Hunting Public Land Tahr in the Southern Alps
“Red stags (or red deer, as locals call them) capture the most attention when it comes to big-game hunting in New Zealand with their regal racks and famous roar. But for outdoorsmen looking for a test-your-limits hunt in the mountains, it doesn’t get much better than tahr in the Southern Alps,” Alex Robinson writes for American magazine Outdoor Life.
“Himalayan tahr are native to Tibet, Nepal, and India, but were introduced [to the] South Island in the early 1900s. With no natural predators, tahr quickly populated the region and now their range stretches across 1.7 million ha of the central South Island. Tahr and other introduced game species have thrived so well that New Zealand requires hunters to have a license, but does not require tags for individual animals.
“So, legally, a licensed hunter can shoot as many tahr as his legs will carry him to. In fact, in some places the tahr population has grown so dense that the government culls them with helicopter sharpshooters in an effort to keep them from destroying habitat. My outfitter, Sam Radovonich of Southern Peaks Safaris said that 80 nannies had recently been culled by helicopter from the drainage next to the one we were hunting.
“New Zealand tahr are managed as a nuisance species, but at the same time, they’re revered as a trophy big-game animal.”
Original article by Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, June 17, 2017.