Monday, August 31, 2009

The Beater's Shoot

Got the details in from Andy this morning. I did edit the details a weeny bit.

"11 for the day, one of the young English lads shot a Canada, it was coming into Aswan and they were standing on the dam, he was using a semi (ummmumumumumummmmmm naughty….). Teal retrieved it to the bank but couldn’t get it through the rushes so Mason helped out. I think there were 8 guns including Guy and Jono, The English crowd, Paul, Kevin, Aleisha. 8 Dogs, Teal, Cass, Class, Mason, Visla (lola?), Indy, Bear and Bibby."

Sounnds like a great little informal shoot, lots of dogs! Would've been great to see all the hounds in action.

Edit: Andrew just sent me this photo of "Beater's Day".

Caption Contest is now open :D

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last day

And today of course is the end of the pheasant season. Yesterday Andy shot at Lakelands and reported a few birds - but they were wary. MEB got a final rooster up north as well, he's very chuffed with his new sport. :)

The pheasant bug couldn't have bitten a nicer guy.

Tim's having pheasant for dinner, a bacon wrapped concoction. I have some fallow. Life is pretty good!

Not stopping there...

'Weedless' flies are designed so that you can fish them in snaggy water and escape the inevitable bust offs that happen when you hook a snag. The 'Bendback' is s tyle of fly rather than a pattern, and it rides hook point up. With weight added along the shank (lead wire in the tie) the hook is indeed guaranteed to ride point up.

The thing about so many of our desireable salt water species, is that they hang out in kelp, around rocks and in generally shitty places for catching them. The ones in fly-rod range that is.

Using a lot of chartreuse makes sense in fly design, its one of the last colours to 'disappear' under water (red is the first). A few embellishments and bingo, we have a contender for a weedless snapper fly.

Sunday fly tie

Always like spending Rilee's sleepy time tying a fly or two. These days I don't get as much fun making trouty flies as I do salty flies; but I do keep the trout boxes topped up from time to time.

Today I wanted to solve the mangrove crusing kingi conundrum; the kingis get into the mullet in a big way so a fly that pushes water, floats just subsurface and looks like a yummy mouthful should always get a look in. I just used Popovic's silicon fly, changed colours to suit and voila!

And in case Mr. Kingi busts me, I made a couple more.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Look and Feel

Just changed my bloggy-blog layout.

It's nice isn't it?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Big boofa-mobile

To aid my pursuit of gobbling carbon credits I've decided to buy a BIG SUV.

I've researched the living sh*t out of these things, and have gone almost full circle. My starting position was to get a Toyota Prado. Why? Reliability, off road handling, indestructability. And the Dog & Lemon said that they are excellent in all areas with the exception of fuel consumption, where the petrol models are akin to a greedy pig awash in a trough full of sloppy stuff that piggies love eating. So I thought - hell yeah, a diesel is where its at.

Then somehow, Pajero's got on my radar. They seemed to be a lower price than Prados, and to tick most of the boxes. Except off road, handling is described as "boat like". And they are less reliable than a Prado (let's be fair, I should say Toyota). Dog & Lemon says "Its Okay... but don't say we didn't warn you"

The biggest catch is that the list of stuff that goes wrong with a Pajero occupies a full page length column - with the prado its a cm and a half. Exaggeration - but you get my drift.

Then I noticed Challengers. Brian's got a challenger. So I got on the blower. He's had his for about 10 years and used it hard. Even I've towed his boat (2 tons) with it. It's basically an L200 on stilts. A good wagon - his has chewed through brakes from towing his boat, he's replaced wheel hubs because of corrosion (salt water exposure) but he's happy overall. He reminded me that when he bought it, diesel was $0.82 per L so it kicked the crap out of petrol as a towing machine. Then he said to me - if he had to buy today, he'd go petrol. The annual "A" and "B" servicing that diesel motors need to stay in tune, the Road User Charge - well it's all a big hassle son, init?

