When Nathan said that to me the other week during an evening fallow hunt, it immediately reminded me of when I turned to Dad on the evening of a sika hunting trip on April 12, 1989 and uttered to him, “Don’t move Dad!” before lining up and taking the shot on a Southern Kaimanawa 8pt sika stag. It was my first deer and cemented my love of hunting and the outdoors.
30 years on and Nathan and I are on a serious mission this summer to harvest a fallow. We have spent plenty of hours among the..... Read More
If you think your hunting and shooting activities are safe, think again. It has become increasingly obvious that our recreational pastimes are under real threat as those in power look to place further restrictions on our firearm ownership while systematically undermining our hunting heritage and game animal harvesting opportunities.
The most recent “fiasco” was the proposal by current Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, to cull over 17,000 tahr from our public lands.
However, throu..... Read More
11th Sep – 14th Sep 2017
In my late teens and early 20s a few mates and I did several trips into Ngaawapurua Hut and it was during these hunts that I spent quite a bit of time up on Te Ruatakaikare.
From high up on this central Kaweka location I would often gaze towards the expansive, open tops of both Te Pukeohikarua and Ngakawekaiti. They seemed to stretch right across the skyline and certainly looked inviting, yet it wasn’t until recent years that I eventually visited this area.
Day..... Read More
28th Jul – 31st Jul 2017
The Manson, another iconic area, and if the number of hut bookings is anything to go by, one of the most popular fly-in destinations in the Kawekas. Comprising some of the best open tops, scrub gullies and bush stalking opportunities the Kawekas has to offer, it is no wonder that this area receives high concentrations of hunters throughout most of the year.
It is an area I had heard much about but never visited. Due to its remote location, relatively easy-going te..... Read More
19th May – 22nd May 2017
The Northern Kaimanawas would easily be the one area where I have spent much of my time in the pursuit of sika – the Kaipo River, the lower reaches of Ruatea ‘Jap Creek’ Stream, and the Tiki TIKI Stream top the list of places I’ve hunted in this region.
As soon as I had my firearms and driver’s licences, missions into Oamaru Hut, a gateway into these areas, became a regular occurrence and I began to clock up some serious time hunting from this hut. Even back then m..... Read More
Crikey, things are really starting to heat up in the hunting, shooting and outdoors sectors. It feels like we are getting bombarded from all directions by those in power who seek to take away much of what we value.
Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has recently proposed the axing of the Game Animal Council (GAC) in what is arguably a strategic move to remove and silence any that don’t sing to her tune. Sage strongly opposed the formation of the council back in November 2013, so it com..... Read More
As we wrap up our 167th issue, New Zealand Guns & Hunting magazine enters a new phase as my wife Amanda and I take over the business from Peter and Lesley at the end of June.
Peter (Dad) and Lesley look to begin their retirement and I have somehow managed to coax the magazine from them! Both Amanda and I are looking forward to becoming the new owners of NZG&H and we assure our readers, writers and advertisers that we will continue to create an honest and reliable media platf..... Read More
31st March – 2nd April 2017
At last! Work was out of the way, there was a clear weather window (well, for the first couple of days anyway...) and I was finally able to head down to the Southern Kaimanawas for a jaunt over to Thunderbolt Stream. After having to postpone this trip a couple of times, it was third time lucky and I couldn’t wait to get there.
It was the end of March now and the stags would be in hard antler and just beginning to kick into gear for the rut. Not a bad time of the..... Read More
27th – 30th January 2017
Even the best laid plans can fall though and unfortunately that is what happened with our Thunderbolt/Rangitikei trip. Due to circumstances beyond my control, our flight into the Thunderbolt Tops had to be cancelled! I was pretty gutted as it was an opportunity for Scotty and Phill to come along for a fly-in hunt.
So, back to the drawing board and after my hunt in the Back Ridge area, I decided that a return trip was in order, this time to hunt the big range that r..... Read More
4th – 7th November 2016
One of the main attractions for me when I’m chasing sika is the exploration of the country they live in, Nothing beats it. since I first began hunting sika, I have always wanted to cover as much of the Kaimanawas and Kawekas as possible and visiting every established public hut and bivvy is part of this attraction.
With our wee girl Ruby now a year old and things at home more settled, I had discussed with Amanda the possibility of writing another series on sika..... Read More
Nik reviews Savage Arms’ latest hunting rifle...
