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
Daniel Peat teaches his boys to shoot...
Ten years ago my wife announced she was pregnant. In the days following the initial hype and all the drama that goes with such an immense occasion, I began wondering, “What sort of rifle do I need for my child?”, a completely natural line of thinking, surely.
My research led me to the TC Contender, Generation Two, a single shot rifle system with a huge amount of versatility and a lightweight design that has benefits for younger shooters. Its barrels..... Read More
5-8 & 26-29 November 2014
I have hunted this area since my early teens and shot my first ever deer there, an 8-point sika stag. A fluke I admit, however a very special moment as it all happened while hunting together with my dad. I wrote an article about that hunt way back in issue #68.
Anyway, to kick this series off we head down to the Desert Road, its early spring and the Southern Kaimanawas should (yeah right...) just be beginning to see the first of the new growth.
The Southern..... Read More
Nik and Scotty head into the Northern Kaimanawas for some winter sika hunting...
The Kaipo Valley would have to rate as one of my all time favourite places to hunt sika. Upon first visiting the Oamaru Hut back in 1991 I knew instantly that this was a special area and one I would be visiting time and time again. I began writing about my trips into the Oamaru way back in issue #67, which is over twelve years and exactly 79 issues ago!
View across the Upper Kaipo towards the well known an..... Read More
Working a 28 days on 28 days off roster I get a bit of time for some leisure, but heading to work on the 25th of March is not ideal when you like hunting stags in the roar. One of the longest months in my life!
Suzi and Blair with two more sika heads for the collection.
Back from the shipyard in China and ready to go stag hunting, my wife Suzi had all the food and gear prepared, all I had to do was load it into her car ready for the morning. We travelled to Taupo and I took Suzi throug..... Read More
Don MacDonald buys a new rifle for South Island hunting...
In my last article on Weatherby rifles I talked about my dream of travelling to California, touring the Weatherby factory, shaking Ed Weatherby’s hand and purchasing a Mark V rifle. I still haven’t managed to save enough to get to the factory and shake Ed’s hand, although I do talk to him on the phone from time to time. But I have managed to purchase a wooden-stocked Mark V sporter in my favourite calibre, .300 Weatherby Magnum.
S..... Read More
Optics Editor Don MacDonald field tests a new pair of binos from the Austrian maestros...
Over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to review and field test top of the line Swarovski gear. This includes the Z6 riflescope and the fantastic EL range of binoculars. These items are pretty much the best of the best in terms of hunting optics, so when the NZ Ammunition Co sent me a pair of new midrange SLC 10x42s I was a bit more reserved when the green box arrived. That was until I opened it...... Read More
Three magnums, three barrels, 'one gun'...
NZG&H first reviewed the Blaser R8 Professional Tracker back in issue #135. It proved to be a fine rifle with great balance and an almost shotgun type feel to it when bringing up to the shoulder.
For those familiar with the Blaser family of firearms, feel free to jump ahead a paragraph. For those who aren’t, Blaser is a German firearm manufacturer recognised here in New Zealand for its flagship R93 Straight Pull bolt-action rifles. High qualit..... Read More
Nik, Scotty & Phill field-test a high quality spotting scope from a world-class manufacturer...
It was on one of our roar hunts into a new area last year that we saw some potential for testing a spotting scope. The wide tussock valleys, open tops and expansive clay pan faces looked ideal for some serious glassing.
Phill and Scotty (Right) searching for sika with the Swarovski ATX 25-60x85. Phill found the spotter and tripod setup comfortable for extended periods of glassing.
Dur..... Read More
A Remington 700 is a rifle I know I should probably own. They are dependable, have proven reliability, and increasingly important for today’s trends, are easily adjustable should you want to re-barrel, re-chamber, re-trigger, re-stock or generally accurise. Why don’t I own one? I don’t really know, I just never have. I do have to admit though that after hunting with the new 700 Mountain Rifle I may have to re-think this in the near future, especially considering the places I hunt in.
The..... Read More
Wellington Service Rifle shooter Gerry Veugelaers checks out the latest model...
