• Outdoors

Sika Hunting – Kaimanawas, January.

The final week of the holidays.

I thought I really should head out for at least one trip over the Christmas Break. I only had one and a bit weeks and with a four month old baby at home, it wasn’t a realistic option to be heading away for any length of time. But, I wanted to get out and stretch the legs and also keep my mind in it, so I decided to head on down to the Kaimanawas for the quick stalk.

So at five in the morning on Saturday, I packed up my Crew Cab and headed south.

I decided to head to roughly the same spot I was in last time – around an hours walk from the end of Clements Mill Road. Half an hour in, heading East off the main track onto a smaller ‘hunters’ track. I am not sure if it has any form of official name – but it is certainly well traveled.

First thing I noticed – which I sometimes forget – if I don’t get the Crew Cab high enough into the small of my back, it quickly starts pulling down on the shoulder – making it somewhat uncomfortable to wear.

It’s an important lesson to learn – each and every pack likes to be worn in a different way. Some pack belts like to be down over the hip bones, others sitting high up on top of them – and if you wear them the wrong way, you will never get the performance out of them. After remembering this fact, the walk becomes a whole lot more comfortable.

I headed into to around the same area I was in previously – but decided to head a little to the west side of the ridge – pushing up a little more and camping at a slightly higher altitude. We had previously seen most of the sign at around the 800m mark – so I figured I might as well get a little higher initially.

I ended up getting into camp at around one in the afternoon, after setting up and a quick scout around,  I figured the best option was a cuppa and a rest – waiting until dusk before any serious stalking.

It was about this point that it finally registered just how tired I actually was. Lying down in the hammock, I really, really didn’t want to get back up. I think the body (and mind) had finally realised just how much a good sleep would serve me well.

It was only reminding myself (repeatedly) that I had just driven four hours to have a hunt that finally got me back up.

After an ultimately unfruitful stalk, I returned to the comfort of my hammock and crashed for the night. Only to repeat the struggle of rising back out of it the next morning.

No sightings of animals in the morning either. There was a lot of ‘old’ sign. Nothing I would date less than a couple of days old though.

No matter. It’s good practise getting out and I always come away with something new to think about. In this case, it was reflecting on the necessity to reduce pack weight. Basically, I am going to need to split ‘filming’ trips with ‘hunting’ trips. Focusing on the task at hand, essentially.

Shoot straight(er).

Get your rifle sorted - proper zero, basic ballistics and confirmed to distance.

Popular articles

Matching twist rate and bullet weight in rifles.

The are many benefits to understanding and matching the twist rate of your barrel with the projectile weight you are using. Primarily, accuracy.

Three ways you are probably zeroing your hunting rifle wrong.

Clickbait title aside - there are a couple of reoccurring problems I see when people discuss zeroing a rifle. Are you doing any of them?

T-Bone Steaks

I have fallen for T-Bones recently. What isn't to like about them? They are great value for money, full of taste, and have a bonus feature - the Missus will generally not be able to finish all of hers so I get to eat one and a half T-bone steaks.

Getting your New Zealand Firearms Licence – the definitive guide (2019)

The process of applying for your New Zealand Firearms Licence is easy. Learn the steps, get started here and get shooting!

Cartridge Selection for Long Range Hunting pt. 1

A bit of a meandering post about ballistics and cartridges in the short action side of things. Some interesting finds though.

Svord 370BB – NZ’s Bush Knife!

The Svord 370BB. Beautiful looks, razor edge, patina's in the most wonderful way. This, paired with a smaller pocket knife is going to cover 95% of all tasks you might need in the bush.
Kerry Adams
Kerry Adamshttps://thebloke.co.nz
A constant learner with an inquisitive mind, Kerry created Precision Shooter as a way to share what he was learning from the community of experts he found himself surrounded by.Somewhere along the line, he picked up one or two things himself. But don't call him an expert.

Get your rifle sorted.

Send us your rifle, or come out and do it with us. For a session, for a day. Come get the most out of your firearm. We can take your through the whole process.

I know. We all hate popups.
But, the fact remains that eMails are the best way for us to keep you up to date with what is going on at The Bloke.Join over 19650 others who are part of The Bloke community - every week you will get a short update from me. Be the first to know about new resources, upcoming events, courses and more.
We respect your privacy. No SPAM. Ever. Hit escape to make this go away. Apologises if you see this more than once. That's what cookies are for... ;)
It's easy: complete this form and click the button to get the targets.
Get our range of sighting in, testing and fun targets - calibrated for both meters and yards, MIL and MOA.
As well as sending out the targets, we will add you to the shooter's newsletter - updates on articles, events and news relevant to the NZ shooter.