Recently, the Department of Conservation told a major sheep station that they had to remove their tahr herd because it was outside the designated tahr block. No problem in that, except the 40 tahr were actually behind wire inside a hunting preserve. No animal had ever escaped. A huge battle developed between bureaucracy and the landowner, with the public wanting the tahr to live. At this writing, the death sentence on those tahr has been signed.
Following immediately on that, the public became aware that over 300 tahr, inside the tahr zone, but within a national park, had been destroyed in a $20,000 pest-eradication campaign. Their crime: eating the native Mount Cook lily, on public land. It was a 'kill-all-tahr' mission, so amongst the casualties was nearly 150 bulls. All were shot from a helicopter using buckshot. The action was filmed, and the sight of magnificent bulls, nannies and small kids, cartwheeling off bluffs created a sensation. A week or so later, two teenage bulls were found mooching along north of the tahr zone, and once again the department mounted a search-and-destroy mission.
The good news is, it's business as normal on private land within the tahr zone. By this I mean there is still some great hunting available. Several large sheep stations within the range have good populations of tahr. There are no fences, and the hunting is all fair chase spot and stalk. If you........(continued)