2002 NEWS LETTER
JOHN BERRY SEASON REPORT
Like the rest of the world, New Zealand as a whole and the tourist industry in particular suffered the aftermath of September 11 and the subsequent down turn of the US economy. However for those hunters who took a "Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead" attitude and travelled anyway, the hunting they experienced was of a high standard.
Our (NZ) Red Stags continue to reach greater and greater size year by year, trophies that were listed in the top of the SCI record book years ago, now would hardly raise an eyebrow! Hunters are routinely walking past stags that 10 years ago would have had them experiencing a bad case of "Buck Fever". I am not sure just how big the limit is, but for sure we have not seen the biggest of them yet!
Likewise a few huge bull Thar appear each year, that these old monsters continue to elude hunters until they become truly world class trophies, is a constant source of amazement to me. It demonstrates the adaptability of these animals to cope with an almost continuous hunting pressure.
They are certainly a worthwhile adversary for any serious mountain hunter and make a wonderful addition to any hunter's collection with their great, flowing, winter coat. Even hunters who did not take a "Monster" enjoyed hunting their trophy in the grandeur of our "Southern Alps" and got to take home good specimens of the species.
We are indeed fortunate to have access to top quality private hunting areas as well as extensive concessions on public land for Thar and Chamois hunts, giving us the ability to "tailor make" the hunt to any hunter's abilities and requirements.
Hunt New Zealand continues to support the "Game & Forest Foundation", which is an affiliation of SCI, NZ Deerstalkers Assn, Game Estates Assn and NZ Professional Guides, in its efforts to have Thar recognised as a resource to be looked after and protected. We commend to you the various fundraising schemes that support this organisation including the SCI "Voluntary Hunting Licence and Thar Tag " scheme. (We have these licences and tags available.)
All our old friends and associates were involved again this past season and I would like to thank: "Mt Hutt Lodge", "Mt Hutt Homestead", "Tyrone Farmstay" as well as "Terrace Downs" for their help in looking after our clients. Mt Hutt Helicopters supplied the transport requirements to access our wilderness concessions, again the service was faultless - well done Blair.
Our main hunting area continues to be based on "High Peak" and this game estate continues to provide excellent hunting for Red Stag, Wapiti and Fallow. Close to Christchurch Airport (45 minutes drive), this ideal base means hunters can be hunting the afternoon they arrive in New Zealand. It also provides close access to our Thar and Chamois areas.
Of course the business would not have worked without my guides - thanks Ron Spanton, Don Greig, Mark Jones, Chris Bilkey, Mike Wilks and Stan Peterson. You all did a great job again. As true professionals I knew you would!
2002 also saw a change in the other people involved in Hunt New Zealand - My daughter Sonia joined the team, working in the office, meeting clients and also helping with non hunting companions, taking them on sight seeing and shopping excursions. She is looking forward to an increased role in 2003.
We are all ready to get started on the 2003 season and are looking forward to helping a whole new group of hunters to enjoy the experience of hunting in New Zealand.
What can I say about New Caledonia that would be new? It is still the greatest free range deer hunting place in the world! World class trophies, warm tropical weather, fine French Polynesian food, easy terrain and lots of deer - hunting heaven! I had my say about it last year so this year I will leave it up to Bob to give his impressions.
BOB PENFOLD SEASON REPORT
I agree with John. We have developed the best wild and free deer hunting opportunity in the world. After having hunted every deer in North America, in the South Pacific, in Asia, Europe and Scandinavia myself, I still believe that our hunts for big Rusa stags in the rut in New Caledonia are the best deer hunts in the world.
(General) Craig Boddington agrees with us. Craig, who has hunted with us on several previous occasions, hunted New Caledonia Rusa with us during 2001. In his writings since that time he has commented favorably on the high quality of the hunt, the guides, the accommodation and services we provide. They are all simply the best.
Imagine hunting in a tropical paradise, seeing hundreds of deer with numerous trophy size stags each day. You will be staying in a nice country hotel dining on fresh seafood direct from the ocean at our doorstep. You can stand in the darkness before daybreak and listen to the stags roaring and fighting over the pleasures of their ladies. To locate, to stalk and to take a monster Rusa stag in this most scenic location is the most thrilling and fulfilling challenge in the world of deer hunting today.
