 yards above a bedded ram was a price well worth paying....but as these bones get older, I am glad that I did it when I was younger, because a guy could USED to these types of hunting accommodations!!

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Some mounts of local critters.....

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Let's try that photo again.....

Notice how thick that ram "fur" is....I'll mention more about that later, when it comes to tracking!! That wool is like a sponge for blood.....

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Sorry for the over exposure......this animal is a tahr. They are a gorgeous mountain animal, and they have a mane, almost like a lion. The bird is an indigenous bugger called a Pukeko (I hope that I got the spelling right).

10-Feb-14
Great stuff, Jake! Glad you got to experience some of the roar. Nothing like it that I've ever witnessed.

Onward!!

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
There must be some lag time between posting photos and having them captured by the forum....I reposted the previous picture because my screen showed no photo, now it's a double.....oh well....next photo.....

Hopefully, this also out of focus, over exposed photo (it was really sunny, even inside!!) will show a bird called a Pukeko. They really aren't that good to eat.... the paradise ducks and black swans are supposed to be better.....I didn't get to try any of the fowl.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
My primary target....the red stag.

After I arrived, I learned that many archers had bowhunted with Wilderness Quest, and many had been successful from inside of the fences....but they had not previously tagged a fair chase stag....but in their defense, previous archers had in fact had legitimate shot opportunities at less than 30 yards....

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Since the area that we were hunting is located on the west side of the mountains, the vegetation is dramatically different from the flora only 30 miles to the east.....

Compared the earlier photo on Route 73, check out some of this vegetation, for purposes of comparison......

Some of these tracheophytes (ferns) are enormous!!

Unlike BB, this is my second out of focus photograph....my apologies....they don't look out of focus until I post them to the forum.....

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
I bought the greenish predator pattern camo (on table) several years ago. It seems ridiculously bright green and yellow....but in New Zealand (as well as on my Colorado Bighorn bowhunt), it was by far the best pattern when you were down in the forest. At 30 yards, I was practically invisible.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Granted, my upper torso and my backpack are rather visible in this photo, but you can see that the lower green predator pattern blends in quite well.

A couple years ago, an archer had missed a stag that was standing in the rocks. We were sitting on a cutback to see if anything would come stroll along the stream while getting a drink. It would have been a 20-25 yard shot.

From: Bowboy
10-Feb-14
Keep the pictures coming and nice dialogue. One day I'll try this trip.

From: W8N4RUT
10-Feb-14
Pat...

Was that a Blackberry in the pic? Jake said the past hunt was from 2013, not 1993.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
On the first evening of the hunt, we opted to head to the south, in hopes of locating an Arapawa ram....Nancy's primary target. We spotted a couple groups, but they were on the other side of the river. We pressed on, hoping to find more rams. We were in a great looking valley....steep sloping, heavily vegetated flanks on the sides of a flat 150 yard wide field that probably ran for 3/4 mile....with a stream running down the eastern edge of the valley flank.

We were just slowly moving along. I didn't even have my bow, Nancy was the archer for this hunt. I was just an extra pair of eyes. About 300 yards into the meadow, we saw a few red deer....females and small stags. We watched them for a while, hoping that a dominant male would roar, and claim these hinds for his harem....but no such luck. Nonetheless, it was a great first evening, and a hopefully, an omen of things to happen.

As we headed back, the wind had switched as things cooled down....and we more or less had it in our face again...what luck! We were probably halfway back down the axis of the meadow, when we spotted two Arapawa rams. There was enough height differential between Nancy and myself, that what was a slam dunk 20-25 yard shot for me, was nothing but brush for her.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
After several stalking opportunities had presented themselves for me, and none for her, we knew that we had to move and get closer. We started moving towards the last known position of the rams, and all of a sudden...there they were, thirty degrees to our left, staring at us....at 24 yards. This time however, Nancy could see them. The larger one eventually presented a shot, and Nancy released her arrow.....hitting low and further back than desired.

Obviously, the rams bolted at the shot. Over the course of the next hour or two, we chased those rams all over hell's half acre. The vegetation is INCREDIBLY thick, and their wool is ridiculously thick....soaking up blood like a sponge.....it absorbs blood like no other coat of fur that I have ever seen....if you think I am joking, go back to the photos in the cabin, and LOOK at that wool coat.

We got in front of them several times, but each time, it seemed like I could see them and Nancy could not, or they would be running and she just didn't feel that she could make the shot....although once that first arrow hits an animal, any reasonable follow up shot is justified....even if they are running through vegetation. Because I am longer legged, a few times I had possible shots just because I could cover the ground a little faster....and by the time that Nancy would catch up, the opportunity would be gone....

After a while, we were following the rams by listening to the clattering of dislodged rocks and stones, and heading them off. Eventually, Nancy got a shot into the forward part of the rams body cavity. A flashlight and some follow-up work later, and my wife had tagged a Arapawa ram!!

600 photos, and I have picked three that are out of focus (although in my defense, the last one was blurry, because I took it right after Nancy shot)....I'll tighten that up from here on out...I hope. This photo will hopefully show the layout of the meadow and valley walls a little more clearly than the previous photo....the next couple photos will include Nancy and her ram.......

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Nancy and her ram....you wouldn't BELIEVE how much blood ran out of that wool when you squeezed it (as you can tell by looking at the rock...)!!

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
The Arapawas are actually are a pretty gnarly looking bugger. Here is Nancy with a frontal view of her ram.....

