Summit Treestands
Wildside Safaris, New Zealand
Hogs
Contributors to this thread:
MBMule 15-Mar-18
Neil 15-Mar-18
MBMule 19-Mar-18
Huntingpooch 19-Mar-18
MBMule 19-Mar-18
Fuzz 20-Mar-18
MBMule 20-Mar-18
Fuzz 20-Mar-18
NZhunter 20-Mar-18
MBMule 20-Mar-18
MBMule 20-Mar-18
MBMule 20-Mar-18
Fuzz 21-Mar-18
NZhunter 21-Mar-18
Genesis 21-Mar-18
MBMule 23-Mar-18
MBMule 23-Mar-18
Buffalo1 23-Mar-18
MBMule 23-Mar-18
MBMule 01-Apr-18
BOWNBIRDHNTR 02-Apr-18
MBMule 03-Apr-18
MBMule 03-Apr-18
MBMule 19-Apr-18
Fuzz 19-Apr-18
deserthunter 19-Apr-18
MBMule 19-Apr-18
MBMule 20-Apr-18
axle2axle 20-Apr-18
MBMule 21-Apr-18
MBMule 21-Apr-18
MBMule 21-Apr-18
MBMule 22-Apr-18
MBMule 22-Apr-18
Marty 22-Apr-18
MBMule 23-Apr-18
MBMule 23-Apr-18
MBMule 23-Apr-18
Medicinemann 23-Apr-18
MBMule 23-Apr-18
MBMule 24-Apr-18
From: MBMule
15-Mar-18
I’m looking to book a red stag hunt for my wife and I next spring and I’m looking mostly at Wildside Safaris run by Gerald and Brenda Fleurty. Does anyone have any experience with this outfitter?

From: Neil
15-Mar-18
Sean, it's Neil Summers from Bowhunting Safari Consultants. We book for Gerald and have for many years. I'll send you a PM

From: MBMule
19-Mar-18
Well, that escalated quickly. I was planning on booking with Wildside for 2019, because my wife and I have a travel voucher for $1500 that had to be used by May 7, 2018. I thought it had to be used to book a flight by that date, but my wife informed me yesterday that all travel has to be booked AND completed by May 7, 2018. That sent me into a bit of a scramble to find something on short notice, but it turned out that Gerald has an opening in late April, this year! Perfect! Red stag, here I come! This thread will be my attempt at a Semi-Live Hunt, chronicling my rushed planning and preparing, as well as the hunt.

I haven’t shot my bow since I shot my whitetail in November, so I’ll dust off the bows today. I used to shoot every day of the year, but I seemed to pick up the odd bad habit during my close range practice in the house through the winter. The first winter I trapped, I didn’t shoot at all, because most days I was lucky to get 6 hours of sleep between working for 12-16 hours, checking snares and putting up my coyotes. I was also foolish enough to take on custom skinning for a couple of guys, which added to my workload, but got me good at skinning, and then fast. By the end of that first season, I could skin a previously frozen coyote in less than 4 minutes. Anyway, when I started shooting again in the summer, I noticed that I didn’t have any of the bad habits that I normally do after a winter of shooting at 5 yards. I was able to jump right into my regular shooting routine; one broadhead tipped arrow from 50-80 yards, without any issues. Since then, I give myself a break for the winter. I have just over a month to prepare for this hunt, which is plenty of time, and I’ll begin shooting today.

I’m also out of shape, at least compared to what I normally am, and I just had fairly extensive sinus surgery, but I have a follow up appointment on Thursday, and I’m sure I’ll get the green light from my surgeon to begin exercising again. I haven’t done much in the past year or so, as my chronic sinus infections left me with little energy and ambition, and it was too easy to use that as an excuse.

Follow along here if you want to hear more of my extensive ramblings regarding my preparation for the hunt, and of course, the hunt itself!

From: Huntingpooch
19-Mar-18

Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
I hunted with Wildside in 2007. Gerald is a great guy and accommodations are first class.

From: MBMule
19-Mar-18
Beautiful animals! What did that stag score?

From: Fuzz
20-Mar-18
Good luck MB on getting everything in order! At least you don't have to go thru the pain and anguish of having a hunt booked 2 years out and the seemingly never moving calender moving waaayyyyyyy to slowwwwww!! Looking forward to this story!

FUZZ

From: MBMule
20-Mar-18
Fuzz, that’s the way I normally do things. I think my hunt in South Africa was booked in late 2010 and I didn’t go until July 2013. Most of my other hunts have been booked a year or more ahead, never like this. Not much time to anticipate!