On calm clear nights, you can hear the stags roaring in the distant hills, which surround the village in which we stay. This is a deer hunter's paradise.If you are a serious deer hunter, then you should not miss this opportunity. Contact us for more information.
Throughout 2002 we continued to expand and to modernize our Gan Gan Buffalo hunting camp. Our hunters and guides were amazed to take so many monster Buffalo from this area that we are still exploring. While we are reaching more remote areas each year, the huge old bulls still present themselves in increasing numbers and trophy size. We still have more than 50% of the area as yet unexplored, so there will be great Buffalo hunting in this area for years to come.
Wild Boars are multiplying in numbers each year in the Buffalo area. Now there are many where just a few years ago there were just a few. Numerous trophy Boars have been taken by our huntersfor the trophy fee only, while hunting buffalo.
Our average for Buffalo bulls this season exceeded 100 SCI points again. We took numerous bulls that scored 105 to 107 SCI. This is simply the best place to take huge Buffalo bulls in Australia today. Some days we see hundreds of Buffaloes.Hunting this remote tropical wonderland with its millions of birds of numerous variety, with the immense floodplains, crocodiles, Wild Boars and Buffalo that make this area home, really is a big game adventurers dream come true.
ADVANCED PRACTICAL SHOOTING SCHOOL AND FERAL GAME CULLING
We have taken great delight during 2002 in hosting some new "Shooting School" hunters and we enjoyed the experience of assisting some of our longer term shooting school hunters to attain their dreams of becoming true experts in the field.
The Advanced Practical Shooting School segment of our business is continuing to expand and we look forward to assisting more hunters achieve their dreams in this field during 2003.Can you shoot a running game animal in the head with consistency? We can show you how. Ask some of our former hunters listed under the shooting school page in this website.
WATERVALLEY GAME RANCH HUNTS
We explored this area when it was first established and when the area was quite small compared to the 300,000 acres which the complex encompasses today. Now the deer have multiplied and spread out to the far corners of this working sheep and cattle ranch.
The deer have aged and roam truly wild and free. Now that this area represents a truly great hunting opportunity, we have begun operating hunts there almost all year round.
Rare Asiatic deer species in Sambar, Javan Rusa, Axis and Hog deer can be readily hunted in this area and in other nearby game ranches. There are big Red Stags, Fallow deer, Elk and even Buffalo available in this huge area.
We have a nice house right in the middle of the ranch area, which has all of the modern facilities that make this camp a home away from home. The free ranging deer are often seen right from the front porch. The hunting is by driving into remote locations in a 4WD then stalking on foot. Extensive glassing to locate big trophies is the way to save your legs a lot of work.
We will soon have a separate web page set up to show the results of the hunts that we have conducted there. The hunting is great and the experience is fantastic. We allow family members of our hunters to hunt for trophy fees only if you would like to share the hunting with your wife or children. Try it. You will like this hunt.
We established our camp at Dorisvale Station 14 years ago. At first we culled the huge population of feral donkeys and hunted the numerous big trophy Wild Boars that roamed the area.While we still have the donkeys under control, Dorisvale has suffered an explosion in numbers of pigs and feral horses. We are under instruction from the owner to make serious reductions during the 2003 season.
From our fully equipped tent camp, we will be making special add-on offers to hunters who are hunting other species with us during 2003 only. If you would like to assist with this reduction project, then we invite you to contact us for further details.
Before concluding this annual report, I would like to thank the staff who supported us during the 2002 season. Some of these guides made themselves available at short notice, however all of them did a great professional job for us.They are Gary Harvey, Kevin Rayner, Les King, Grant Robinson and Peter Harding who joined us from New Zealand. A very special thank you for the hard work and dedication that you all provided to make our season so successful from Kay and I. Wendy joined us mid year and proved to be a great cook and hard working member of the team. We look forward to having her permanently in our camps in 2003.
HUNT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD