Hi all, as I have a rare free evening i thought I would share with you my recent tahr hunting trip in New Zealand. It all started two years ago at the cla game fair when I brought a book, hunters trappers and co. The book is full of hunting stories from the authors life where he culls animals, including tahr, for the DOC. After reading the book all I could think about was hunting tahr and chamois and literally hundreds of hours wasted watching hunts on youtube later I decided that I just had to go.
I mentioned this to a mate, matt, and it turned out that he was keen to join me and eventually flights were booked. I spent ages doing reaserch into hunting on public ground as we could barely afford the flights let alone a guide, and by the time we left I felt I had a fair idea of how to go about putting a bullet in a tahr. Well we arrived in Christchurch at 1am on a Thursday and by 5pm we were just 20km from mount cook at our chosen hunting ground so we decided to have an early night ready for our next days hunting.
As it turned out I was daft to think we would be doing any hunting the next day, as it was spent hiking up into the mountains to get to a suitable location to set up camp. Before the trip I thought I was fairly fit but nz is a place of extremes, and I struggled to believe just how vast the mountains are, often we would take up to 4 hours getting to a ridge that we be leaved to be an hour away! Anyway, we had a quick camp cooked meal before another early night which to be fair we were both immensely grateful for. I was awoken early the next morning by Kia (a type of mountain parrot) screeching high above me. I booted mat to wake him up and after a hasty breakfast of musli we set of for a long day hunting, now any excitement I had soon wained as we were met with tahrless cliffs and slopes. Fatigue started to set in and blisters started to burn as we steadily gained even more altitude always aiming for a distant ridge. Now it must of been 12am by the time we slowly raised our eyes over the crest of the ridge and again we were met with disappointment at the sight of the tahrless scree slope below us. Matt started to clamber over the ride when he heard what he later described as an excited chain of whispered nonsense the cause of this was that I had seen my first tahr and he was lay 345 yards down the scree slope. He had finished his morning feed on the flats below and was in his midday bed ruminating. We both lay down but realised that there was no way at all for us to get any closer as all that lay between us and the bull was a flat and featureless scree slope. the decision was made that I would take the shot from where we were. Now before anyone sais anything I would not of taken this shot if I wasn't fully comfortable with it. I took my time, got a good rest, allowed for elevation and the steep downhill angle and squeezed of a shot into the bulls chest. The bullet seemed to take ages to arrive at its target. Then all of the sudden He leapt into the hair and then landed on his neck, stone dead. I looked at mat and for the next 5 minuets we danced around fist pumping the air laughing and cheering. I was over the moon, all the hours of slogging away up the mountain were suddenly worth it and the jog down tho the tahr seem effortless. After a few moments looking over the animal we quickly removed its hind quarters and backstraps and started on out (thankfully downhill!) journey back to camp.