WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICAL SHAPE DO I NEED TO BE IN WHEN I HUNT IN NEW ZEALAND?
The very best possible, considering your age and physical limitations. This is not to say that you have to be in first-class, top condition. Our guides are well trained and considerate. They will quickly determine your abilities and pace and modify the hunt to suit your ability. All the same – If you can spare the time, some extra activities like walking, biking or gym work will pay off. This particularly applies when hunting Tahr.
WHAT TYPE OF BOOTS DO I REQUIRE?
In New Zealand our ground can be undulating, rocky and wet depending on which area you are hunting. Boots need to be waterproof, have good ankle support with plenty of grip and rubber soles. We recommend Kenetrek boots.
Please make sure your boots are clean when entering New Zealand, as our border controls are very strict on dirty boots.
DO I NEED GAITERS?
We find gaiters keep your lower leg dry in our long wet grass, as well as protect you from any prickly plants. The ones that open down the front of the leg are the best for ease of getting on/off. Kenetrek also makes good gaiters.
DO I BRING A PACK?
We recommend you bring a backpack to carry binoculars, cameras, drink bottles, etc. while you are out hunting. Some of our Tahr and Chamois Spike camps may require a larger pack, but we would let you know.
HOW MUCH AMMUNITION SHOULD I BRING?
One box should be plenty for a combination hunt as well as sighting your rifle in once you arrive in camp. However, bring an extra box if you are unsure
AT WHAT RANGE SHOULD I BE SIGHTED IN?
Personally, I sight in 3 to 4 inches high at 100 yards. At Leithen Valley for Red Stag hunting, the average shot is 100 to 200 yards. In the mountains for Tahr and Chamois you can expect to shoot up to 300 yards
WHAT CALIBRE DO YOU RECOMMEND?
We recommend you bring the calibre that you shoot well. Rifles that are most commonly used are 270, 30.06, 7mm and 300 Magnum. We have a 300 Win Mag and 270 Lightweight rifles that can be used if need be.
DO I NEED TO BRING A SLEEPING BAG AND PAD?
No – We supply bags and pads for our client’s use at Tahr camp. Our other camps don’t require sleeping bags.
DO I REQUIRE RAINWEAR?
Yes – Good quality Gortex rainwear is important especially mountain hunting. Should you wish us to order you Swazi raingear, let us know in advance and we can have it here on your arrival.
DO I REQUIRE LICENCES OR TAGS?
You do not need Licences or Tags while hunting in New Zealand. However, you will need to purchase a firearms license (Rachel Burke’s License # T5115831) for $25 NZD at New Zealand’s port of entry (Auckland Airport) from the Airport Police. We will assist you with your paperwork so it is ready for you on your arrival into New Zealand. You will also require an export permit for your trophies. Duck and Fishing licences are required.
To apply for a firearms licence, go to http://www.police.govt.nz/service/firearms/#resources Download “VisitorsFirearmsLicence and Permit to Import firearms”: Fill it in and then fax back to the Auckland airport police at 011+64 9 256 0486 or email us and we will send you the information.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE ONCE I ARRIVE IN NEW ZEALAND?
The procedure for all of our hunting is basically the same, only the location will vary. Fly into Auckland International Airport where you will obtain your firearms licence from the Airport Police in the customs hall before clearing customs. On clearing customs, transfer to the domestic terminal and board your flight down to Queenstown in the South Island where one of the Leithen Valley team will be awaiting your arrival. From Queenstown we will take you to our Leithen Valley camp, approximately a two-hour exhilarating car ride (remember we drive on the wrong side of the road) through very scenic oountry. On your arrival you will meet the rest of the Burke/Stewart family and staff, then be shown your accommodations where you will be able to freshen up, organize your gear and sight your rifle in, ready to begin hunting the next morning.
At Leithen Valley Red Stag, Fallow, Wapiti, Wild Goats and Arapawa Rams can be hunted. This is our own privately owned ranch, which is 10,000+ acres. Red Deer have been roaming this area since being released in the early 1900s. These deer have been closely managed the past 30 years, consequently some fantastic world-class trophies that score well, with plenty of character have been produced over the years.
There definitely will be some of the best Fallow Deer in the world to come out of Leithen Valley in the next few years. A common fault is to shoot good animals too young. At Leithen Valley we try to avoid this, so if they are good at three years you know at six years + they will be world-class.
Many good streams and rivers are at Leithen Valley’s doorstep, so fishing while in season (February – April ) can be done if time allows. We have great areas for Duck hunting (May – August ) and small game hunting (rabbits, possums) can be done year round.
Maungawera Lodge is our Chamois Camp and Tahr base camp. This camp is situated near Lake Wanaka, a small popular tourist town with many attractions. This lodge along with our Leithen Valley Lodge are very comfortable, with a great hunting atmosphere and very suitable for the non-hunter.
Our Tahr camps provide 20,000+ acres of private property. It has to be the best Tahr hunting area in the world; we are 100% on mature Tahr Bulls. Last season we took an average of 12 &13 inch horns. Accommodations at Tahr camp are basic, but warm and comfortable.
DO WE USE HORSES?
Yes, but only at Leithen Valley if you desire or the terrain is inaccessible to 4WD vehicles.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
This depends on the area that you hunt. Generally the temperatures are mild, but you should expect rain, especially at Leithen Valley. Snow and wind are more likely for our mountain hunts.
SHOULD I BRING A SPOTTING SCOPE AND BINOCULARS?
Your guide will have a spotting scope, but certainly bring your binoculars. We recommend you bring the best quality you can afford, as a second set of eyes is always beneficial. It is likely that you will be the first to sight the trophy animal you are after.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I BOOK A HUNT, PAY A DEPOSIT, AND THEN I’M UNABLE TO MAKE THE HUNT?
A deposit guarantees a client a hunt and guarantees the outfitter that the client will come. If not, what would be the point of money transferring hands in the first place? We will transfer your deposit to another year or another hunter that you have found to take your place; otherwise your deposit is forfeited.
IS IT NORMAL TO TIP MY PERSONAL GUIDE?
Yes, if your guide is prepared to go the extra mile and give you a successful and enjoyable hunt, it is worth showing your appreciation. Guiding is seasonable employment, and as hunters we can’t do without them. Tipping keeps good guides in the industry.
HOW WILL MY TROPHIES BE TRANSPORTED FROM CAMP?
If you are flying into the USA through LAX, depending on your circumstances and our weather, we try to get your hides in salt and dried in time for you to take them back home with you. This can not be done if you are flying into San Fran. If you have special hide bags, please bring them with you. If your trophies don’t accompany you home, as soon as your trophies are dry we transport them to Christchurch where a reputable expediting firm takes care of export arrangements. It is important for you to have the correct shipping details from your taxidermist (CITES registered) or Brokerage Company. More than likely he will have tags for you. We arrange all the appropriate export forms from here.
We hope that we have been able to answer some of your questions in contemplating or preparing to hunt with Leithen Valley Trophy Hunts New Zealand.