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
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
A late April hunt in the Kaimanawa mountains.
After a couple of roar trips hunting dense bush valleys, Scotty and I thought it was time for a change. After speaking with Riley, an ex-pilot from Heli-sika, we ended up booking a block that offered more open terrain.
I’ve always enjoyed visiting and exploring new country and after spending some time on Google Earth and pouring over the associated Topo50 map of the area we soon came to learn that this particular block offered a bit of everythi..... Read More
6-9 February 2015
Last issue we ventured into the Southern Kaimanawas for some hunting along the Southern Access Corridor/Poled Route, this time we head in from the opposite end of the park to hunt an iconic area of the Kaimanawas; Ruatea Stream or as it is more commonly known as, 'Jap Creek'.
Ruatea Stream begins as two large gullies that join up to form one huge valley, which runs directly South into the Oamaru River. Another large valley joins the stream a little further down on the tru..... Read More