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New Zealand DIY Free Range Hunt of a Lifetime!! (Busse Content)

Discussion in 'Busse Combat Knives' started by Wilkes, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Wilkes

    Wilkes Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Ladies & Gentleman!

    I have enjoyed feeling part of your adventures here and wanted to share one of my own.
    Around mid-2015 I decided that I would organise a big hunting trip for my 30th birthday the following year. After some consideration, I decided the enter the New Zealand Wapiti ballot to try my luck. I decided that regardless of the outcome, I would still go to NZ and do a free range hunt of some sort. I called two of my closest friends who are also my hunting buddies and explained the plan – They could not have been more excited about the idea. The three of us entered the ballot. Eventually the day of the draw came and I was pretty excited… BOOM! We drew the Stillwater Block 2nd period! One of my top picks!


    This is what Fiordland looks like (Home of the only free range Wapiti/Elk herd in the Southern Hemisphere)

    I called my friends and we got excited. We started to meet up weekly and go over plan, preparation and training. The hills/mountains and forest were going to be one of the greatest challenges of our lives and I wanted to make sure we were all ready for it. I made contact with the hunters going into the same block for the other two periods and also the team going in at the same time. I researched and read everything I could find on Elk/Wapiti and made several calls and enquiries to make the best possible plans. One hunter I spoke with had drawn that block 3 times and gave me a huge amount of info. I priced up Helicopter drop-ins and made plans A through E by pouring over topographical maps and hunting reports… I stepped up my daily training routine. We were going to be as ready for this adventure as we possibly could be.

    Gear Dump

    I organised a preparation hunt in the Alpine National Park in Victoria, Australia. We hunt Sambar deer (Third biggest species behind Elk/Wapiti). I had done a 6 day backpack hunt in the mountains for Sambar the year before but never pushed very far. This time, I wanted to test my gear and my fitness.


    To be continued...
  2. Tom Kanik

    Tom Kanik Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 18, 2003
    Beautiful! I wish you the best of luck!!!:cool::thumbup:
  3. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Nice Mate !!!! Really nice !!! I am off to the North Island for 10 days out of a pack at the end of February (chasing Sika). How did the sand flys down there in Fiordland treat you ? I still have scars on my arms from them !
  4. Wilkes

    Wilkes Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Mate... No amount of warning really helps when it comes to sandflies... I have a photo coming up of the damage :D

    You will love chasing Sika. I hear they are really difficult to hunt and on Public land it's even harder. Enjoy!
  5. bullpin

    bullpin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Very cool. Want to hear more!!!!
  6. Wilkes

    Wilkes Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Top one is me – Bottom two are my hunting mates

    To be continued… Please feel free to ask questions and comment as I go.
  7. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    beautiful photos...what did ya take em with?
  8. Wilkes

    Wilkes Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Thank you! Believe it not... Most with an iphone! Some with a small Sony hand held camera and a couple with a Canon DSLR 70D. Better photos coming.
  9. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    Man. That looks like a blast! What did you do to prepare your bodies for the physical aspect of the hunt? It looks like there would be a fair amount of hiking involved.

    At some point a list of what is in your gear dump and why you chose it would be a pretty cool thing to read through.

    My experience hunting is walking about 700 yards from the farmhouse to the deer stand. Not exactly roughing it. You guys by far look to be having more fun.

    I look forward to more info on your hunt. Subscribed!
  10. Maqua


    Jan 21, 2005
    Looks awesome down there...
  11. Maqua


    Jan 21, 2005
    Looks awesome down there...
  12. TommyGun56

    TommyGun56 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    Had the pleasure of visiting New Zealand 6 years ago-One of the most scenic countries in the World-Thanks for the pictures and keep us posted on your Hunt!!!
  13. Ladams19

    Ladams19 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 7, 2015
    That looks like something from a post card, thank you for sharing. That sounds like it is seriously nice. Beautiful scenery too. I wouldn't mind going in there armed with a camera. Looks like the hunt of a lifetime. I cant wait to see the pictures. Thank you.
  14. Niddhogg


    Nov 2, 2014
    looks like an awesome trip!
  15. Brummie

    Brummie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Just watch out for the orcs over there.
  16. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
  17. Wilkes

    Wilkes Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Part 2

    The Sambar backpacking hunt was great fun and gave me plenty to think about regarding preparation.
    - It was the middle of Summer, so we were far too noisy to creep up on the nocturnal deer. I took an hour to cover 20m and it only took one leaf cracking to see the deer take off.
    - I realized I was too heavy to move at steep inclines. Fiordland mountains are close to vertical. I had to cut weight.
    - Some gear was essential and other items were just 'nice' to have. The nice stuff was out.
    - The heat prevented a lot of ground cover, but I felt with less weight and cooler conditions I could move indefinitely.