So petrol got back on the radar. Then Tim told me that Munster's been selling his. Plus he told me that some kind soul had researched fuel consumption and that to get a break even from diesel these days you'd need to be running 40,000 km per annum. Which I wont be.

So I'm talking to Aaron. He reckons that by driving that puppy carefully, you can get 700km out of a 95L tank. Subaru gives me 430km out of a 45L tank (or ~400 around town). Its $1.74 per l for 95 Octane.

So Subby: $78.30 to fill and gives me 9.5 Km per L around town - which isn't good, but that's fulltime AWD for you.

Prado: $165.30 to fill and something like 7.4 km per L. Which is atrocious!

Lucky my boss will be filling it, isn't it?

Talking with Guy today, he got his Range Rover and BMW about the same time as his olds got their Prado. Both his cars blew up last week. Beemer got a hole in the radiator and ended up cracking the head (OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Mein GOTT! Schweinhund!) Range Rover lost its computer, air suspension failed and he ended up riding round on thge neoprene suspension sock thingies. Well he had that coming, everyone knows those air suspension things are shit, don't they? Oh yeah, his parents' Prado. It caught fire once because of a short in the (aftermarket) burglar alarm. And that's all.

So if you hear Roooaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr glug glug glug, you'll know its me, in my new Prado, slurping gas like a gas slurping hog.

And I'll be loving it!

Qantas II

Ok ok I'm the first to admit that the mainline Qantas brand has departed, and their position in NZ domestic market travel back-filled by their no frills brand Jet Star. Just to allay any thoughts that it was only I harbouring feelings of Qantas paranoia, I submit the following. Because I'm not paranoid. Am I? Maybe I am. They might be after me.

Tuesday afternoon saw me sitting in a court appointed mediation. I'm legally bound to not say more on that; BUT our legal counsel filled in one of the breaks where mediator runs from one room to the other, (obtaining and crystalising the views and wants of each of the protagonists) with an interesting story about his travel day from hell, courtesy of.... Qantas! It started something like this.

"We sat in the plane on the ground for over 30 minutes before the captain came on, explaining that there was ice on the wings..."

Look, if you're an avid follower of Snuffit Ramblings then you know the rest. If not then this here's where you can find out more

We may even have been on the same plane. But I doubt it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another scheme so cunning that....

TT's on at me now that he thinks shooting season is over. Wants to go fishing, we'll be planning our Pre Xmas annual extravaganza before you know it. Think we were aiming to do Whakapapa before the crowds descend.
Here's Milo with pretty good motivation for a visit. Even tho he's a little weenie that's a decent fish he's got there.
So we'll camp out under the stars, shoot the breeze, crap in the woods and all will be great with the world.
Last year we did the Murchison thing, year before it was Kaipo, Mohaka etc, and before that a day drifting hydro lake and visiting a new King Country stream. Its now a ritual or at least a habit.
December is a good trout month normally. Weather has come right, water levels are still good, fish are active and you're unlikely to be pestered on public water. All that changes on or about New Years. It pays to fill your boots prior to the fish getting all funny because of pressure.
But pheasants aren't far from my thoughts at present, so the rumblings about a far far north sand dune phezzie trip for 2010 are top of mind.
Weeeheee! Planning trips. So good!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Returning to the scene of the crime

Yesterday, Tim, me and Andrew visited the new patch for our second hunt of the season there. We worked the property from a different angle to last time, working the southern boundary first. Set a couple of cunning pincer movements in play and almost got payoff once or twice. A still quiet day made for hard stalking and we had birds getting out ahead or to the side all day. (A dog is becoming a must now). I saw 10 roosters, put shots on 3 and had bead on two others that may have been roosters - or hens (Andrew confirmed one as a rooster) - better to be safe than sorry I suppose. We got 2 hares, a rabbit, and at the very last patch of cover at the very end of the day I managed a rooster.

