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Wild Food Harvest (NZ)


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I haven't done any serious hunting or fishing for a while. Back in April, I was invited to go on a goat "hunting" trip on a farm in the middle of the North Island. In short, it was really a goat culling exercise. In 3 days, we must have seen over a thousand goats which was an eye opener! There were goats everywhere, even on the side of the state highway. I came back with 25kg of processed meat, so my desire and need to hunt waned. Secondly, we bought a boat, so have spent a bit of time getting used to the new vessel and rigging it rather than doing any serious fishing. Fast forward to now and we have eaten all the meat and fish we had in the freezer. Time to harvest! 

Family fishing on Saturday. Boat is pretty much setup now and ready to go. It even has it's own captain!


Nice smooth launch, no drama! We saw dolphins on the way out which always makes everyone happy.


My boy was straight on to a fish. His little fibreglass rod held up well!




Lots of good quality fish came aboard and it didn't take long to catch what we needed. After that, we picked up some friends and took them for a boat ride to see the resident seal colony. They seemed to enjoy themselves!



Goat hunt on Sunday. Back to my favourite spot. Very pleased to see some animals on farm land adjoining the bush. I stalked them using the topography, but the wind was in the wrong direction and got winded. Came up over a gully to see them trotting away. Could have got a shot off, but they were on the move and it didn't feel right, so held back. What could have been a very short hunt became a whole morning.


In to the bush... I've written about this spot before. Goats have caused so much damage to the vegetation that it's actually quite easy to navigate.


No trouble finding a trail to follow!



Found a small herd of animals and waited for a clear shot on a kid. Success!


Unfortunately, I got the angle slightly wrong and the projectile went straight through the kid and in to the rear leg of a much larger animal causing quite a lot of damage. She obviously required a finishing shot. Not a situation that has happened to me before and not something I want to repeat, but I wasn't going to let her go to waste, so she was processed in the bush.


After getting organised, I started heading home. Interestingly, found some good wild boar sign. They are almost impossible to hunt in the bush without dogs, but I'll probably come across one at some point. In the future, I may even shoot a goat and use the remains as bait while sitting it out. 


Lots of goats seen on the walk out, even a couple of very young animals within touching distance! I left them in peace with their mother watching in the background.


Final stage of meat processing at home.







Edited by Houseplant
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55 minutes ago, Whitebridges said:

Thanks for your news and pictures Houseplant. We had six weeks in New Zealand both on the North and South Islands around January 2017. It's fabulous and I can't say a bad thing about it. Every garage sells bait and used a frozen sardine to catch this Eagle Ray from Wellington harbour. 



That's cool. Those eagle rays give you a run for your money once hooked! Here's my wife battling one from the beach.


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21 hours ago, Houseplant said:


That's cool. Those eagle rays give you a run for your money once hooked! Here's my wife battling one from the beach.

A Kiwi lad helped me land mine and bring it up the harbour wall. He said it weighed about 7lb. You wifes fish looks a fair bit bigger and yes they really do fight hard.

I bought a rod and reel in NZ for about 40 dollars (twenty quid-ish) and rather than have the hassle of geeting it home I gave the gear to a young lad who was fishing with his Dad. Made up he was, a big smile on his face.   


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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, nobbyathome said:

are there any natural predators that would take out any of the goats in nz ?  

No, none, bar some small populations of extremely feral dogs in isolated areas which are shot on sight. So, we have a problem. Remote and inaccessible forests full of deer, goats and pigs and no natural means of control. While I strongly believe that game animals are a resource that should be cherished, I accept that there needs to be some population control, if nothing else for the health of the herd. Recreational hunters like me take some, professional cullers take many more and an even greater number are poisoned. Please don't suggest introducing bears, wolves or mountain lions. It has been talked about and then someone realised that wild animals are fast, whereas sheep are slow 😀

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10 hours ago, nobbyathome said:

no i would never suggest bringing in an alien species to control them just envious of your shooting and wish i was there 

You'd be welcome. If you were ever in the north of the country, I'd take you for a fish and hunt. Can almost guarantee an animal now. In my early days, it was a struggle. Fish are no problem, you can catch as many of those as you like 😀

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