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Houseplant

Adventures in New Zealand...

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Posted (edited)

Finally, some hunting to report. A pleasant morning wild goat hunting on private farmland with a friend. To add some context, goats (as well as deer and pigs) are considered a pest species in New Zealand, so no season, or other laws relate to hunting them on private land. There are rules for hunting on public land, but these are concerned with public safety rather than animal preservation or welfare. Many in public office, not to mention farmers would like to see these animals eradicated. 

It was a sunny start to our day. We headed toward hill country pastures close to dense bush where goats often frequent.

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We came to a valley, sheltered from the wind which contained a large number of animals. 

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We chose our targets carefully, selecting smaller animals as they are better eating. Not much different from lamb. I used my 7mm08 and distance was around 120 metres. We also knocked over a couple of larger animals to keep the farmer happy, but neither of us wanted to keep shooting just for the sake of it.

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Eventually a weather front stopped play. Goats like rain even less than I do, and generally disappear back in to the bush when it starts hammering down.

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A good morning's hunting and a few leg roasts for the freezer.

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Edited by Houseplant

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Hobbits are protected. It would look bad for tourism if we went hobbit hunting. Orcs on the other hand...

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Brings back many happy memories, thanks for sharing and yes, I agree, young goat backstraps take some beating.

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Posted (edited)

A quick fishing trip today. There was a small window of time between getting home from work and a big weather front hitting our coastline. I went out with the sole purpose of catching dinner for tonight. I decided that once I had caught one legal fish, I would turn around and come home. The sea was already sloppy when I arrived and the fish were hard to find, so I wasn't hopeful! I got a bite on the slow jig and it turned out to be a nice gurnard, a good eating species. Success!

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Edited by Houseplant

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Gurnard are superb eating. I used to catch quite a few off the Cornish coat here in the UK. My colleagues also and they would not take them home. All the better for me.  That one looks a cracker.

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Posted (edited)

Last weekend was the annual trout fishing competition on our "local" lakes. Compared to the rest of New Zealand, trout fishing in Northland is poor, but the lakes hold trout that have grown large by feeding on crayfish. They are natural sand dune lakes with crystal clear water that is over 30 metres deep in places.  

The competition ran over two days and 68 people entered. Fly fishing and spinning were allowed, as well as bait fishing with certain restrictions. You might think the trout would be easy to catch on bait, but this definitely isn't the case and it is an open competition in this respect. 

With bright conditions, most anglers found the fishing hard, but I was eventually rewarded with a 1.1kg (2.4lb) male rainbow in great condition. This was followed by a slightly larger female which was enough to secure second prize. 

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On the second day, my little boy joined me and managed to land an eel. Freshwater eels in New Zealand grow to a huge size, comparable to conger. Unlike their European counterparts, they are very aggressive and feed quite happily during the day. 

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Some of the trout were barbecued on a cedar plank (with oysters for good measure!), and the remainder were prepared as gravad lax.

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Edited by Houseplant

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What a superb way to spend time with your son, it’s lunch time here and l’m just deciding what’s going to be on the menu.

Nothing as fresh as what your showing that’s a promise.

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A great read Houseplant ! Thank you for posting. 

The wife and i had 5 weeks in NZ in 2017 and toured both the North and South Islands. Fantastic country and the Kiwi people are great outdoorsmen.

Where do you live in NZ? Sorry if i've missed this.   

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Whitebridges, no worries, I'm glad you enjoyed NZ. I live in Northland. Deer hunting and trout fishing are very limited, but we have pigs, goats and small game. The weather is milder and the saltwater fishing is world class.

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8 hours ago, Houseplant said:

Whitebridges, no worries, I'm glad you enjoyed NZ. I live in Northland. Deer hunting and trout fishing are very limited, but we have pigs, goats and small game. The weather is milder and the saltwater fishing is world class.

Cricket's pretty good too. second best in the world I'd say...

Is there any mass attempt to eradicate the goats? They're not native are they, and the Kiwis are experts at island eradication!

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Posted (edited)

Most people seem in good spirits about the cricket. NZ did better than expected, what an amazing final!

I'm very sad to say that goats, pigs, thar, chamois and deer (7 species) are on the official eradication list, as well as small game, and animals you would recognise as vermin. All non-domestic, non-farmed mammals (apart from bats) are considered pests! 

