NZ Bull Tahr Hunt and Berger Performance

hugheserj

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Joined
Nov 14, 2018
Messages
56
Location
New Zealand
Just back from a recent hunt in South Westland, New Zealand for Bull Tahr on public land. We flew in and self guided (which is mostly the norm for locals here) for a week.
We stayed in an MIA tent which I cant recommend enough for anyone that can fly or 4x4 to their camp (maybe packhorse too?).

Anyway, after waiting a few days for the weather to clear we got a window to fly and were very pleased to have five good days of weather ahead of us.

I have recently had a 30 Nosler built which I may do a separate post on, but I was looking forward to seeing how this rifle performed. We walked for up to 10km and climbed 1000m vertical each day and passed up a lot of bulls along the way that were either too young or would not be accessible to recover if we shot them in the steep country.

On the last morning we found a decent bull and as my mate had shot a good trophy last year, it was my turn to pull the trigger and try out the 30 Nosler. The rifle was outstanding and although I was only shooting at 200m TBR (steep downhill) I was able to spot the impact. I've had this Zeiss V8 for a while on a few rifles over the years so I'm very comfortable with this scope. The 230gr Berger OTM did everything I'd hoped for. The bull was instantly dead, not a kick or even a twitch. This is important as bull tahr are renowned for being hard to kill and will often run off cliffs or into unrecoverable spots once hit. The mushroomed projectile was sitting under the offside skin and I weighed the retained mass at around 80gr.

The bull ended up being 10.5 years old and only had 3 teeth left, making a trophy I can be proud of.

Happy to do a separate thread on the rifle build and pros/cons of what I selected if that's of interest.
 

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Slick8

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
704
Location
The Republic of Texas
Great story and trophy. Congrats.

I'm shooting the 230's from a 30 Nosler as well. I didn't realize those critters were so tough as to soak up a 230 but at close range the retained velocity likely made it pretty explosive.

I'd like to see a build thread. Great looking rifle.
 

D$tring

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Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
60
Location
Idaho
That is one of my dream hunts! I hope they don’t try to wipe them out like they have been doing to the red stag as “invasive species”. They have been there a long time and adapted well, and as far as I know haven’t pushed any other species into endangerment, because their niche is so unique that nothing was there for competition.
 

dmj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
952
Congratulations. Nice trophy. Great story. Sounds like a nice rifle, will look forward to hearing more about it.
 

hugheserj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2018
Messages
56
Location
New Zealand
That is one of my dream hunts! I hope they don’t try to wipe them out like they have been doing to the red stag as “invasive species”. They have been there a long time and adapted well, and as far as I know haven’t pushed any other species into endangerment, because their niche is so unique that nothing was there for competition.
Unfortunately, they have been trying to completely wipe them out from the national parks and have been targeting all animals including bulls. Outside the national parks they have been targeting the nannies to reduce the breeding and in some areas the males are looking pretty lonely this year without many nannies around to mate with.

Overall, its looking like the helicopter culling hasn't been 100% successful, but the attack from above is changing animal habits, so its less likely that old trophy bulls will be found out on the tops like in the past and more likely they will be found in the scrub where they can quickly find cover and avoid helicopters.

The government is now looking at employing ground hunters to chase the tahr in the scrub....
 

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