Hunting clients planning a trip to the greatest free-range destination in the South Pacific may not have caught up with the news that Jamie Bell has sold the New Caledonia arm of his business to a New Zealand outfitter.The new owners are looking forward to offerring the same high quality hunts, even better - if that is possible. It has been a very aimicable changing of the guard, and for the 2009 season Bell will be assisting Colin and Alison Murray with their booked clients. The new company name reflects the spirit of old merging with the new and is called Belle New Caledonia Safaris. The web address is http://www.bellenewcaledoniasafaris.com/.
Colin and Alison Murray are based in Hamilton on the North Island of New Zealand. They will be operating on the same properties and chasing the same high-quality rusa stags Bell targeted in the past. I will be visiting New Caledonia with the Murrays this month on a hunt, so watch out for my views on this location in a later issue of The Hunting Report. Last time I was there, this stag eyeballed me at close range. The rusa deer population is numbered in the tens of thousands, and the hunting season is during the July/August rut.