New Zealand Tahr Hunt Report by Blair Lasenby

Tahr hunting in New Zealand

Hunter: Blair Lasenby
Date: November
Outfitter: SLS1

Wilderness New Zealand Tahr Hunt

Just thought I’d put in a bit of an “unpack” of the tahr hunt, sharing some of the takeouts I had from the weekend.

  • First of all, you’re as solid as they come.
  • The spot was AWESOME! Trophy Country.
  • You set up everything for a great time in the mountains, were very easy going, positive and gave me just enough of a push each time that got us through the obstacles presented. Some of those obstacles weren’t small things at all.
  • Getting through a day of nagging rain and clouds making it tough to see animals was a little bit of a drag, though we still found plenty to talk & laugh about to keep spirits up, legs moving and eyes scanning the hillside.
  • Howling wind breaking my tent & threatening to cut our hunt short was more of a challenge. I was really feeling a bit beaten by the elements, had slept bugger all, thinking my tent was going to rip up and blow away. (Your observation that it looked like I was lying in a spot to try and hold it down was pretty accurate).
  • We needed to do something for the day after the heli couldn’t get up to us, and we were set to freeze our butts off if we stayed put.
  • That’s when I needed the push, to get moving when I was in pain from cold hands and not sure what the hell we were going to do.
  • I try to keep my mindset positive and keep the banter going, but it can be hard to stay that way and keep a sense of purpose when energy levels are low.
  • I had a funny feeling after all this that something might still happen, and am really thankful you kept egging me on up the hill to where we then saw our bull.
  • The saying that “The real work starts after you’ve pulled the trigger” was true to the letter.
  • I am still a bit amazed that I started down that scrub choked drop of a slope. You helped me go FAR past my personal limitations there.
  • We’d managed to get into a position where it was the only real option, and I’m not ashamed to say I was scared at the time. The vocalising you were hearing was very much a period of me in a “Fight, Flight or Freeze” survival mode, struggling to get my head around the task in front of me & needing encouragement to get there. Now I know I can do it.
  • Add to that a successful recovery of our bull, making all the hard work just that bit sweeter.
  • Next time my pack & water comes with us too!
  • It was a big ask for you getting us off the hill then on the road home after such a big day, and again I’m thankful for your efforts. Good hustle!

I thoroughly enjoyed your company, cooking and conversation (not in any particular order), and would jump at the chance to hit the hills with you again. It was an experience I’ll not forget. My offer of a Canterbury hunt is open, as is my home to you and Amy, who I hope to meet at some point! Will catch up soon to talk tents, cheese delivery and pink batts for the hut.

Cheers mate,
Blair Lasenby

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