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Just back from a sika hunt in the Kaweka mountains which are located in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. Long drive and a helicopter flight to public hunting land. Sika are notoriously frustrating to hunt and they certainly ran rings around me. In fact, I didn't even see a deer in four days, but I got very close to roaring stags twice. Beautiful, but tough country to hunt. Below freezing temperatures were a challenge for this hunter from the sub-tropical far north! 

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Yes, please keep the stories coming because for those of us who have had the privelidge of visiting and hunting in NZ it brings back many superb memories of the country and the great folks who live there.  Alan Simmonds took me for one hunt after Sika and we did glimpse the tail end of two but I will never forget that day and I still have a stick here in my study made from one I cut during that hunt.   Hawkes Bay is where my distant relatives work and farm and produce some awesome wines.

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Is there a cunning reason why the door to the bivy is so high off the ground?  And appears to be over a ditch?  Or is that the "bathroom" door and you just point your backside out of it? 😆

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3 hours ago, old man said:

Kia ora bud, please keep them coming, miss NZ attitudes so much.

Chur! If I was a real Kiwi, I would have walked up and down that mountain and hunted wearing nothing but stubbies! 

1 hour ago, Jim Neal said:

Is there a cunning reason why the door to the bivy is so high off the ground?  And appears to be over a ditch?  Or is that the "bathroom" door and you just point your backside out of it? 😆

Nothing more cunning than the fact there is not enough flat land anywhere in the immediate area to build a small bivvy with all four sides touching the ground!

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1 hour ago, Houseplant said:

Nothing more cunning than the fact there is not enough flat land anywhere in the immediate area to build a small bivvy with all four sides touching the ground!

OK, interesting.... why didn't they put the door on the side where you don't need a ladder to climb up to it? 😅  In fact I've thought of a serious reason now I put my mind to it... mudslides or snowdrifts (not sure of climate)?  If the door was on the uphill side you'd be trapped in there if a mudslide came down the hill, and I suppose it's harder fro snow to trap you in like that as well.

High doorsteps aside, I had a look at the interactive map and I'm amazed how many of these huts/bivvys there are... is all that land public hunting??

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16 minutes ago, Jim Neal said:

OK, interesting.... why didn't they put the door on the side where you don't need a ladder to climb up to it? 😅  In fact I've thought of a serious reason now I put my mind to it... mudslides or snowdrifts (not sure of climate)?  If the door was on the uphill side you'd be trapped in there if a mudslide came down the hill, and I suppose it's harder fro snow to trap you in like that as well.

High doorsteps aside, I had a look at the interactive map and I'm amazed how many of these huts/bivvys there are... is all that land public hunting??

I'm not an expert by any means, but there is usually some practical Kiwi thinking behind these designs, so probably something along those lines. Lots of huts in the mountainous areas and usually little, or no cost to stay in them. The hunting is also free of charge on public land.

The dark green and brown areas on the map below show the current open public land hunting areas. There is more land available, but hunting maybe more restricted for various reasons. As you can see, where I live in the far north, there are fewer opportunities, but there are smaller forests that hold goats and pigs. 

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It's such a weird thing for us in the UK to get our heads around, that you can literally just chuck your gear in the truck and say "Right, I'm going here".  Do you have to wear those garish hi-vis clothes that they have in America?

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1 hour ago, Jim Neal said:

It's such a weird thing for us in the UK to get our heads around, that you can literally just chuck your gear in the truck and say "Right, I'm going here".  Do you have to wear those garish hi-vis clothes that they have in America?


That is one of the best things about living here, plus the relatively ease of getting a firearms license, even after Christchurch. Fishing is very good too. I've got a 1 hour drive to the nearest public forest that I can hunt on. It's just goats, but I enjoy goat hunting. As you say, just throw a rifle and a few other bits in the truck and off you go.

There is no requirement to wear high visibility clothing on public land, but it might be prudent to do so in popular areas during the roar. Given the lack of regulation, accidents do happen.

 

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On 22/04/2021 at 22:32, Houseplant said:

Chur! If I was a real Kiwi, I would have walked up and down that mountain and hunted wearing nothing but stubbies! 

Nothing more cunning than the fact there is not enough flat land anywhere in the immediate area to build a small bivvy with all four sides touching the ground!

I know you ain't a real Kiwi, seem to remember you going out there?

Even the girls can slog that terrain with a Sika stag in their back pack.

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30yrs since I visited and it took me two days to recover from my tahr hunt, done on foot no heli assistance.  I see the hut up the McCauley has been upgraded from the metal shack we stayed in.  I still have my visitors firearms license which was amzingly issued in minutes by a police officer who was born in a cottage only a half mile from where I live today...small world.  Facinating country without a doubt.

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