June 2017 New Zealand HuntPartway along our stalk we encountered a quality fallow deer. Cam said I should shoot it because they are more elusive than red stag. However, it disappeared over the top of the hill, so we continued on toward the red stag.
They kept moving ahead of us. We circled around another large hill and found them grazing in a small valley 300 yards away. Cam recommended I shoot the one with the drop tines. He staggered on the first shot and went down on the second. I was amazed at how large he was. It was dark by the time we caped him out and got back to the car. We spent the night at the motel in Omarama.
We went back the next day, Friday June 23, to look for the fallow deer. After several hours of hiking, we located them in a ravine 200 yards away. Lying prone, I rested my gun on my pack, and I fired when he cleared the brush broadside. He staggered with the first shot and dropped with the second shot.
Cam noticed some wallaby 500 yards away. He said they are considered pests and should be eliminated, and asked if I wanted to try a shot. I dialed the turret to 500 and fired. Cam said it was his highlight of the trip to watch the vapor trail of the bullet end in a dead wallaby.
We caped out the fallow deer after taking pictures. I carried the horns and cape and Cam carried the meat. We checked out of the motel and went back to Wanaka. This time I stayed at the Wanaka Lodge on the east side of the lake.
I had two days left to hunt and Carla offered duck hunting, but I told her I preferred to hunt for chamois or Arapawa Ram or to fish, since I get a lot of duck hunting opportunities back home. She went out of her way and arranged for Sean to take me up a mountain near Luggate, which is where the red stag industry got started, on Saturday, June 24, to hunt for a ram. He had spotted them there before and we soon located a flock – which in New Zealand is called a mob. They were 400 yards away in heavy brush.
They disappeared, then to our delight they reappeared 125 yards away. I chose a dark ram with curled horns and my shot dropped him. Sean said he was lying there with his feet in the air, but as we approached he got up and I had to shoot him again. Sean said they are tough. After pictures we headed back along the Klutha River, which he said had more trout per mile than any other river in New Zealand.
Sunday June 25 - One day left and my hope was that Carla could arrange for me to hunt chamois. The weather for the previous four days had been intermittent rain, fog, and low clouds. My last day dawned clear and calm. That afternoon’s helicopter hunt did not have the turbulence that my previous one had. We located several chamois and eventually saw one which my guide, Ewan, felt was a good specimen.
We scrambled out of the helicopter but could not get a steady rest in the high grass and snow as the chamois ran off. When the helicopter came back we scrambled in and flew off to a better landing site. We bailed out and the helicopter took off. We found a large rock to steady the gun on. Ewan said it was 250 yards. I dialed that on the turret and steadied the crosshairs on the front shoulder. The chamois dropped dead with one shot.
Ewan had to climb up the cliff to retrieve the chamois. He commented that it was in the top 3 of all the chamois (25) shot this year. Flying back to base allowed me to enjoy the beautiful view of the snowcapped mountains and lakes and rivers. My dream of the New Zealand grand slam was fulfilled all on free range hunts.Sep 3, 2017 | Updated: Sep 5, 2017