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
So here we are, spending our first night in hunting camp thinking that our hunt was half over.....(silly us)....and as the next few days went by, we saw some small stags and some hinds, but nothing that I would have considered shooting.

On the third or fourth day, we put out a couple trail cameras (just catching on down there).....THEN, I got excited!! About 1 1/2 miles from our cabin, we got one picture of a mature stag. It wasn't like the 500"-600" monsters in the paddocks, but it had the typical "crown" of a mature stag red deer....and he looked awesome!! Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the trail camera photo.....

A day or two later, we got within about 76 yards of a nice looking stag, but before we could get any closer, we got busted by an errant thermal. It sure was impressive to see that rack tearing off through the rain forest!! He actually stopped once, and looked back at 110 yards....and we got to stare at him for a couple minutes. Probably 40" wide, and a 6X6....but no "crown". Nonetheless, things were starting to pick up....we heard our first roar.....and we got another photo of the bigger stag that had a crown.

That night, I mentioned to Zion that we do a lot of bowhunting in the US from tree stands. Zion had no tree stands. While I had brought a lifeline and HSS harness with me, I figured that maybe I could stand on a limb near a wallow, and see if that big guy would come in....that's when Zion stated that he had a associate that had access to some aluminum and a mig welder.

Obviously, I was pretty leary of hunting from a freshly welded, shiny aluminum treestand....and I certainly couldn't paint the thing and expect any animal to come near it for a couple months. However, I thought that if I got high enough, I might get lucky....especially if a stag came to the wallow when the wind was cooperating.

While at the camp that afternoon, his friend stopped by with his version of an aluminum treestand. Like an idiot, I was so flabbergasted at the design and quality of his work, I didn't think to take a photo. I had just sketched a rough version of what one should look like....but this dude must have gone on online.

His finished product was absolutely incredible. It would have held a 500 pound man, had a fairly large base which is a great for long legged people, and while it glistened in the sun like new chrome hubcaps, I thought....OK, we're looking for a pine tree with LOTS of limbs....LMAO!!

We located a couple pine trees on the edge of a field where we had set up a trail camera....and there was a wallow about 35-40 yards into the woods behind me. We placed that treestand about 30-32 feet in the air....the lifeline stopped about 4-6 feet off of the ground....good enough.

If you check the photo, you might be able to make out the stand.....it is in the slightly darker tree just about dead center in the photo....you can see a small break in the tree about half way up......that's yours truly.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
This photo was taken just before I broke off some pine boughs and pulled them up into the grating of the base of the stand.....then stood on the broken ends and laid them over on the top of the platform. We had immersed the stand in the stream before heading out. So between the post welding "rinse job", the broken pine boughs, and the height of the treestand, I thought that I would give this stand one or two of my remaining hunting days, before going to back to spot and stalk...especially since the roar was starting to ramp up.

Overall, I felt pretty well hidden.....

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
After Zion and his friend helped to install the stand, ratchet strap that sucker in good and tight, and clear a few limbs with a pole saw from the ground, they left at exactly 6:00pm. I had a walkie talkie with me, but had it turned off.

Every half hour, I told Zion that I would turn on the walkie talkie....if I keyed the mic once, things were good, and I was staying put.....if I keyed the mike several times, time to come check on me.....he was actually going to sit on a ridge several hundred yards away and just glass for the remainder of the afternoon/evening.

I was just starting to settle in, when a couple "Wekas" (flightless birds with long beaks like a plover or a snipe, but much heavier bodied, about Kiwi sized) started to feed out in the field. I probably watched them for about 20 minutes when I saw movement from between my boots, on the ground below. Another Weka was about to go out into the field....but this Weka was MUCH larger....about 600 pounds heavier.

What I thought was a Weka, was the big stag with the crowned tops....and he was six yards upwind of the tree that we had cut and installed the tree stand in!! He was actually urinating and then began to thrash the small tree in front of me!!

I had an arrow on the string, and my release is always on my wrist. I just clipped the release on the bow, silently stood up, and simply waited for him to clear a branch or two....when I finally shot, I would estimate that he was 8 yards away....and it was the only evening that I hadn't brought my video camera with me. Darn it!!

The arrow hit exactly where you would want it to hit for that angle. He walked about 30 yards to my right, and bedded. While it was the 5th day of the hunt, it was only my 36th minute in a treestand!! Red deer don't look up...at least this one never did. I believe that Zion and his friend made two more treestands the next day....

I must confess that the deer actually got up from his bed after about 5 minutes. I wasn't taking any chances, so I put another arrow in him. It wasn't necessary....but I had no way of proving that at the time, especially when I thought that he was dead, and he just stood up.....tough buggers!!

Zion must have left his handset on, because when I could no longer see the stag breathing, I called and he answered immediately. I told him that I had decided that the treestand probably wouldn't work for the remainder of the hunt....unless he had another tag....I swear that he almost got to the stag before I could climb down out of the tree....and he was several hundred yards away!!

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
A fair chase New Zealand Stag....from a shiny, one day old, aluminum tree stand.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Not only are they a majestic animal, with a really cool mating call....they are really good eating. I would have to say that they are a little smaller than an elk though.

I had to chuckle...everyone down there said that the stags would kick an elk's ass in a fight. Kinda like like the turkeys in my state are tougher to hunt than the birds in your state type of bantering....all in good fun.

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14
While we have a bit of blood on the ground, the hunting isn't over....but it is getting late. I'll pick up where I left off sometime tomorrow..... I hope that you have enjoyed New Zealand so far......