My flights are all booked now. I’m surprised at the price, considering it’s just over a month away. I expected they would be much more. Round trip from Winnipeg to Auckland for $1750 CAD, so closer to $1300 USD. Only $150 CAD for the short connecting flight from Auckland to Taupo, where Gerald will pick me up. During the few days that I’m there, they only have one other hunter there, and he’s hunting for Sika, so I’ll have the red stag all to myself! The roar will basically be over but the younger stags will apparently still be roaring some, so I’m glad I’ll get to experience part of it, anyway.

I didn’t get a chance to shoot today, got caught up with catching up on coyotes and lost track of the daylight, but I did get the snowmobile out after dark to make a path to my target backstop.

From: Fuzz
20-Mar-18
Good deal on the airfare! I'm definitely gonna get there some day. Not interested in tar or chamois.....but those red stags?..... I gotta get me one of those!

From: NZhunter
20-Mar-18
Good luck on your NZ hunting adventure. I know the area you'll be hunting ( I hunt the nearby public land) and its a great spot. Late April is an awesome time to hunt and you'll hear the sika roar too which is very cool.

From: MBMule
20-Mar-18
Tahr probably interests me more than red stag, actually. I enjoy the mountain-style hunting. But red stag is on the menu first. My wife would like to go to New Zealand and would probably be joining me if we didn’t have an 8 week old baby. Originally, we had planned on going over next year. Next time, fallow deer for her and Tahr for me. NZHunter, good to hear! Are sika in the same area?

From: MBMule
20-Mar-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
The trail, already partially snowed in.
MBMule's embedded Photo
The trail, already partially snowed in.
MBMule's embedded Photo
40 yards
MBMule's embedded Photo
40 yards
MBMule's embedded Photo
My shed eating shooting partner
MBMule's embedded Photo
My shed eating shooting partner
MBMule's embedded Photo
50 yards. A bit lower than I was aiming.
MBMule's embedded Photo
50 yards. A bit lower than I was aiming.
I ran out of coyote boards today so got some shooting in before dark. It snowed since I made my trail to my target backstop, but not much and the trail is nicely packed. Didn’t even fill my work boots with snow.

Here are the first two arrows I’ve shot since November 11. The first was at 40 yards, the second at 50. This is my hunting setup, so the arrows are tipped with broadheads. I’ve shot the same bow and arrow setup since 2012 and see no reason to change. I actually have piles of extra arrows and components in case something is discontinued, that’s how much I like it.

The arrow is a Carbon Express Piledriver Hunter 450, cut extra short to get it stiff enough to handle a 100 grain brass insert and 150 grain 3 blade Vantage Point Archery broadhead. My “fletching” is a Starrflight FOB, which I take an endless amount of teasing over from my taxidermist. I shoot an 80 pound BowTech Invasion CPX that scales in at 84 pounds, and this combination has broken more heavy bones than I can remember. On most animals, I’ll take pretty much any shot angle presented, because this setup has proven to be a bone breaking penetrator.

My shooting partner is our loveable family idiot, Rome, who believes himself to be a master shed hunting dog.

From: MBMule
20-Mar-18
Sorry about the sideways photos. I tried to turn them but when I click on the “Image Tools” button above each photo, it only lets me turn the first image.

From: Fuzz
21-Mar-18
Looks like you're locked and loaded!

Not familiar with the starflight fletching...had to look it up.

From: NZhunter
21-Mar-18
If youre hunting Wildside Safaris main hunting area, then yes there are sika near by. Its a beautiful area and plenty of deer around.

From: Genesis
21-Mar-18
My son is on his last few days of his NZ honeymoon.....the country is spectacular

From: MBMule
23-Mar-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
60 yards
MBMule's embedded Photo
60 yards
Not much to report on preparations. Shot 2 arrows yesterday, one at 60 and one at 70. I was happy with the results but will continue to shoot an arrow or two a day to further “grease the groove”. Then I’ll just re-sharpen the broadheads and be good to go. That’s just one of the reasons I love these VPA broadheads. Screw them on, spin check them, shoot them to check that they all fly true then run them over a stone and strop, and you can shave with them. No joke.

From: MBMule
23-Mar-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
70 yards. A little forward.
MBMule's embedded Photo
70 yards. A little forward.

From: Buffalo1
23-Mar-18
Think you are sitting of "G" waiting on "O". Good luck. Looking forward to your story.

From: MBMule
23-Mar-18
Thanks! How’s the image quality on a desktop? I’ve been posting from my phone and they seem a little blurry to me.

