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
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
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