Windham is not a name that grabs the average shooter’s attention first hand. In fact, it sounds more like a Subway sandwich than an AR15, but once you know that the Windham factory once made Bushmaster firearms, I trust you will take a lot more notice.
Bushmaster shifted its manufacturing to New York but the original owner of Bushmaster, Richard Dyke, decided not to let the Windham plant die and created Windha..... Read More
Matthew Cameron does some testing –
A question that occurs with regularity on internet forums is whether 5.56x45 NATO ammunition (the military version of the .223) can be fired in sporting .223 chambers and vice versa. (Ed: see the “Ask the Experts” column in our last issue, #138).
Both rounds became popular because of cheap surplus military brass and the many commercial rifles available, making the .223 the most reloaded cartridge in the Western World.
The highest velocity BM 2 loa..... Read More
A class act from one of Italy’s oldest gunmakers...
I’ve always had a liking for all things Italian; their cars, their motorcycles, and their guns, so when Steve Boyd of The Mai Mai Supplies Ltd offered NZG&H the opportunity to examine and testfire the new range of Zoli rifles he’s importing, it didn’t take me long to head down to his home and pick one up.
Steve and his partner Catherine Park operate their business from a pleasant rural property in the hills above Katikati in the Bay ..... Read More
Nik Maxwell reviews the latest offering from master gun makers Mauser...
When Hugh Bradley (Stager Sport Ltd) rang to say he had a Mauser M 12 chambered in 6.5x55 (fantastic cartridge!) for NZG&H to review, to say I was excited would have been an understatement. I have always had a fascination with Mausers, and for me they personify the ultimate in a classic and well-crafted rifle.
I have shot several Mauser-actioned rifles, and my own main hunting rifle is a Mauser 98 Husqvarna chambe..... Read More
When it all goes to custard, you need a PLB...!
A day on the tops, sun shining, crisp white snow, feeling great, a bull Tahr trophy head on your back after a perfect shot. This is the life! But then suddenly heading for home, you’re tired, you miss your footing, you slide down a small bluff – this is going to hurt, immediate pain in your leg, you can’t move it, warm red blood running down your face. Not feeling so great now.
Don chose this ACR because it’s the lightest unit on the mar..... Read More
Nik begins testing a pair of hunting boots from legendary footwear makers, Meindl...
One of the more important purchases you can make in regard to your hunting gear is your boots. Your feet do the walking and it’s your boots that separate your feet from the ground, so it’s important to get boots that will handle the inevitable abuse you will deliver to them.
Over the years (I seem to say that often these days, a sign of getting older I am sure...) I have worn several brands of boots and wh..... Read More
Joshua Leckie’s first successful tahr hunt...
These school holidays Dad decided to take my brother Angus and I on a hunting trip. He thought that the Hopkins Valley at the top end of lake Ohau would be a great place to go. As soon as Dad got home from his night shift on Thursday morning we had a quick breakfast then packed the truck and headed off.
Crossing the Hopkins River.
After the long drive from Mosgiel we were pretty happy to stop for lunch at Omarama, then It was back into t..... Read More
James Passmore hunts one of the South’s most iconic valleys...
The walk over the McKellar Pass pass into the Caples, carrying my overloaded Macpac up Pass Creek and over the Greenstone saddle, was a gut buster. This was getting there the long way and it meant driving myself on quivering thighs.
At the edge of my hunting block in the Upper Caples, right here at the saddle, I stopped to take stock. This was not the opentop tussock country I had hoped for; it was wet ground, snowgrass and ree..... Read More
Craig Maylam and daughter Emma out in the field with the Marlin XT...
With an all-up weight of just 5-1/2lbs, Marlin’s “youth” rifle lives up to its name.
My wife and I have two children, and regular readers of my articles will quickly recognise our son James. Emma, our daughter, had not yet been bitten by the hunting bug and that was okay by me, but when I took both kids to the Tahr Show for a look around Emma spotted some .22 rimfire youth rifles and wanted one! I would have bought o..... Read More