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  • Writer's pictureAussieJohn

An Unforgettable Tahr Hunt in New Zealand's South Island.

An Unforgettable Tahr Hunt in New Zealand's South Island

In June 2024, my good friends Bruce and Becky Hunnicutt from Texas, USA, and I embarked on an exhilarating mission to hunt free-range tahr in the South Island of New Zealand. Our adventure was organized by Mike Biemond from Real Kiwi Hunting Outfitters, promising an unforgettable experience.


We both arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, where we were warmly welcomed by Real Kiwi Hunting Outfitter guide Nat. From there, we traveled to their modern and comfortable lodge in Fairlie, a scenic town located about four hours south of Christchurch. It was wonderful to reunite with Becky and Bruce. We caught up, swapped stories, and enjoyed a delicious dinner and drinks together.


The Hunt Begins

The next morning, we rose early, eager to start glassing for game. With eagle eyes, we quickly spotted tahr. Owner and head guide Mike had his sights set on an old bull tahr perched high on a rim. It was an excellent location for the tahr but posed a significant challenge for us. After 20 minutes of careful planning, we devised a side-on stalk with the wind in our favor. The terrain was steep, and I was grateful for my trekking poles, which made the ascent manageable. Fifty minutes later, we were within shooting range, but unfortunately, I missed the shot. It was a humbling moment and a chance to reflect on the experience.


Success on the Second Day

The next day, despite feeling sore, I was determined. We ventured up another mountain, and it wasn't long before Mike spotted a couple of old bulls on the opposite side, about 450 yards away. With ample time to set up and undetected by the tahr, I took my shot.


The first shot went high and a foot to the right, but after making wind corrections, I finally hit the bull tahr through the heart. He ran uphill ten steps before collapsing. Mike congratulated me on the shot, and at 69 years old, taking down a great tahr was indeed memorable.


Retrieving the tahr looked daunting, but Mike assured us he could manage. True to his word, about 45 minutes later, he appeared below with the entire tahr on his back, just like a pack. It was an impressive feat.


More Adventures and a Memorable Helicopter Ride

In the following days, I accompanied Bruce and Becky on their hunts, watching them successfully take down some fallow bucks. We only had one clear day for our highly anticipated helicopter ride into the backcountry to hunt chamois.


Challenges in the Snow

The snow was much deeper than we anticipated, making the hunt especially difficult for Bruce. We teamed up, working together to get him into a couple of shot opportunities. Later in the afternoon, Bruce nailed a great chamois, a moment of triumph that capped off our challenging day.


This adventure in New Zealand's South Island, shared with good friends and guided by experienced hunters, will forever be etched in my memory. The thrill of the hunt, the stunning landscapes, and the camaraderie made it an experience of a lifetime. More stories from this incredible journey are yet to come.


JR Hossack  Setting For Shot On Bull Tahr
JR Hossack Setting For Shot On Bull Tahr
Eye Sight Looks Further Than It Is Range Finder 440 Yards
Eye Sight Looks Further Than It Is Range Finder 440 Yards

JR Hossack Bull Tahr Hunt June 2024
JR Hossack Bull Tahr Hunt June 2024
Owner & Head Guide Mike Biemond Packing Out My Bull Tahr
Owner & Head Guide Mike Biemond Packing Out My Bull Tahr

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