From: MBMule
01-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
MBMule's embedded Photo
I’m finally done with coyotes for the season. This is the last seven of 130 that I did. As much as I’m happy to be done, not I won’t have as much to distract my mind from the fact that I’m only 3 weeks away from wheels up!

On another note, does anyone know how I can move this thread out of the “Hogs” section? That is not where I intended it to go and just realized today that that’s where it’s been posted.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
02-Apr-18
I'm not sure how you move the thread and I seldom look in the "Hogs" section but today I'm glad I did. Really enjoying the beginning and can't wait to hear about your hunt. Good Luck! Jeff

From: MBMule
03-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
MBMule's embedded Photo
I went through my archery tacklebox last night and got my arrows ready for the trip. I weigh each arrow and component then match them. Bare shafts with inserts and wraps weigh 462 grains. Broadheads weigh 152 grains. FOBs and Accunocks weigh 38 grains. Each arrow weighs exactly 652 grains. I then label each arrow as a hunting arrow. This is my “pre-season ritual” every year. I hope to loose 4 arrows this year. One at a red stag, two at two separate caribou bulls in northern Manitoba in September and another at a mature whitetail buck in Manitoba sometime between September and November. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to re-use broadheads. These VPA’s are tough and if I don’t hit a rock, with a little work, I can usually resharpen them back to shaving sharp. And they look good, too!

From: MBMule
03-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
These things can get ridiculously sharp, especially if you strop them.
MBMule's embedded Photo
These things can get ridiculously sharp, especially if you strop them.

From: MBMule
19-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
This is my backup case. I’ll finish off the case with the rest of the clothes, then it’s ready to go.
MBMule's embedded Photo
This is my backup case. I’ll finish off the case with the rest of the clothes, then it’s ready to go.
The time is finally here! I usually don’t get excited for a hunt until I start packing, so I try to put that off until the day before, or maybe a couple of days if I haven’t done it for a while.

I haven’t done a hunt where I’d have to fly for several years, so I started packing last night, just to give my packing memory some time to catch up.

I decided to pack the same way my wife and I did on our trip to South Africa several years ago, as it minimizes the risk that you’ll be without hunting gear for a day or two. We split everything up half and half into two bowcases; one bow each, half the arrows, half the hunting clothes, etc. The other couple in camp with us didn’t do this, packing both their bows, clothing, medication, etc. into one case, which was delayed several days. It’s just me going this time, but I’ll still split everything half and half into two bow cases, and put my camera, medication, etc. in my carry-on.

We use SKB bowcases, and I’ve watched them be treated pretty roughly, with no damage to show for it. I’ll start with a layer of clothing as extra padding, then the bow goes in next, with a bow sling on to protect the strings and cables. The sight and rest get stuffed and wrapped with socks to protect the “snaggy” bits if the cases are inspected. Binoculars and rangefinders get wrapped well then placed in a corner. My broadhead, FOBs, nocks and a windchecker bottle go into a small plastic case to protect everything else from the broadheads. Arrows are wrapped with elastic bands then packed wherever they’ll fit. Then I pack the rest of my hunting clothing around everything to keep it from shifting.

From: Fuzz
19-Apr-18
Sounds like you've got the packing down and you're locked, loaded and ready to let'm bleed! Hopefully you can keep us posted on your travel and trip. Take a bunch of pics and notes for a hunt recap! Go Safe travels! Fuzz

From: deserthunter
19-Apr-18
Only thing I would do different is binos in my carryon.

From: MBMule
19-Apr-18
Fuzz, I always do! If there’s wifi, I’ll try to do a daily update.

Deserthunter, that’s how I normally do it, but figured since I can borrow my wife’s binos, I’ll split everything evenly. If I was headed to a less reputable destination, I would definitely pack them in my carryon.

I wonder, would the pressure change in the baggage compartment affect them? I’ll change my packing plans if it may affect the fogproof seal. If that’s the case, I might pack my rangefinders in my carryon as well, and just remove the batteries.

From: MBMule
20-Apr-18
All packed up and ready to go! Just finished scrubbing my boots with diluted bleach. Hopefully it’s to NZ Customs satisfaction.

From: axle2axle
20-Apr-18
NZhunter...PM sent.

From: MBMule
21-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
Whale bone carving
MBMule's embedded Photo
Whale bone carving
I’m on my way! In Vancouver, waiting to board...in 5 hours.

They do have a pretty interesting airport, from what I’ve been able to see from the International Departures annex.