Lightweight rifles are all the rage these days – most hunters are looking at ways to reduce the amount of weight they carry. A kilo here or there can make a measurable difference to how your body copes on an extended trip, or even a day hunt.
When it comes to rifle weight this kilo can equate to around 25% of the total weight you are carrying on your body. Throughout my hunting career, my primary hunting rifles have generally been on the hea..... Read More
6th – 9th September 2015
Over the last five issues of NZG&H we have hunted and traversed some of the most iconic sika hunting areas in the Kaimanawa and Kaweka Forest Parks, including the Southern Kaimanawa Access Poled Route, Ruatea (Jap Creek) Stream, Middle Hill, Ballard & Makino Huts, Waipakihi Hut, and Oamaru, Tussock & Boyd Huts.
For me personally, hunting these different areas and challenging myself throughout the seasons, has been the most rewarding and enjoyable experi..... Read More
22nd – 25th July 2015
I have to admit to being pretty excited when the time came to head away for this trip. The Oamaru has special meaning to me, it’s where my sika-hunting career really began and each time I walk up the steps to the hut I am reminded of some of my most memorable trips.
To sweeten the deal, I decided to head further in and visit both Tussock Hut and Boyd Hut, combining areas within both the Kaimanawa and Kaweka State Forest Parks. The walk also includes a lengthy bush sta..... Read More
Rob Bedingfield tinkers with loads...
Just when I thought that all my rifles had carefully worked up loads that could not be improved on, I started to think that maybe they could be optimized just a little further. This is possibly because of my impending retirement and the thought of having nothing to do except housework.
Choosing the optimum powder is simply a matter of consulting the published reloading data. I find that my Lee manual covers most of the information I require, with the ..... Read More
Don MacDonald tells how...
With today’s rifles “out of the box” accuracy has never been better, and there are not too many that won’t shoot a 100 yard group under two inches with the right ammo. Some manufacturers like Remington claim sub MOA and some like Weatherby even prove it with a test target. Most of these rifles are mass produced, with synthetic stocks and some components of questionable quality, but offer very good value for money. The accuracy of these rifles has been achieved by us..... Read More
Mark Stone reacquaints himself with the Z-Sport, a gun that’s brought Zoli international success...
While every top gunmaker offers a selection of shotguns specifically designed for each of the various disciplines, there’s always one particular model that’ll bring them the recognition they seek, and that’s their sporters. In the hands of a competent shooter there isn’t a clay target event the sporting 12 gauge can’t take on. Any decent sporting clay layout incorporates going away birds, drive..... Read More
Don MacDonald buys a tiny .22 for his boys...
Teaching a child to hunt and shoot can be a difficult task. It’s not usually a lack of enthusiasm on the child’s part, but rather the dimensions of the equipment. Many adult shooters struggle to find a firearm that fits their shooting style, so how can you possibly teach a youngster the correct fundamentals of shooting with the same equipment?
Six year-old Ben MacDonald found the Rascal comfortable to hold and shoot, unlike full-size .22 ri..... Read More
Gerry Veugelaers tells how...
Military training rifles were around well before smokeless powder found its way onto the scene more than 100 years ago, and the .22 long rifle cartridge, that also started out way back then, is still ideally at home in these platforms.
TOP: CMMG 20” upper with 4x IOR M2 scope and Knight’s guards.
Bottom: Gerry’s M4 with home made barrel, modified Ciener kit, 4x ACOG optics, Magpul guards and a Gunworks Canterbury suppressor.
While most training rifle..... Read More
5-8 June 2015
I first hunted the Waipakihi in my late teens with a trip over the Urchin Track down into the valley. Although tent-bound for a couple of days due to heavy rain, during the one fine spell I managed to shoot an 8-point red stag just inside the bush edge directly opposite Thunderbolt Creek’s confluence with the river. Apart from that trip, I have only hunted the lower reaches of the Waipakihi on two other occasions.
The Waipakihi River flows through the western flank of the Kai..... Read More
22-25 March 2015
It had been a few years since I last visited the Kawekas. My last trip was a week long hunt at Mangatainoka Hut with my mate Scotty and brother-in-law John in 2012. Prior to that I had done several other trips into Ngaawapurua, Harkness and Gorge Tops.
For this trip I chose to walk a loop beginning at Makahu Road and linking up Middle Hill, Ballard and Makino Huts along the way. Taking a break from the bush stalking, the plan was spend time glassing the open country a..... Read More