What's going on muchachos
Been a heck of a long time since I've been on here, things are calming back down so hopefully I can contribute some more. Had the great opportunity to hunt New Zealand this past June. Had a few pics and tales to share from the adventure to middle earth as the duck men call it.
Guess first thing is first, it's a hell of a long way from Texas! The plan was to get there at 9am and get straight into hunting. After getting into Auckland I found out that my bag had not gone with me so waders, camo, skinning tools, etc were going to take a while. Luckily he had extra clothes and some waders that I could at least get on so went ahead after a quick trip to the house. As it turned out, I would have my bag delivered at the end of the second day so I got to skinning, bagging, and just the comfort of having your own stuff.
We went out to a field that,like many, had a good number of pukeko on it to try and jump shoot a
They were being a little on the skiddish side but managed a couple of nice ones to cross him off the list early. It amazed me how much blue was on the wings that is often not seen in live bird pics.
So we carry on to a guess you could call it a lagoon off a large lake that was holding all kinds of New Zealand specialties like Black Swan, Shoveler, Mallard, Grey Duck, Grey Teal, and even some Paradise shelducks flying around. We did a typical decoy hunt, with most of it coming as they returned to roost in this area. Got a great pair of shovelers, nice Mallard X Grey, Grey Duck, and Black swan. Definitely a nice start to no luggage and starting mid day.
So next day it's up bright and early to hunt some Paradise Shelducks. I was surprised at how much they stick out when driving around (Hen) and on the hunting side, how big they are. The way they work the decoys is just amazing, a lot of fun! Ended up with limits each (20 total) and although the chance for another Parrie hunt was available, I had more than enough to pick through to mount and wanted to target anything I didn't have.
Drakes are much more colorful and intrigate in plumage when your out in the sunlight holding them.
Females, what else can you say but awesome! Such a vibrant red and just very cool not only from a hunting perspective but also that it's only found there and can be hunted.
This is a "pile pic" basically of the birds leading up to this point that were going to be cleaned. All the mounters were of course nice and neat waiting to be skinned, As you can see, there is a vast amount of hybridization between the Mallard and Pacific Black Duck, very shocking actually.
Some of the nice shoveler that he shot, just awesome birds that remind me of a blue wing X shoveler.
So that leaves day four with the sole goal of a better swan than day one, and leave some afternoon time for skinning. Hunted near one of the large lakes that holds a bunch of swan and called it not too long after getting this
Spent the afternoon drinking some Tui (New Zealand Beer Brand) and skinning birds, with everything checked off the list. The last day I had to leave at 6pm with a close to 2 hour drive to the airport. Could have hunted the morning for pigeon, or ducks, but with it raining pretty good at the risk of getting everything soaked with no time to dry before leaving we just took the day to find some toys for the kids.
Gotta get the kids setup with some bird toys!
Overall I would say that the hunting was a great deal of fun with a lot of varying habitats and styles to accomplish the goal of getting all the species. Had the privilege to see a good amount of grey teal, New Zealand Scaup, California quail, Turkeys, Magpie, and Masked Plover. People are very nice across the board. One of the few places I would return to for just a "fun" trip without question.
Thanks for looking,