From: MBMule
21-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
Large saltwater aquarium
MBMule's embedded Photo
Large saltwater aquarium
MBMule's embedded Photo
MBMule's embedded Photo

From: MBMule
21-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
Nice view, too bad the city is in the way.
MBMule's embedded Photo
Nice view, too bad the city is in the way.

From: MBMule
22-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
MBMule's embedded Photo
Landed in Auckland not long ago, now I’m just waiting to board for Taupo, then it’s time to hunt!

I always enjoy watching the flight tracker map, and the coldest the temperature outside the plane got was -71F, our altitude was around 40, 000 feet and the fastest airspeed I saw was almost 600 mph.

From: MBMule
22-Apr-18
As a reference for anyone travelling to NZ, mention that you scrubbed your boots with 2% bleach solution and a toothbrush and they’re very appreciative that you know their regulations.

Also, don’t worry if your bow cases don’t show up in the “Fragile and Oversized Luggage” area. There’s a locked cabinet controlled by the police near baggage claim 3. There’s a Police kiosk across the aisle from it. If there’s no officer at the desk and no one walking around with a detection dog, press the red button a few times, and if that doesn’t work, try the phone.

Also, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to claim your case! Another bowhunter that I met in line waiting for his case only had an hour to claim his case, clear biosecurity and customs, check in for his next flight and then make the trek to the domestic departure terminal about 2/3 of a mile away. He probably made his flight but it might have been close. I would give yourself at least 3 hours from your scheduled arrival time to your next scheduled departure time. Security and customs weren’t at all busy and it still look nearly half an hour to get through, and then you still have to check your bags and make your way to the domestic departure terminal.

From: Marty
22-Apr-18
Good Luck! Sounds like a fun trip.

From: MBMule
23-Apr-18
Got in to Taupo yesterday morning around 9:00 local time, then did a few things in town and headed back to the lodge. I got unpacked and set up, then shot each arrow going into my quiver and resharpened it. Brenda and Gerald had to pick up some more clients in Taupo later in the day, so my guide, Joe, and Brenda and Gerald’s son, also Joe, went to town for some gourmet burgers. They had poutine on the menu, so I had to see if it was as good as Canadian poutine. Very good!

After breakfast this morning, Joe and I headed out for a morning hunt.

From: MBMule
23-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
We saw stags before we even left the truck this morning.
MBMule's embedded Photo
We saw stags before we even left the truck this morning.
MBMule's embedded Photo
A young dark phase fallow buck, not long into the hunt.
MBMule's embedded Photo
A young dark phase fallow buck, not long into the hunt.
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A very nice, mature red stag, bedded down and alerted to our presence by magpies.
MBMule's embedded Photo
A very nice, mature red stag, bedded down and alerted to our presence by magpies.
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He got up after several minutes and headed back into the bush.
MBMule's embedded Photo
He got up after several minutes and headed back into the bush.

From: MBMule
23-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
Arapawa rams
MBMule's embedded Photo
Arapawa rams
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This ram had a different horn that has grown into his face on the curl.
MBMule's embedded Photo
This ram had a different horn that has grown into his face on the curl.
MBMule's embedded Photo
A nice fallow buck
MBMule's embedded Photo
A nice fallow buck
MBMule's embedded Photo
There’s turkeys everywhere here! I have yet to see a tom, though. Odd.
MBMule's embedded Photo
There’s turkeys everywhere here! I have yet to see a tom, though. Odd.

From: Medicinemann
23-Apr-18
Glad everything got there OK. I was going to remind you to pack a release in both bowcases.

From: MBMule
23-Apr-18
Oh, not to worry, there was! I can’t shoot fingers with this bow, so I always have 2 releases with me at all times. One for each bow!

From: MBMule
24-Apr-18

MBMule's embedded Photo
400” or better stag.
MBMule's embedded Photo
400” or better stag.
Had a great evening hunt tonight. Went out around 3:00 and within 20 minutes, we had already had a failed stalk on a mature stag, and been at full draw on a big fallow deer at 40 yards but he didn’t offer me a shot.

I also saw 2 stags over 400”, some young stags and had another stalk on around a 360” stag, but he got up to chase a satellite stag off just before I was in a position to shoot. I lost track of how many fallow deer we saw tonight, but dozens, at least. One was a really neat management buck. He was very light, almost white, and had one great big antler with a spike on the other side. There’s quite a few fallow bucks here with damaged pedicles from crawling through the cattle fences while in velvet. They’re sure fun to hunt though, and cheaper!

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