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Normal Topic The Home of the Sika (Read 1817 times)
Simon Gibson
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The Home of the Sika
Aug 17th, 2018 at 8:58pm
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Hunting wily little sika in the Kaweka’s during the rut mid-April onwards is always a lot of fun and a big change from the red roar of the previous few weeks. My good hunting mate James and I spent 7 days chasing them around one of the private Maori blocks looking for that elusive big eight pointer with mixed results.
Several years ago in early February I spent time with members of the Owhaoko BD Trust which administers many of the blocks in the area on behalf of their people. Walking through the area learning about its history, them encouraging their people to get out and bond with their land, protection of the environment and pest control programmes, and of course checking out the hunting was a wonderful experience.

The Trust has some great rules in place to manage the sika herd.
• No limit on the number of Reds shot.
• No shooting stags in velvet.
• No shooting of spikers at any time of the year.
• No more than 3 Sika hinds maybe taken per person at any time of the year.
• Only one 8 point Sika stag may be taken per person between 1 March- 31 May.

I was very keen to get back and hunt one of the blocks as I had seen two good eight pointers in velvet while on an evening walk so knew exactly where I wanted to head to.



These types of blocks see a lot of hunters so while the comfortable huts provided on many of them are a joy to stay in the hunting around them can be very average so it’s best to camp a few hours away which will also put you on the spot at first and last light.



The area we hunted is mostly rolling scrubby tussock and more of a summer feeding area but has some good pockets of native and scrubby faces which is where the majority of deer were living at this time of year.



Much of the tussock lands of the Kaweka’s were farmed from early last century but it was marginal at the best. You can still see many of the old fence lines and some of the huts like the old Golden Hills Hut were built in the farming era.




The old Golden Hills hut is now being restored by the Trust which has also built a new hunters hut about a 1km away. The grassed area around the old hut resembles a bowling green.



The weather gods were playing games and after a couple of nice days the heavens opened which meant by the end of the week most of our gear was wet. Mist on these rolling tops especially when it got dark certainly created a few where the heck are we moments while trying to find camp.



After watching a series clearings and scrubby faces full of clay pans for two days we saw a number of deer but no big stags. A day later after moving camp, we watched in horror from the tops as two big eight pointers circled each other on the same clearing this young stag was on. Despite legging it back there at high speed and staking it out for a night and morning we never saw the big stags again.



Sitting for hours glassing is key to spotting deer in this sort of country. Once you know where they are living a stalk can be planned.



During the rut if it is a stag you are after then the presence of hinds will usually mean male company is not far away and this  proved to be the case with a number of stags seen where hinds were present.



The Trusts policy of leaving spikers is a good one and if you want future trophies is the only way to go.



After a week plenty of deer had been seen, some exciting stalks made on roaring stags made but alas those big eight pointers get big for a reason. All too soon it was time for us to leave as the helicopter arrived in the rain with a new hunting crew and to whisk us off to the mundane outside world.


  

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hairy
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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #1 - Aug 17th, 2018 at 10:09pm
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Wicked write up Simon, should be in the mag? Great photos complementing it.   Cool Cool
  

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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #2 - Aug 17th, 2018 at 10:13pm
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Certainly a good bit of real estate around there, as hairy said “great photos”.

thanks for posting Smiley

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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #3 - Aug 17th, 2018 at 10:48pm
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Enjoyed that informative writeup, the old day's standard practice of 'shooting the first spiker for camp meat' is changing on a lot of private blocks these days.
Glad to hear that the historic hut is to be restored.
Thanks for posting Simon.
  

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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #4 - Aug 17th, 2018 at 10:54pm
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Awesome write up Simon and wicked photos too.
  
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Simon Gibson
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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #5 - Aug 17th, 2018 at 11:02pm
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Thanks for the positive feedback guys.

The new photo sharing site imgbb which Headcase has posted info on using is a breeze to use and I've even gone through some of my old posts and reinserted the photos Photobucket blocked.
  

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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #6 - Aug 18th, 2018 at 10:36am
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txks for post,,should have a round up of scrubby stags in the plot
  

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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #7 - Aug 18th, 2018 at 4:12pm
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Yea great pics and comments
Had a block adjacent to Golden Hills last summer. Magic spot, well set up huts, with even the odd deer thrown in for good measure.
Will definitely need a second visit.
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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #8 - Aug 18th, 2018 at 6:50pm
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Great post Simon and very good advice for new Sika Hunters .

A team of volunteers is currently carrying the restoration of the Old Golden Hills Hut on behalf of the Owhaoko B & D Lands Trust , Restoration progress can be followed on the Forum under Huts , Bivies & Shelters ( Restoration of Old Golden Hills Hut ) next trip is planed late September .
  
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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #9 - Aug 19th, 2018 at 9:33pm
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nice  Cool
  

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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #10 - Aug 20th, 2018 at 8:47am
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Awesome report Simon. Very nice looking country.
  

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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #11 - Aug 20th, 2018 at 3:40pm
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Good to see photos of an area I've been near.
Those trust rules are a positive management tool as well, no spikers or velvet heads to be shot, guess there must be good stag numbers in that area.
  
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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #12 - Aug 23rd, 2018 at 10:34am
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Great yarn Simon. It’s good to see you back in print!

Smiley
  
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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #13 - Aug 28th, 2018 at 1:28pm
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Great Write up Simon, bugger about missing out on the 2 8s but thats hunting, thanks for sharing
  
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Re: The Home of the Sika
Reply #14 - Aug 30th, 2018 at 4:35pm
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Yeah - that was a really good write up - enjoyed that very much.

Bloody good pics too.
  
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