Edited by Houseplant

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My Grandson, who is cricket mad, is moving to Dunedin, South Island, from the UK in August. 

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I hope he doesn't mind the cold too much! If he's an outdoorsman, he'll get a lot out of living down there, plus he'll enjoy the sport. 

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On 23/06/2019 at 03:44, Houseplant said:

Chasing the big ones again today...

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I love seeing the children catching wrasse. That’s how I start all of the grandchildren 

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On 20/07/2019 at 18:01, Dave at kelton said:

I love seeing the children catching wrasse. That’s how I start all of the grandchildren 

Thanks Dave. Wrasse are always willing! These are spotted wrasse, not so different from wrasse found in Europe. We call them spotties.

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Great thread 

realy interesting hearing about a sporting life on the other side of the world 😊👍 

please keep us updated 

all the best 

of 

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Posted (edited)

On Saturday, I took my son Alex on his first hunting trip. He is nearly five and has really turned a corner in the last month in terms of behaviour and concentration. After we secured the final go-ahead from mum, we went off to a friend's farm in the hope of bagging a rabbit or two.

It was a fine winter's day.

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Alex was given the role of spotter which he enjoyed.

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It didn't take long to work out that there weren't any rabbits about, but we spotted some turkeys in the distance. We made our way over to them using the hills as cover. Unfortunately, we were joined by the farmer's dog Fred. He has hunting dog blood lines, but hasn't had any training and scared the birds away as we got close to them!  A little disappointed, we made our way back to the farmhouse. I tied Fred up and we went off again.

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We came across another mob of turkeys and edged closer, again using the geography to our advantage. Alex was pretty excited during the "stalk". We managed to get within 50 metres of the birds and I decided it was time for a shot. A 22LR subsonic to the base of the neck did the business and I sent Alex off to retrieve the bird.

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We prepared the bird straight away. I wanted Alex to recognise this is an important part of hunting. Despite being quite big birds, there isn't much meat on them; no bigger than a supermarket chicken when plucked. Based on previous experience, the legs aren't worth the effort being lean and tendinous, so I breasted the bird out.

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When we got home, we prepared the breast meat for dinner and made Kentucky Fried Turkey (KFT).

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As the final part of Alex's education for the day, I wanted him to learn that we don't kill animals just for fun. We hunt to eat (and occasionally for pure pest control when requested). As I have said in previous posts, we shoot or fish for all of our meat and fish, we don't buy either from the supermarket.

Alex enjoyed his turkey dinner and slept very well that night!   

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Edited by Houseplant

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That's just as is should be, a dad passing on knowledge, skill and respect of fieldsports to his children! In the UK successive governments have given in to pressure from various sources to regulate shooting and fishing........the result is they are squeezing the life out it!........mandatory catch and release fishing, regulation of shooting using strict licence conditions, our kids and grandkids will never have the freedoms and enjoyment of the countryside we had!

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Alex had a busy weekend. Sunday was fishing trip on my friend's boat. 

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It was a glorious winter's day. The temperature reached 18 degrees C and the sea was flat calm.

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We visited the seals who were in a playful mood.

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First goal of the day was to catch live baits. I left my friend Tom and Alex to it. Tom has been experimenting with different ways of catching them. His latest invention, a drop net combined with burley (groundbait) was reasonably effective.

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We motored off to one of our favourite reefs and Tom fished with live bait or cut bait, while I stuck with my favourite lure. Luckily for me, the fish were in to lures today and I landed the first fish, a solid snapper of around 6lb.

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Many others followed,  most falling to my lures. Tom persisted with bait fishing and caught a colourful collection of fish; some good table fish, others less so!

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We fished until sunset, then headed home.

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Mate has a Hunterway, only thing it’s good at is xxxxxxx other dogs, last litter was 13, otherwise he’s a daft as a bunch of frogs.

Good looking breed though.

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Posted (edited)

I haven't done anything of interest for over a month and fish/meat supplies are getting low 😢

Weather and sea conditions have been awful. There was a weather window this morning which I jumped through with enthusiasm! Sea was relatively tame, but it was a dull, overcast day. Not too inspiring and the fish weren't really in the mood. I managed one decent snapper and three smaller models, all on lures. At least we will be eating fresh fish this week!

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Edited by Houseplant

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