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HOW FAR TO
By Scott Kunac
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand, Dunedin
he very first time lwent tahr huntingIwas
overwhelmed, not by the animals themselves but
the extreme enviromentin which they lived.
I hadn't spent a lot of time in the mountains, so was not warm and dry in extreme conditions is key to being a successful tahr hunter
really comfortable being there, I soon found out though that When you are sitting glassing for hours the last thing you want to do is head
These days there is some excellent gear you can kit yourself with to be
comfortable in the mountains, including thermal base
warm mid layers and waterproof and windproof outer garments. Being
the more you do,the more you get used to it. You learn what to expect and down because you are too cold to remain there.
therefore you become far more at ease moving around the hillside in their
part of the world.A good friend once said to me, to be a tahr hunter all you puffer jacket. They pack down small to fit in your pack for the climb up and
have to be able to do is walk up a big hill That's pretty much it in a nutshell. weigh next to nothing, but their insulation qualities are second to none.
Of course to walk up a big hill there are a few more considerations that need
to be addressed the two most important being a good level of fitness andthrough your binos than doing anything else soitis essential they are bright
having the right equipment
If you're not fit you are not going to enjoy it anywhere near as muchwithout question
and will be less likely to succeed in finding and securing the game. You p
yourself more hunting tahr than any other big game in New Zealand (other
than trying to keep up with your pig dogs).You will put yourself in situations
that go beyond your normal comfort levels and to be able to navigate
around these obstacles safely you need to be fit
Pickout the steepest, darkest gnartiest part of the mountain and, more tahr than any other big game in New
often than not, this is where you will find tahr. You don't need to get up there
with them but you will need to get into a position totake a good shot and be Lealand (other than trying to keep
able to recover the game once shot. On numerous occasions we have passed
up animals simply for the reason that if they were shot we could never
The best thing I have found for being toasty warm while glassingis a
Don't skimp on your optics either you will spend more time looking
and clear. This is one piece of gear where the more you spend the better
You push yourself more hunting
up with your pig dogs)."
Unfortunately this happens and it's just bad luck when a shot tahr falls
in a way that you couldn't have ever calculated, resulting in a situation too
dangerous to put yourself into to recover it. This is what can happen in a
mountain environment and you will learn by the experience. No smelly bull
tahr is worth risking your life over, no matter how long its horns may be.
A rangefinder is also a very useful bitof
gear as many shots will be at longer ranges
than you are normally used too. The difference
between 200 and 300 hundred metres is a hit or a miss and when you have
just dragged yourself halfway up a mountain you don't want to have to walk
back down with nothing to show for it.
For me it's not all about just shooting a big hairy mountain goat. It's
about being out there doing it, spending time with lifelong hunting mates
pushing yourself harder than you normally would and being amongst such
amazing scenery. This is why I rate tahr hunting so highly.
As you walk off the hill generally in the dark at the end of a long
tiring day, you feel a sense of achievement that can only be felt by doing
ng not everyone can do. I suppose it must be how a climber feels
after scaling an impressive mountain, not that I would liken myself to them,
but having just walked up a bloody big hill and secured a trophy bull tahci
pretty good buzz for me.
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