I took a transfer from work in June 2015 which brought me from Greymouth to New Plymouth. The work was an interesting change but I knew the hunting wasn't to be quite the same. However it would provide a good opportunity to see what the North Island had to offer. Taranaki was quite different to what I was used to – there was very little conservation land that held animals (other than hordes of goats). It also lacked the vast mountains and valleys of the Southern Alps which gave hunters the full wilderness experience.
I got out for a few fallow deer with some local hunters which was good to fill the freezer.
Fallow deer hunting with Dallas not long after moving up
Fallow hunting with Dallas
I soon got interested in getting after a few sika and was pointed in the right direction by a few locals. I had soon done a few trips and managed to get a few sika to my name.
My first sika stag - Kaweka's with Brian Maplesden
Yearling Sika from the Kaweka's in October
Yearling sika handbag in the Kaimanawa's on a trip with Tom - I saw 10 hunters and one deer this long weekend
I took my mate Paddy into the Kaimanawa's and he got his first deer, a nice sika stag
The weather wasn't always nice, but the gear was always up to the task
Amanda's second hunting adventure with me - not quite as successful as the first
High camp in the Kaimanawa's
Hunting high in winter
A pig walked out in front of me when coming out of the Kaweka's which was a poor decision
Silhouette in the Kaimanawa's with Cam
My first sika... well so I thought until I up close. Turns out there's reds in sika country in the Kaimanawa's! Shows how much I know about sika hunting.
I also went on a few red deer hunts in the central North Island which provided relatively successful too, but i tried to concentrate on the sika while I was in the North.
Looking for reds in the Ruahines
Campfire in the Ruahines
Red deer hunting with Scott Giltrap
Young stag taken on the first trip with my girlfriend. She spotted it actually! Freezer filled for winter.
So that ended my time up north. It was enjoyable, but I'm really looking forward to getting back into the Southern Alps. Time to start preparing for my Wapiti block.
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