Hunting New Zealand
There are a few places in the world where hunters associate a name with a legendary reputation for quality hunting opportunity. One of those places is New Zealand. There tends to be a romantic vision of stalking a massive red stag in the mountains when New Zealand is mentioned. To many of us it remains a dream, in hopes that one day it may be realized. To others, that dream becomes reality when you are about the squeeze the trigger for a perfect shot on a stag. Warne CEO Dan Goetz and his wife Debbie recently had an opportunity to not only hunt red stag, but several species in New Zealand with TV personality and outdoor writer Gary Lewis.
“We were staying at the Makarora River Ranch, and the first day we drove 2 hours to a large Sheep Station adjacent to Lake Roxburgh where we tracked a group of wild goats into a large ravine. Debbie and our guide Don Cameron from Pure NZ Hunting stalked the Billy from the edge of the crevasse through several moves until Debbie was able to line up for a shot. As she was loading to take the shot the group (that was in hiding) broke and began to stampede up the opposite hill. Don yelled “shoot” and Debbie took the shot at 150 yards on the run. Dropped the big black Billy as the rest of the group 25-30 strong ran off. This was her first experience big game hunting, and she took a great goat.”
“The picture above was taken early morning outside our room from the shore of Lake Hawea at the Silver Pine lodge. We were spotting Red Stags, Goats and Sheep and learning how to pick these animals out from the heavy brush.”
“Next we were 20 Kilometers north of Fairley where Debbie, guided by Don tracked a nice 12 point Red Stag over a ridge. The shot was over 90 yards downhill just as the Stag turned to run off, less than one hour to dark. After the shot Gary Lewis and I caught up to her for the picture and Don had to dress it as the sun set. We had to climb out after dark with flashlights until we got to a place where Don could drive the Land Cruiser and collect us. The Stag was shot with a Browning X-Bolt LH Stainless Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor, a Leupold VX6 2-12 scope mounted with Warne Maxima rings and bases, and using Hornady ELD-X Precision Hunter ammunition.”
“My Guide Simon (Pog) Cameron and I were taken by helicopter to hunt Tahr at 6,000 feet, not far from Mt. Cook. I was successful at dropping a seven or eight year old Tahr with horns that are 12.5 inches at 195 yards. This was taken with a Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor with a Vortex Viper HS 4-14X44, Hornady ELD-X Precision Hunter Ammunition, and of course Warne Maxima rings and picatinny rail.”
“Debbie shot this fallow deer at 206 yards on the fifth day of the hunt. Don said “the wind is changing and he’s not going to stay there forever”. Although she was out of breath from the climb she calmly took a breath and squeezed the trigger. Dropped it in one shot. Don exclaimed “she did it again, she bloody did it again” and danced a jig. PS The dog in the picture is a German Shorthair Pointer (GSP) named Mr. Bennet.”
Overall Dan and Debbie took 6 trophy animals in what sounds like the hunt of a lifetime.