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14
Double post....

From: t-roy
10-Feb-14
Very nice Jake! Congrats to you & your wife! Looking forward to the "Rest of the Story".

From: LckyTylr
10-Feb-14
That's Incredible!!!

Congrats to you and your Wife. Well done, to both of you. Love the photos.

Not 10 minutes before I saw your thread, my Wife asked me if our next vacation could be New Zealand. I replied "Sure, but I'm going Stag hunting while we are there".

:-)

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14
Tyler,

If you and your wife both like seafood, and the two of you enjoy wine, just go ahead and write the check...LOL!!

From: Chip T.
10-Feb-14
Way to go gang! You have come a long way Nancy from your first hunt at MHH. Congrats!!

From: COLT45
10-Feb-14
cool hunt. thanks for posting!

From: Medicinemann
10-Feb-14
Just be sure to revisit this thread in another day or two.....because you are gonna want to read about the hunting that we did over the next few couple days!!!

I still chuckle .......

From: LckyTylr
10-Feb-14
Seafood . . . check Wine . . . Double Check

Checkbook . . . where did I put that thing anyways.

11-Feb-14
Wow! Great animal! And I really enjoyed your story. That last pic of your stag, bow and mountainous background make me want to leave today.

Thanks for feeding the itch.

From: Bill in MI
11-Feb-14
Good read and nice free range stag.

From: otcWill
11-Feb-14
Wow! I'm jealous again! Congrats on a truly awesome adventure and thanks for sharing

From: Florida Mike
11-Feb-14
"And to answer your question, tormenting you is my highest priority regardless of locale. Pat Lefemine"

And might I add, mine as well! Jake is affable so its all in good fun! Anyway, Jake your write up is spot on for us "bowsiters", and appreciated very much! Now if I can find a drug that will knock me out for 14 hours I would love to do this hunt! Thanks again Jake for providing top shelf entertainment,(or relief from cabin fever if your a yankee) and congrats to Nancy for an incredible trophy! Mike

From: Clutch
11-Feb-14
Nice job Team Zea

From: TMA1010
11-Feb-14
This is so cool.

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
By the time that we got the stag butchered and back to camp, it was almost dusk. I figured that tomorrow, I might buy a fishing license and try some brown trout fishing, as they have a great reputation for their fishing down there.

Not going to happen....about a half hour after dark, Zion came to our cabin and said "Throw on a jacket, we're going hunting." We didn't have to be told twice....!

The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand, and it is endangered. Because it is flightless, the feral cats are hammering their numbers, and even the number of Wekas are starting to decline. So....armed with an AR-15 (complete with MULTIPLE 30 shot banana clips), we were going hunting for feral cats, European hares, and "possums". Taxonomically, I believe that what they call possums are actually members of the lemur family.

So, until the wee hours of the morning, we drove around on trails and dirt roads with a million candlepower spotlight looking for eyes. Cats may be legally killed in NZ because of their effect on the flightless birds.

I have no idea how many rounds were fired that evening....but I kinda felt like that scene in Crocodile Dundee where the inebriated hunters were shooting kangaroos from the back of a vehicle...except that we were stone sober, hunting for possums, hares, and cats!!! We swept the brass out of the bed of the trunk with a broom at the end of the night, but we could have used a shovel.

We got one possum and several hares....but only saw one cat all night. I must admit that I am not a cat person, but I have to tell you that at 100 yards, I was amazed at how fast they can run...especially when being shot at!! Now, before the cat lovers have a fit, please understand that this is essentially an accepted practice in NZ....so deal with it. It was a great time....and we STILL aren't done hunting.....wait until I discuss the next days adventure!!

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Nancy with a New Zealand possum.....

we'll talk more about the possums.....

From: Florida Mike
11-Feb-14
Only thought that comes to mind is; YANKEES CAUGHT SPOT LIGHTING IN NZ! They said their guide told them it was "OK"....

Hahahahahahahaha, what a hoot! Mike

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Now, to further prove that the possum population is practically out of control, consider THIS photo!! Estimates are as high as 70 million possums (lemurs). You can walk through remote forests and see plastic cups that are staple gunned to the trees (horizontally). The sideways mounted cups are then filled with dog food that is laced with Sodium Flouoroacetate, a deadly poison.

In fact, get a load of the letter written in November, 2006, by David Taylor, CITES Officer NZ Department of Conservation....

To Whom It May Concern....

STATUS OF THE BRUSHTAIL POSSUM IN NEW ZEALAND

"The purpose of this document is to confirm that the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is not a species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is not protected in any way under New Zealand law.

This animal was introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1858, in an effort to establish a fur trade. Since their introduction, bushytail possums have progressively multiplied in numbers, achieving a total population now estimated at approximately 70 million animals. They are universally viewed as a pest throughout the country, have spread to, and now inhabit all areas of native forest, causing extensive damage to a wide variety of forest plants and many species of native wildlife.

Any commercial exploitation of this animal within New Zealand is viewed as contributing towards their eradication and accordingly, all exports of carcasses, skins or other byproducts of brushtail possum originating from this country is in full accordance with the laws of New Zealand"........

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Medicinemann's embedded Photo
But nothing goes to waste.....and everything is a potential opportunity.

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Really....

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Even bedspreads....as well as coats, hats, etc....

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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My kind of people........