One of a pair that jumped - well the second jumped after I had fired both shots on the first bird. A beer with the land owner, a chat about how good we have it and then off home. Tim gave me some fallow venison, just to round out the day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Plan II

(Actually, I'm still giggling)

The Plan

This is Andrew (depicted by Andy Warhol. Cool eh?):

Andrew is funny. Here's why: we are going on a pheasant hunt tomorrow, and based on events from last time (phezzies escaping out in front) I suggested that we make a plan to block the exits accordingly. So I laminated topo aerial photos of the terrain.

So then Andrew (remember, he's funny) emails a diagram depicting his plan:

That label says "Hunt Here".

One day when I'm so much older and crustier I'm going to look back at this humour and .....

shoot myself. Oh, the humanity.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tim text

Goes something like this - "Dog just snotted one fallow for 4 shots. Marvellous"

Can't beat good old NZ for opportunities. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ducky Dinner

The inagural Ducky Dinner was held at Cazador last night. Everyone came barring Elena who was home looking after her and Rick's bubba. The food was great -

> Pheasant breast rolled & encased in bacon and cooked in sweet cherry sauce (and another sauce)

> Goose & minced wild pork stuffed into goose skin

> Spicey duck breast

So much food that we simply couldn't eat it all. At all. Good times.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Tim has sorted a boar hunt with Shanks. So he calls up and says something like "guns or knives?". And I'm thinking "well fark me dead with a pick-axe handle, if you think I'm going near a rabid-angry-tusky-toothy-firey-eyed pig then you got another thing coming!". But to put this into perspective... to get to Shanks's place you have to travel approximately 3 hours, firstly on State Highway 1 through Mercer etc (deathhhhhh trap), then along windey backroads around the Tron to Otorohonga, then onto State Highway 3 and down to Waitomo turn off. Now Waitomo is a big tourist centre - the place crawls with buses (hard to stop), asians in tourist vans (FARKKK!!!) and other touristy types who don't get that NZ roads aren't designed with safety of road users in mind.

The point is that you are infinitely more likely to perish on the road than by the tusks of a boar, so we really should keep this in mind before psyching ourselves out about a pig attack.

Even so, I'm taking the gun option. Buwwaarck, buk buk buk (chicken noises - but I'm still alive!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Did I say....

..."In like Flynn"? Yes I have been offered and accepted a role that involves extra staff, extra responsibility, extra hours ....

The funny thing is that last night i had the most stressful, sleepless night in a month. That is, more stressed after getting good news than before. It's hard being a Gemini. (My excuse anyway).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Work Tension

Tomorrow the job thing happens --- do I? Don't I? (Have a job that is). If I were a betting man I'd say I'm in like Flynn. The job I applied for is slightly not really what I want to do, but making dough is a shitwack ( better than not making dough. In fact, it's a fuckton ( better than being not having an income. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Up North - with a gun!

Normally the primary objective of heading north is to go toe to toe (toe to scale? toe to tail?) with a fishy foe. Up north can mean anywhere from say Mangawhai, right up to Maria Van Deimen. Usually there's an assortment of rods, reels, lures, flies - whatever.

