Found! A Fair-Chase Hunt For $300 A Day


Published: October - 1999

Red stag, chamois, tahr, wild boar and more. All this in a country which requires no hunting license or tags, has no closed seasons and no bag limits. As if all this were not enough, imagine hunting with a competent, reliable outfitter/guide who does not charge you a huge daily rate or any trophy fees at all for the game you take. Just where can you do this and who will help you make it possible? The country is New Zealand, and the outfitter/guide I have linked up with there is James Gray (c/o James Gray Hunting and Fishing, Flaxmere Downs).

Like most guides in New Zealand, Gray will provide you any level of service you want, but what I like are his basic hunts that sell for $300 a day and involve staying in remote cabins on what is called Queen's land. The $300, mind you, is the all-in daily cost, from airport pickup in Christchurch until he drops you off there again on your way home. It covers your meals, your guide service, your lodging and your in-country transportation. Just don't expect any luxuries or extras for $300 a day. There will be no helicopters on standby to ferry you to mountain tops, or herds of gold-medal animals waiting for you behind fences. Quite the contrary, what you find by pounding shoe leather and are able to shoot is what you get. And make no mistake, the cabins Gray uses are extremely Spartan. There are bunks inside with mattresses for your bedroll, a fireplace with an ample supply of firewood and a table and chairs or benches. An outhouse, water drawn from a nearby stream, and showers under a solar heated black bag hung from a convenient limb round out the amenities. Some camps are also used as station quarters for sheep shearers and include such luxuries as flush toilets, indoor showers and electricity. Those are the exception, though, and you should book one of these hunts prepared to rough it.

As for the hunting itself, you can expect a typical day to begin with a........(continued)

 
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