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A Top Year Beckons
– Hunting Experiences

New Zealand’s 2017 hunting season is “shaping up to be a top one”, explains Greg Morton. He’s excited for the Rut and talks about why hunters can expect no shortage of animals in superb condition, carrying great heads.

Herbivores do best when they are eating lush and plentiful tucker. Ask any dairy farmer about milk production and they will lecture you on the need to provide quality pasture for their cows. No surprise then that a mature red stag will never produce a huge trophy head eating thistles and twigs. Each year the weather gods dictate in spring and summer whether it will be a poor, mediocre, or great hunting season. This year 2017, is shaping up to be a top one, and hunters can expect no shortage of animals in superb condition, carrying great heads.

A wet spring in 2016 followed by regular rain storms, squalls and showers through summer has seen parts of New Zealand green up like never before and 2017 is certain to return trophy hunters some magnificent trophies. Poronui can’t wait to get clients out on the hill and see how big their stags have grown over the extended time of plenty. Grass in the streambeds, and under the manuka and forest canopy is knee high in places, and most game has been head down: backside up, chowing out for quite some time.

Recently in the Maniototo, I was hunting for a meat animal and was lucky enough to shoot two good pigs feeding on clover and grass in a creekbed. Both had three inches of fat across their backs and were shaped like barrels on wheels. On that trip I also saw some red stags away in the distance and they too were as fat as butter.

Red stags in particular need quality grass to consume as they need to produce bulk and antlers leading into the March/April rut period. It is no surprise that stags living in beech forests on public land are often called ‘bush stags’ as their antlers are often weak and spindly because of their weak diet and the lack of nutritious food at important times of the year. To overseas clients such animals must appear like an inferior sub-species.

Roll on the roar. It will be an exceptional one.

Greg Morton

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