This time it was a pheasant hunt. Through the forum I met Chris, and in exchange for a Roboduk motor we jacked up a day's pheasant hunting. Sort of one of those "hey let's just meet up and go do it" things that work out so well when you're dealing with good bastards. Tim couldn't come along in the end, so I left for Chris's place at about 4 on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately a big crash at Puhoi meant a trip along SH16 to Welsford - BUT! Man, I found new places to access the Kaipara AND found a big flock of canadas at Kaukapakapa - so while it was a slow journey it was a bloody good one. Got up to Chris's house at 7? Can't really remember. We (Chris, MEB, me) sat around having a rum or two and a beer or two before we all hit the hay. Got up at 6, just can't sleep in these days. We had a big brekkie and hit the road for a new block Chris had got access to. Spent a while yakking with the cockie and then headed back to work a pine block. Walking was easy and quiet, as there was grazed grass under the pines. About 20 minutes in I crested a small rise and 5 hens ran or flew off. No rooster, but another hen took off from a tree above me. We crossed a fence and moved over a rise when a bird broke well ahead. He was going like the clappers and probably 50m out when I fired and he came down hit, but I could see it was only a wing shot. By the time we got down there he had run off and Robbie the dog got sidetracked by a couple of possum's scents. Its never a good look to lose a hit bird. Having worked the block E-West roughly at the bottom, we turned and worked it N-Sth. I stayed on the boundary because the sun was out in force and I thought the birds would be into the warmth - quite a strong NE wind was blowing. I ended up separated from the boys, so worked up to the road and along the top of the block. Half way along, a hen jumped, with it the smallest rooster I've shot at. As he did his death dance and ended up belly up in the pine needles he looked tiny! I worked to a depression running down the block and followed it down slowly and quietly. Another rooster jumped and I had him in the bag. Blessing my luck I stopped for a photo or two of the 2 birds. I continued down when a shot rang out to my left, so I changed direction to see if I coule find the boys. Another 2 shots - from behind me, I realised that they were covering ground quite fast so I did an about turn and caught up with them where they were about to cross my tracks from 5 minutes ago. Interestingly, Robbie had put up a rooster that I must have walked past, Chris gave it 2 barrels but missed. Filling me in, it turned out that their earlier shot had been at my winged bird from the first encounter of the day. It could sort of run, sort of fly but neither at 100% capacity and they'd missed a running shot. As they chased it down the ridge Robbie had got onto a second rooster - the one I had walked past. We had a quick rest and chin wag then decided to go up the ridge to see if we could cut the woundie's trail - sure enough Robbie took off, the phezzie ran down hill, Robbie catching up, phezzie getting ahead - then a burst of speed and Robbie has him! We continued and i saw Robbie set, then head off towards MEB so I kept on up the slope. 2 shots! And then a pheasant came from left to right and landed in a patch of low blackberry 60m up from me. I stalked quietly up there and walked into the scrub. A hen burst out and I tracked her then a cock got up and went like the clappers. 2 shots and i saw he was hit as his leg dropped. I walked up the ridge and crossed the road - only 1 gully down the other side, so I looped around to meet the lads - MEB had scored a nice big rooster. We crossed the road and Chris put Robbie into the gulley, where he found a big dead rooster. 4 with 5 shots - stoked! We walked another block for a couple of hours but it was infested with turkeys, the phezzies we did see ran ahead and got out well out of range. Chris nailed a pair of parries getting himself on the board. Getting on by this time, so we visited another block of recently cutover pines. Chris mentioned that birds preferred the ridges facing the sun, so we set off. Almost immediately birds started getting out - waaayyy ahead of us. As i moved into some real sh*t a bird got up aabout 40m out and I let rip, dropping him. Robbie got down there but it was heavy and the bird had moved - another runner. Robbie worked hard to get on him and then he was off with the dog in pursuit. Robbie grabbed the bird, delivered him, and that was me done. A Northland limit - stoked! A couple of beers in the sun overlooking the scene and then off to Chris's for a coffee. Home by 8.15 pm. A great day, great company and I'll be back.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lakelands Tuesday shoot

4 guns, a dozen beaters and 54 birds with 220 shots. Mid weekers might take off more next year. So that's 723 birds harvested, probably a hundred predated, another 100 poached or shot around the preserve. Still means that there's 2,000 birds out there somewhere!

Monday, August 3, 2009

August ponds

We went for a mission on Saturday, to retrieve the decoys and feeder from the ponds, and to measure the hut for interior cladding. First of all, the water was high and the ponds looked great - swans had eaten the grass at the front door of the hut! Lots of ducks, nice to see pairs of spoonies along with mallards, greys and teal. The Western edge is covered with feathers, if only we can get the water to stay high it would be a great breeding area.

Anyway, so that I can remember hut (interior) dimensions and not lose them, here goes:

Northern and Southern walls: 6000 L
Eastern & Western walls: 5700 L
Interior Height at Northern end: 2940
Interior height at Southern end: 2700

Patch of floor to be cut & replaced 1300 x 1400

North West window (to outside of frame): 1325 L x 1130 H
North East window (to outside of frame): 1225 L x 1130 H