    Adjustments were made. Flights were booked. Helicopter was organised and payment pending. Donations had been made to the Wapiti foundation. Gear changed up.

    I was ready... This adventure I had dreamed of for years and spent 6 months preparing for was one month out. It occupied my every thought. Would I see a mature bull?... Can I really handle one of the wettest and harshest climates in the world? Full of nervous excitement.

    My friends called me and said we should meet and talk about the plans. What a great idea! I thought. These guys could really use some advice on a tent and sleeping gear. No matter how much they told me the weight didn't bother them, I knew better. I got together a huge amount of information from different sources on the best gear and value for money at the right weight. We sat down and I laid out all the info I had dug up and then...

    "Ughhh yeah about the hunt... We had a talk and we aren't going."

    Stunned. Heart sinking in my chest. I couldn't speak. All I could ask was why? They just didn't feel like it and figured it would be too hard.
    I won't say too much more on that but I did learn a valuable lesson that day I won't share here.

    I was the party leader of 3 and the draw rules state that you cannot change more than 50% of your hunting party. Even if I was able to find another hunting partner in time, I would change over 50% and therefore forfeit the block.

    My dream was over. No adventure for me this time around. Or.. was it really over? Continued shortly.
  18. Wilkes

    Wilkes Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    All hunting is good hunting!

    I did some running up hills and a couple prep hunts. I was in pretty good condition. But I was still very under prepared for the physical aspect of it all and that was mainly due a lack of training carrying weight. You can walk and run all day but when you put a heavy pack on, it all changes.

    Gear dump.

    Hunt Clothing
    Kryptek Merino Long Sleeve shirt
    Kryptek lightweight pants
    Kryptek Waterproof Koldo Jacket & Pants
    First Lite Beanie
    Kryptek Neck and face gaiter - Left behind
    Waterproof gloves – Left behind
    Kifaru Synthetic fill Cold Weather Jacket with hoodie
    Waterproof Hiking Boots
    2 x pairs of Merino socks. One for hunting and one for camp
    Merino top and bottom for camp

    Camping kit
    Tent – Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 with ground sheet
    Fly – Left behind
    Sleeping bag – Enlightened Equipment Revelation (Minus 12 Celcius)
    Sleeping Pad – Therm-A-Rest XTherm
    Pillow - Cocoon

    Accessory kit
    Main Head torch – Black Diamond Storm
    Emergency head torch – Left behind
    GPS/Radio – Garmin (rhino)
    Emergency fire starting kit
    Small first aid kit (bandage, panadol, space blanket etc)
    Toiletries (toothbrush, basically nothing)

    Hunting kit
    Rifle with sling - 300WSM Kimber Montana
    Ammo (up to you how much you carry) probably 10 rounds.
    Meat bag
    Knife – Busse CABS

    Snacks, ( I have rationed myself three small day snack packs, containing 1x pack of noodles, some lollies, 2x nut bars, 2 x protein bars)
    Lunch and dinner, ( I have some old dehydrated meals, ill be taking these. ) you could just take canned food as it is easy.
    Drink, I will take a cambelbak bladder and a 2 litre water bladder, plus a couple some cans of drink.
    River in the area, but sometimes water is hard to get, carry at least a couple of litres on you.
    I take in a bottle of port.

    Stove – MSR Reactor and Gas
    Camping Bowl - Left behind
    Camping cup - Left behind
    Camping spoon/spork of knife thingy

    Spotting Scope – Vortex Viper 15-45x65mm & Vortex Mountain Tripod
    Sony Point & Shoot Digital Camera
  19. Niddhogg


    Nov 2, 2014
    If you're concerned for weight, have you considered a Camping Hammock? I've been using a Hennessy Jungle Asym with a large fly. It's both lighter and more comfy to sleep in than my issue 1 man tent, requires less space, and the fly is large enough to provide a reasonably dry area to wake up to- even after heavy storming.
  20. Wilkes

    Wilkes Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    We planned on camping in the open and above the tree-line otherwise it would have been a good idea.

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