After we complete our hunting, we drove the perimeter of the South Island....and I am getting ahead of myself by showing this photo....but it just seemed to fit in real well right here.....hunting is a very accepted practice in NZ....no PETA, and most people seemed to really have their heads screwed on straight.

From: Bowfreak
11-Feb-14
Awesome thread! I think TD is going to be booking. He is currently working on his Multi-Continental Feral Cat Slam. :)

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14
OK....back to hunting.

The cabin that Nancy and I stayed at is located in a very rural setting....and there was a LOT of agriculture around us in the flattened lowlands.....including chickens...both meat chickens and egg layers. The problem is that the seagulls were constantly eating the chicks and the chicken food.

We can't have that, now can we? You guessed it...out come the shotguns...Nice shotguns ....Benelli... Browning ...etc. Between Zion, Nancy and myself, we went through 10-12 boxes of shells. Everytime we got a seagull, we added them to our decoy "spread"...and at the end of it all, I think that we just broke 100....and we were taking some ridiculously long shots, but we had to stand up for the chickens, lest someone cry "foul"....er....fowl? LOL

OK....Now the hunting portion of this adventure is over....so if you are just in hunt mode....this is where you can exit stage left. If you want to continue on our merry adventure, stay tuned for more....either later today or tomorrow......

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14
At this point, our hunt had concluded....Zion drove us to Greymouth, on the west coast of the South Island. We really enjoyed Zion, a level headed, very intelligent bloke....

We rented a Suzuki Swift, and began our "tour" of the the southern half of the south island.

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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A Suzuki Swift, in all of its radiant splendor....it is bit tight getting in and out, but comfortable once seated. The biggest challenge about driving on the opposite side of the road from what I was used to, had NOTHING to do with acclimating...it had to do with the car itself.

The brake is still to the left of the accelerator, however, in addition to the steering wheel being on the right side of the vehicle, the windshield wipers and the turn signals are flipped across the steering column as well. I had the cleanest windshield in NZ for the first couple days!! Left turns are a piece of cake, but the right hand turns require you to be more attentive to approaching traffic.

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Another observation about the Suzuki Swift....as an island nation, New Zealand doesn't have the same degree of government intervention that we do....no EPA. I was lead to believe that the cars in NZ don't possess the same emissions controls as those in the US.

I would have to say that if I did the metric conversion correctly, those emission controls adversely affect fuel economy, because that Suzuki Swift got great gas mileage....like 20 kilometers per liter!!

From: Hollywood
11-Feb-14
...awesome free range stag Jake. Way to go on a magnificent trophy.

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Once you get on the west coast, there aren't a lot road choices...in fact, there is one....Route 6...period.

If you get behind a truck, enjoy the view (and the fumes)....especially in a four cylinder. Route 6 takes you through the Southern Alps and the road gets pretty twisty at times....but every once in a while you can pass slower traffic.

Some of the views are awesome.....

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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same view, but miles closer.....

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Awesome scenery...at times, it sucked being the driver!!

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14
Chip T.,

Early in the thread you talked about NZ wines....so this photo is for you. I am a Crown Royal drinker, and once in a while, a cold beer sounds good. I just can't acquire a taste for wine....with one exception....ice wines, which is like drinking liquid sugar.

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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oops...photo didn't get captured.....let's try that again....

If you remember in the very beginning of this thread, I mentioned how NZ is very attentive to your footwear at Customs. I literally scrubbed my boots....

FYI, there are some bugs which they constantly spray for, and before you can enter the wineries, many of them have signs with pictures of Phylloxera, with the red circle around it, and the slash through it....saying keeping Central Otago Phylloxera free....so Chip, if your wine tastes funny, you probably just ingested some highly toxic pesticide and you have less than 12 hours to live.....

They honestly have signs at the access to the wineries that say " All visitors must report to management. According to the Health and Safety in Employment Act of 1992 this is classified as a Hazardous Area (bold letters), Do not enter without permission and notification of the hazards within."

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14
Since I can't burn off calories as fast as I used to, I have been trying to cut back on my caloric intake for the past couple years....something that I never used to have to do.

However, while in New Zealand, there were two things that I couldn't stay away from.....one was their ice cream sticks....They are SO good, that I brought home the wrappers....if I ever see it stateside, screw the caloric intake....

If your travels ever take you to South Island....be on the look out for Big Bikkie/Memphis Meltdown and Kapiti (white chocolate and raspberry) ice cream bars.

The second item that I have to be MUCH more careful about is the seafood. When we drove through Haast, we stopped at a large restaurant apparently in the middle of the Rugby playoff season. What a hoot....I played football growing up, but I think that I could have REALLY liked Rugby. At any rate, they had a seafood chowder in that restaurant that cost $17.00 a bowl....even after the US/NZ exchange was considered, that is one expensive bowl of soup....but how many times does one travel to New Zealand?

I have to be careful ordering seafood, because Nancy is deathly allergic to shellfish and nuts. We had her epipen with us, so we sat outside under the canopy, Nancy seated upwind of me, and I had a $17.00 bowl of seafood chowder, a cold beer, and we watched a Rugby scrum for hour and two. What a wicked good time!!

The single worst mistake of the trip was that I only had one bowl....After all, how many people can remember a bowl of soup from a year ago?!! That chowder had EVERYTHING in it....fish, lobster, shrimp, squid, octopus, maybe abalone, mussels, clams, oysters, and God only knows what else....absolutely one of the best "civilized" meals of my life....and I have been around the planet. I should have taken a photo.....

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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I thought that this was a pretty clever idea....since NZ is so touristy, someone started this currency board. A novel concept, and probably someone's 401(K) about ten years from now....LOL....keep taking down the larger currencies, and replace them with smaller ones ....!!!

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14
The photos aren't necessarily in order as we circumnavigate the south island....but with the exception of someone's dog, I wonder if this might be the largest wild predator on the island (they have pigs, but I consider them to be omnivores, not predators)?....I also wonder who would win in a fight....a ferret, or a feral cat?

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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An interesting roadkill.....I wonder if they kill and feed on the lemurs?

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Loesshillsarcher's next EHarmony date.....(said with a sheepish grin....I hope that "ewe" don't mind, Ned!....after two years of Gatorade jokes, I figured it was time for payback)....and you can "return fire" if you wish...but remember, I still have your text from when Pat, Tom, and I were in Kansas...not to mention a photo that is all it's cracked up to be....

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Just a friendly Public Service Announcement....

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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Rush hour traffic......

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14

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In case you missed it in the previous photo, who said that Kiwi's aren't a colorful lot, without a sense of humor?

11-Feb-14
Does that sheep have a reddish-pink Gotarode stain on its butt? I'll brush this one off easily

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14
Just remember, you were warned.....if you become the butt of many remarks, you'll have no one to blame but(t) yourself.....

From: loprofile
11-Feb-14
Always fun to follow Jake's hunts. Only bad thing experience I had when visiting New Zealand was having to leave it.

From: Medicinemann
11-Feb-14
Enough for today.....we'll probably wrap this thread up tomorrow.....a few actual road signs to explain, taxidermy considerations, and the McDonald's menu in NZ!!!

11-Feb-14
I am silenced. But one more thing... thanks for sharing your hunt and travels!

From: Mad Trapper
11-Feb-14
Very disappointing Nedly :-0

From: LCH
11-Feb-14
Thanks Jake, Some day Sandi and I really need to make this trip.

From: Z Barebow
11-Feb-14
Thanks for sharing your adventure Jake! It is awesome. Only place which might trump NZ for me is Australia.

From: Mark Watkins
11-Feb-14
Jake, congrats to you and Nancy on another one of life's great adventures! It's on my bucket list...now if I can just get it on my wife's!

Mark

From: Candor
11-Feb-14
Very nice write-up. You did a great job of helping me understand your NZ experience.

From: CurveBow
11-Feb-14
Jake, congratulations on the great hunting trip and thatnsk for sharing the NZ experience.

And, don't get Pat too upset. He may allow ol' tembo to do a black mamba experience on ya'! :)

>>>-------->

From: Willieboat
11-Feb-14
Thanks for sharing Jake !!

From: Bill in MI
11-Feb-14
If I may ask, what would a free range stag hunt and sightseeing trip like this cost. I actually don't have the desire to leave North America with the exception of New Zealand.

Thx Bill

From: bghunter
11-Feb-14
Bill,

My hunt there was not free range, but took stag, fallow and goat and spent time in Queenstown and an overnight yacht cruise. I think give or take for the wife and I with airfare and spending money etc was around say 6-7 grand.

11-Feb-14
Great thread! Thanx!

That chowder sounds so good!

Much respect for taking a mature Red Stag fair chase.

From: Medicinemann
12-Feb-14
Bill in Michigan,

In the very beginning of this thread, I mentioned that my airfare was more expensive because I left in March, rather than April. If we had left on April 1st, versus March 1st, we would have saved $1,000.00 - $2,000.00 on plane fare. My stag hunt cost $3,950.00, and the Arapawa ram was $1,000.00. Our plane fare was approximately half the cost of the trip....otherwise, we would have spent about $7,500.00 - $8,000.00 on the trip. That includes a week of non-hunting vacation, with the room, meals, and car rental. (We actually spent about $9,500-$10,000 for the two weeks).

From: loprofile
12-Feb-14
Pretty darn reasonable considering last year I drew a New Mexico permit and spent about $2500 including air fare from Alabama on a public land elk hunt. No lodging costs because I stayed with a friend in a camper.

From: Kurare
12-Feb-14
Congratulations Jake on a tremendous red stag and a great hunt. You are the Man! I would be afraid if i was an elephant in Africa right now:-)

Janez

From: bghunter
12-Feb-14
loprofile,

When you start looking at some of the costs to hunt in the US compared to around the world it is kinda shocking.

Heck I just paid 820 round trip for two coach tickets to Orlando and that is only for a two hour flight.

From: BIGHORN
12-Feb-14
I had a real hard time with the wipers and turn signals too! Other than that, no problem whatsoever.

The south island scenic tour was absolutely fantastic. We plan to go back and tour the north island someday soon. Our NZ hunt was our most memorable of all hunts. When touring the island, stay at the bed and breakfast places along the way instead of motels. You get a real feeling of the people, food and their culture.

From: Hawkeye
12-Feb-14
Congrats Jake! Very cool!

From: elkmtngear
12-Feb-14

elkmtngear's Link
Wow, that is the best off season fodder I have consumed here in Years!!!

Awesome adventure...so jealous! Nice job teaching them how to hunt stags...the population is in trouble now ;)

Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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Now.....let's talk....er....type about New Zealand and road courtesy. Most of the New Zealand roads outside of the cities, are two lane roads....but the bridges are ONE LANE. If you violate road courtesy, not only can you cause an accident, you may get a few one finger salutes.

As you approach a bridge, the road is labeled of an impending structure. There will be a circular sign with two arrows, one larger than the other....THE LARGER ARROW HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY. Ignore this at your own peril. When you actually reach the bridge, there is a line painted across the road where you are supposed to wait for traffic already on the bridge, or if the other direction has the right of way. Once it clears, you are good to go.

I lost the photo of another important sign.....if you see a circular sign painted blue, with the red circle around the edge, and a red X that reaches from edge to edge of the sign, that means "use Caution ahead".

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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This is a blow up of a right of way sign, as mentioned in the previous photo....showing which lane has the right of way...in this case, opposing traffic has the Right of Way....Most of the time, the signs do NOT tell you to give way......they just show the arrows.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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Now, to further support my previous remarks about Pat's aboriginal height, here is one of the places where we stayed.....as you can see, the bathroom mirror had been installed to accommodate Pat....(I wonder if that is considered a bad "reflection" on him...yuk yuk!!)

13-Feb-14
Lol. Did u take your mandible hanging attire on this trip? Pat will get u back.

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
Over the past few years, I have started trying to eat healthier...but I really like fast food.....and McDonald's is no exception. As we were driving up the east coast of the island on Route 1, we drove through Timaru, which had a McDonald's....and when the sign out front said "Lamb burgers", I had to stop and try one....and it was really good....but remember, I may not have the most discerning palate either.....

Regardless, as we leaving, I checked the receipt and it had all of the official McDonald's verbage, formatting, etc on it.....but the store location number and country were in the corner of the receipt that was somewhat light or faded....you couldn't tell that it was from NZ. However, the receipt CLEARLY showed a $4.99 Lamb burger on it.

Needless to say, I carefully folded that receipt and tucked it into my wallet. Once we got stateside, I purposely stopped at a couple different McDonald's just so I could order a Lamb burger....and see the look of astonishment on their faces, when I produced an actual receipt. Simple people are SO easy to amuse....me included!!

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
That pretty much concludes my text for this thread....I am just going to post a bunch of photos now for anyone that wants to just look at some of the scenery and varying landforms and vegetation.....in case you are considering a trip there, and want to color coordinate your camo...LOL. Hope you enjoy the pictures.....Jake

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
I will number each photo in case someone has a question or wants to discuss a specific picture.

From: Z Barebow
13-Feb-14
"Now, to further support my previous remarks about Pat's aboriginal height, here is one of the places where we stayed.....as you can see, the bathroom mirror had been installed to accommodate Pat.... "

Now that comment could come back and haunt you on a Kansas deer hunt! LOL!

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
....or an elephant bowhunt in Mozambique....it's all part of the adventure when traveling with Pat!!! Now for some photos.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#100

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#101....a very dark photo of a Weka....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#102

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

From: Julius K
13-Feb-14
Great Adventure Medicinemann. Congrats on the beaut of a stag!

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#103

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#104 - The rockslide surprised me...while rather steep, I would have thought that all of the vegetation would have helped slope integrity....later follow up indicated that there was a sidehill spring over there.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#105 - For you trout fishermen.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#106 - whether you fish the pools.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#107 - ...or the riffles.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#108 - The water is incredibly clear.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#109

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13-Feb-14

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#110

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13-Feb-14

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#111

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13-Feb-14

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#112....Ouch.....

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13-Feb-14

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#113

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13-Feb-14

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#114

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13-Feb-14

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#115

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
13-Feb-14
"Needless to say, I carefully folded that receipt and tucked it into my wallet. Once we got stateside, I purposely stopped at a couple different McDonald's just so I could order a Lamb burger....and see the look of astonishment on their faces, when I produced an actual receipt. Simple people are SO easy to amuse....me included!!"

Being able to come home and do that would be worth doing the trip in itself. Great write up Jake!

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#116

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#117

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#118...can you say "Tahr?.....Chamois?"

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13-Feb-14

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#119

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13-Feb-14

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#120

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13-Feb-14

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#121

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13-Feb-14

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#122

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13-Feb-14

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#123 - Some people take privacy seriously.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#124 - This "privet (privit?)" is 8' - 10' feet tall...

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
One of the things that I found most amazing is that all of these varying landforms, vegetation, elevation changes, and geology are within 60-80 miles of each other as the crow flies.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#125 - They actually had a ram that escaped and lived in the mountains for 8+ years....he was uncatchable....and became a local legend. They named him "Shrek" and years later, when finally caught, his wool was so long and thick, he had been practically blind for a year.

He was sheared and the wool was used to make a couple garments which were auctioned off for a pretty impressive price. This is a essentially a representation of Shrek....Loesshillsarcher's competition for the local "ladies". LOL

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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Double post....sometimes I must get ahead of the posting rate of the photos...

The mighty Shrek....

From: huntmaster
13-Feb-14
Cool trip!! Thanks for posting and I can't wait for the elephant hunt with Pat.

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#126

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14

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#127 - Whoops.....almost forgot to mention taxidermy.

One way or another, you're gonna pay....period.

With a few exceptions (which I later regretted), I now always try to have a taxidermist from the area where the animal lived, do the mounts. They see hundreds of the indigenous species and tend to get the subtle nuances and intricacies correct more often than not.

If you want, you can take your animal back with you (after the proper processing), but you pay a MAJOR tariff at customs (providing it passes, both in NZ and the US). If you have the work done there, there is no export tariff, but you have to use an expediter, plus the shipping and crating to get it back into the US.

By the time that the smoke cleared, I believe that my comparison showed that I might have been able to get it back into the US and have it done there a bit cheaper overall....but for me personally, having the benefit of the local expertise tipped the scales in their favor. SEE UPDATED COMMENTS AT THE VERY END OF THIS THREAD.

This photo was taken at the Taxidermist shop in Christchurch, NZ

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
One other thing, after decades of bowhunting by myself (never getting married until I was 54)...it was a trip (excuse the pun) to travel with a bowhunting spouse. Yeah, the price suddenly doubled....but even if your spouse doesn't hunt, take them along on this one.

Remember to keep a sense of humor, as that flight is LONG...both ways. Flying east seems to mess up sleep patterns more than flying west, and flying during daylight versus evening probably has an effect as well, although I don't know if it would be for the better, or for the worse.

For example, we get into our seats, and we are sitting in the middle section of seats near the back of this huge honking airplane. I have an aisle seat, Nancy is to my right, in the second seat of four in the center section. Some homeless guy with a tattered Alaska T-shirt is sitting on her other side.

I am reading a book, and am interrupted by the flight attention who brings out a really good hot meal...something like chicken tetrazini. It occurs to me that I haven't eaten in hours, so I practically inhale mine. Nancy is picking at her food, so I know that I am about to get a second meal...cool!! Suddenly, I look over, and homeless guy is scarfing down another tray of food, and Nancy's tray is gone.

I asked her where her food went, and I suddenly get "the puppy eye" look of embarrassment. She tells me that she offered her food to the guy beside her!! I look her right in the eye, and say " Let me get this straight...I haven't eaten in hours, and am starving. I paid for your plane fare, your meals, your lodging, and your hunt....and you give your food to a Tim Treadwell look alike, instead of offering it to your husband?!!"

Needless to say, over the next few days, I could do no wrong....and no matter where we went, or what we did, she was obsessed with asking if I wanted the leftovers....which I would specifically decline every time.

Finally, after about a week of this, one day we are sitting somewhere, and she asks me if I want anything and I reply "Yes"...and her face lights up....she can FINALLY somewhat make amends for starving her husband on the plane.....She looks up at me and says "What do you want?" (keep your minds out of the gutter, guys...)...and I reply (wait for it.....) ........"I want that Chicken Tetrazini!!"........

We laughed until we damn near cried.....like I said, you gotta keep your sense of humor...even if hungry!!

From: Russell
13-Feb-14
That hotel room may have been customized for "Too Short".

Thanks for taking us along on your adventur.

From: SDHNTR(home)
13-Feb-14
What an awesome post! Thanks for taking the time Jake! Congrats on a fantastic stag and wonderful trip.

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
Nate,

I am hoping that my reference to Tim Treadwell didn't offend a relative of yours!!!!

From: Chip T.
13-Feb-14
This thread has been a classic. Thanks!!!

From: TD
13-Feb-14
I'm thinkin' hobbits.....

Thanks Jake, awesome trip! spot and stalk is tough when it's that thick. Great job on a great stag. Was that their first free range bow kill? Kool!

It looked like a wet area. We get those slides like in #104 all the time. In real wet areas the roots are very shallow. When it goes it goes as a sheet of vegetation.

Pretty sure 112,113 is gorse. If the devil designed a plant this is it. They have uncovered seeds from under Scottish castles many centuries old and they germinated. We spray for them here on a ranch we get to hunt, it will take over many acres in no time. (the pigs love it, dogs won't even go in, well, not a second time...) The first herbicide they gave us the application was critical. Too little wouldn't kill it. Too much and the plant sensed it was under attack and would shut down and go dormant until the herbicide ran it's course. The new stuff we are using (a mix of things, developed in NZ just for gorse if I recall and very expensive) works well but you have to cover the entire plant, miss a branch and it will make a comeback. Bionic stuff.

Thanks again! Great adventure as always.

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
TD,

Yeah, first free range bowkill....even a blind pig gets an acorn every now and then.

I eventually got over near the rockslide, and the whole slope was soaking wet from a sidehill spring, and while the plants all had dendritic root systems, you are spot on.....very shallow root networks.

If that is gorse, you are right....it is a pain (literally) to get through....kinda reminds me of thistle.....and right up there with Devil's club as one of my least favorite flora.....

From: Medicinemann
13-Feb-14
Double post.

13-Feb-14
You kinda look like Ted Nugent.

From: BowMad23
13-Feb-14
If entertainment value of a thread is in any sort of way critical, you scored high. Thanks for taking us along, and nice stag.

Now you just have to figure out a way to have an elephant mounted and brought back home. Pat will do fine carrying the torch for us short people.

From: JEG
13-Feb-14
Thanks for sharing sounds like a great place to hunt/visit. I especially enjoyed the part about the cat, and seagull hunting!!

From: TD
14-Feb-14
Hey, cats aren't easy.... and use a sharp broadhead because they are tough sons of guns. Each blade has to take out like 3 or 4 lives.... you don't know when you may run into one with all nine left.....

I think they're smarter than possums too......

From: Medicinemann
14-Feb-14
definitely faster, I know that......

From: Florida Mike
14-Feb-14
"You kinda look like Ted Nugent. IDYLwildarcher"

Thats fightin talk...cause Nuge is way uglier than Jake! Mike

From: Heat
14-Feb-14
Great stuff as usual Jake! Congratulations on your first successful bowhunting trip with Nancy! Hopefully there will be many more like it for lots of years to come. Thanks for shring.

14-Feb-14
He also looks like Ted Danson.

From: bb
14-Feb-14
"Did you rub Kiwi's all over your body for three months to acclimate?"

They probably wouldn't hold still long enough.

Great write up Jake, Now you got me looking into this trip....

From: elmer@laptop
15-Feb-14
Awesome write up, photos, and humor. Loved it!

From: elmer@laptop
15-Feb-14
Awesome write up, photos, and humor. Loved it!

From: Medicinemann
15-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Nancy's ram.....still not completely satisfied with the eyes of the ram...I don't think that they line up....but Nancy will never notice it. Plus, it is mounted high on a wall, making it less visible to most.....

We got the NZ mounts back about a month ago....saved $400.00 by taking a roadtrip to Baltimore and picking them up, instead of having them trucked to western NY.

Not only do the crates have to clear DFW and customs, but also Homeland Security....notifying them in advance, will save waiting time, but if you just show up, and are reasonable pleasant, they will still be very accommodating......and yes, a fee is involved at each.

From: Medicinemann
15-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Another photo, where the eyes look OK...to most. Sometimes, we are our own worst critics.....

From: Medicinemann
15-Feb-14

Medicinemann's embedded Photo
Medicinemann's embedded Photo
....and the red stag.....I apologize for the graininess of the last three photos....they are taken from my cellular phone camera.....

As you may have noticed, in the back ground, the D logs are different colors, there is a vertical seam in the logs, and the window frame is filled with D logs now, as well.....and that is what happened when I started to really fill up my gameroom. I recently had to make some modifications, and I need to stain some boards a second time.....as I removed a bathroom from the gameroom. I also "filled in" the windows (to protect the animals from direct sunlight) and by "boarding off" the windows, and I also gained more wall space for a couple more mounts....

However, I don't think that anyone has every noticed it (but me), because they are too busy looking at the mounts.....

From: bb
15-Feb-14
Love that Stag, Jake!

From: N.Phelps
16-Feb-14
Great thread and great stories Jake, thank you!

From: W8N4RUT
16-Feb-14
nicely done, Jake. Id enjoy more threads like this!

Scott

From: Medicinemann
16-Feb-14
Scott,

I was thinking the very same thing. I really enjoyed the process of trying to write the thread in a way that others can benefit from it for years to come.

Let's hope that Pat Lefemine and I can do the same thing for our Mozambique elephant bowhunt.

From: cityhunter
16-Feb-14
great stag

From: Mule Power
17-Feb-14
I remember bugging you with a few non-hunting texts when you were down there. I knew you had a good hunt but when you got back and I asked you said give me a minute and I'll post a thread. It was well worth the wait Jake. I'm totally inspired to do a better job documenting my future hunts.

Every time I hear people mention a NZ stag hunt I wonder if they realize those monsters are shot in fences over there. I was glad when you told me you found a good fair chase hunt. And then a free range stud like that! Good job. Really enjoyed this thread!

09-Jan-15
ttt for Jake

From: Medicinemann
09-Jan-15
Per a couple recent requests for taxidermy specifics, I have gone through my files.

Here is what I found....

I used: Big Game Taxidermy New Zealand Ltd. (stuffem@biggametaxidermy.com) 9 Holt Place Christchurch 8005 +64 3 343 1617

My costs broke down as follows....I am pretty sure that these are in NZ dollars.

Red Stag $1,425.00 Detachable antlers $150.00 Arapawa Ram $945.00 Crating/Pkg/Permits $560.00

Airfreight $650.00 Airway Bill $825.00 Documents $120.00 (permits) Airline doc fee $40.00 Airline fuel surcharge $30.00 Cartage Handling $29.60 Handling $75.00

Wire fees $27.00 PLUS 3% if using VISA card.

If I had to do it over, knowing what I know now....I would definitely try to bring the cape and horns back, and have the taxidermy done in the states. However, if you DON'T have the taxidermy work done in NZ, you'll probably get assessed with an additional export tariff for the cape and antlers....and it will be a sizeable amount....I am sure...

Either way, it is NOT cheap.....but I have to believe that bringing the animals back had GOT to be a less expensive option....PROVIDED you can get them through customs and the airports....which is sometimes easier said than done.

Homeland Security charged me $9.00 for some nominal fee stateside.

I'd still like to know what the heck the difference is between the air freight charges and the airway bill....jeesh!! The taxidermy and shipping cost more than the hunt and almost as much as the airfare!!

09-Jan-15
Great story. I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks

From: thewoods
11-Jan-15
Great Info On the costs associated with taxidermy/shipping. Thanks

From: Surfbow
11-Jan-15
This was a great thread! Thank you!

From: spike buck
11-Jan-15
Great thread!!

From: Mule Power
12-Jan-15
I think about this thread all the time when in tree stands.

From: Dirty D
12-Jan-15
Great post Jake.

I was down there about 15 years ago, fresh out of college and more interested in chasing tail than hunting, still regret not planning better… oh well.

In regard to the driving, I didn’t have any issues until about day 12. Late in the day and just tired I guess, but we pulled out of a parking lot and I instinctively went back to the right hand side. My cousin was screaming at me to get in the other lane and I was totally obviously. I don’t know if he yanked the wheel or I finally came to on my own, scary either way. Beautiful country and I’d love to make it back down someday.

Thanks for sharing.

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