Glen Johnson, New Zealand Safari Report
New Zealand Red Stag Hunt
This was my first time to travel to New Zealand. I went to hunt red stag and tahr and had an incredible time. It soon turned into a New Zealand Safari. I flew thru Sydney on my way to Christchurch. I spent 1 day in Sydney and flew to CC the next day arriving late at night. I stayed at a hotel near the airport and was picked up in the morning by Duncan…right on time. We drove to the lodge that morning and spent the rest of the day getting ready for the hunt which would begin the next morning. As luck would be, I was the only other hunter in camp for the week. I thought it might be nice to have other hunters in camp but as it turned out having all this special attention was a nice treat and the conversation during the day and night was comfortable and interesting. The hunt was more than I could ever imagine. I shot 2 bull stags, 2 Himalayan bull tahr, 2 rams and several wallabies.
I booked this hunt with the intention of having some friends join me. I got worried that maybe this hunt might get bought before I booked it so I went ahead & committed to the without having others commit. I have hunted in the USA, Canada, South Africa & Zimbabwe. This was my 1st time to head to New Zealand.
Red Stag Hunting was First
At the lodge I met John who would be my guide for the week & another guy from Germany who was serving as an apprentice. He was also a great photographer & taught me some new photo tricks plus he took some incredible photos which he shared with me. The 1st 2 days we toured the ranch & looked around seeing lots of game. After sizing up several nice stags I decided to shoot a particular big bull in a group of 7 bulls. In the confusion I somehow shot 2 bulls…each being different. John made it a point to tell me a trophy is a bull that catches your eye…it might have lots of long tines or it might be shorter but have more mass. Beauty in the eyes of the beholder. I got 1 bull with long top tines & another with heavy dark massive tines. I couldn’t be happier. Duncan took pity on me and treated me more than fair on the cost of the 2nd stag…thanks Duncan.
Rams, Wallabies and Tahr
Next we turned our attention to rams and wallabies. I missed my 1st wallaby but it was a long shot into a steep dark canyon…John cut me some slack! Next it was onto the tahr. We chased a monster bull across from the lodge but even though we had him at 30-60 yards twice, I never had a clear shot. I nailed a beauty the next day not far from the lodge. Since I had 2 trophy stags I had to shoot 2 tahrs….John’s recommendations. As they say “why stop now”. On the last day at the last hr. I got my 2nd tahr. Another beautiful bull.
The hunt was made special just spending quality time with Duncan, John, Jason, and the cook. The evenings were relaxing and the food was fantastic. Also I have to say the views from the lodge were top notch…each sunrise and sunset. I got tons of beautiful shots each day. John is one of the most knowledgeable guides I have ever hunted with. He knows game, their habits, the environment and most importantly how to prepare the cape for the mounting of the trophy. An added treat was Duncan tasking me on a helicopter ride over the Alps. Boy are they spectacular. Everyone should see the Alps from the air…don’t worry about motion sickness, Duncan is an exceptional pilot. I can’t say enough about the service I received while I was there. When I return, I want to do a mountain hunt for tahr. I went for the stag hunt but I think the tahr is the coolest animal…what a beautiful trophy. Also, when Duncan and John go to Australia for their next crocodile hunt, I want to go with them. Save me a spot. The mnt. views, the food, the trophies, the camaraderie, the memories…what more could I ask for? Thanks to all for an incredible hunt.
My consultant was Russ Meyer.
- My consultant’s communication before, during and after the trip was perfect, I couldn’t have asked for more. There was a communication issue at the front end on the length of the hunt but this got quickly resolved and everything else went without a hitch.
- My consultant was very knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to.
- Would you book another trip with us in the future? Yes
- Can we use your stories and/or photos on our website? Yes
- Can we use this in social media? Yes