Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday happenings

TT & Garth had a great session on the snaps at the Noises, with instant hot bites that stopped as quickly as they started after a couple of hours. I arrived at TT's at 2.45, to find a fish bin full of decent sized (solid) frames. We got saddled up and headed for Karaka. Spoke to Rick on the way and him, Andy, The Big V and Jason had added another 27 ducks to the tally. That takes 'us' to 299 in the bag. Long weekend coming up so I am aiming to shoot Saturday and Sunday, go home Sunday night and spend monday with Family.

We arrived at Karaka at about 4, TT's mate Greg cleaned up a snapper for family dinner and then we jumped in the car and drove down to his slowly filling pond. TT saw a hare straight away and set off on a stalk while I put the decoys in. A couple of shots and TT was on the board.

Meanwhile Greg went to grab his boys from the house. So the hunting party was me, TT, Greg and Greg's 2 young boys. We sat and waited. A lone Mallard circled about 500m off but carried on. Later a flock of parries appeared and one peeled off towards us then shied away. Later still, swan began to move. A few lone calls in the distance was all we heard of ducks. We pulled the pin at 6.15 and got TT home about 10 minutes late for his Sunday dinner. I got home and cooked pheasant schnitzel in herb butter - yum, nice tip Andy!

2 hunts over the weekend. Great stuff.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yakkin with TT

Hard as he tried, he couldn't convince me to go to after snaps tomorrow morning. The weather (to me) looks a tad shite to be on the ocean, plus I sort of promised I'd be around home. So we've compromised on Tt taking a morning trip and then us going for a duck in the afternoon. Sweet.

Paddock hunt

Our preferred spot was found to be on neighbour's land so we set up the field dekes at about 4.30 on the edge of a drain. Behind us was a band of willows, marshy paddock and standing water.

The new full motion Higdon feeders are great. The heads bobble in the breeze beautifully.

We sat for about an hour talking, comparing notes and listening to the pheasants sget ready for bed. At least 4 cockbirds cackled their way to bed, and close by I watched a hen go up to her roost. We had Roboduk on duty as well, and at one point a hawk dived on the dekes pulling away at the last second as it realised its mistake.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw 2 birds drop into the pond behind us. So birds were around and moving with the drizzle that had set in. Cloudy mist shrouded the Huntly powerstation's smoke stacks. Over on the lake 300m away, birds were beginning to talk, swans mainly with the occasional croak of a hidden mallard. Then we saw ducks in the air. We called a brace that hit the airbrakes when the spotted the dekes. They swung around 7 or 8 times, sometimes within range but never presenting a full chance. Tim got a couple of shots away at them. Darkness was coming now. Tim stalked the standing pond and put up a couple of ducks and some Teal. The full moon gave great light but we knew that the birds would have a chance to fly much later than we could hunt. We worked the standing water again, Tim getting a shot on some parries that came sailing in. Nearer closing time we moved back to our field dekes and a mob of parries nearly comitted.

We packed stuff away at 6.30, stopped in to say goodbye to the land owner and I got home at about 8.15. Sitting in a paddock in drizzle has never been better - and I never fired a shot.

Friday, May 28, 2010

More who got what posts

Spoke with dad yesterday after he got back from the swamp. Another limit but he mentioned it was harder work. After he'd finished a big flock sat on the pond and he said it was 90% hen birds. (82.6087% to be exact. I made up the 90% bit). His limit was made up of 83.33334% hen birds.Maths at work. Can we presume that hunters are targeting drakes more often than hens? Well that's a pretty small observation window and tiny sample, so who can tell? Rick and I saw far more hens than drakes on opening, yet the bag since has been mostly evenly mixed I think.

Anyhow, Tim and i are off to huntly this afternoon for a wee sit down and see at Kimihia. Perhaps we'll get a flight, with the flooded paddocks its a better than even bet in my opinion. I picked up some Higdon motion Fead full body dekes for the occassion. When I get my GHG resters back I ought to have a passable field spread.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And now...

I'm just a vicarious duck hunter. Txt from dad "6 Mallard Drakes". One would presume that's another limit. Of course it is, I can just imagine his Splasher Flasher and Pulsator, Mallard Machine and flocked heads all working in the wind and weather. Wish i was there... too bad.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Another call from Rick. (This is getting tedious in terms of a theme). He and Sapich took limits again this morning, and in Rick's own words "It was carnage. 5 guns could easily have limited, there were flocks of mallards everywhere". Yesterday afternoon, having dropped off The Big V (who got 4 yesterday) Rick went out for an arvo shoot and finished yet another limit, again there were plenty of birds. Rain and wind may not have mattered as much as the big dump of fresh water that knocks the willow weed seeds down - the ducks know when there's ample feed about. They also hammered a flock of misguided parries.
Mental calculation: 260 birds off the ponds so far. With a 6 bird limit that's pretty special.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rick Reports

Seems the Big V managed to get a leave pass, probably not so hard for a self-employed guru. Anyway they got only 1 flock in this morning and took 3 birds. Had a chat with Guy, he's very pleased with yesterday's shoot.

Weekend happenings

Dad got 4 ducks on Saturday morning, being as calm as a millpond it wasn't exactly the best duck weather. Sunday (yesterday) he got another limit. I picked Tim and Quinn up and we headed down to the first Sunday syndicate shoot at Lakelands. It was well done, really well done, beaters and pickers were superb, the birds were well presented and I started with a nice double, then another, and from the first drive ended with 5 birds from 7 shots. Then it all got a bit more challenging (understatement). Tahi's Woods was epic. The birds came thick and fast. So many that recalling was hard... I remember getting a high double, but i also pricked quite a few birds. Rex Murray was on an elevated spot behind me and later told me that the difference between the birds I was killing, and the ones I was pricking was about 10 feet in elevation, not that I could tell. I looked down at one stage and saw a carpet of empties, I fired 57 shots for maybe 15 birds down. Including a white pheasant, one of Johnno's "marker birds". Ehem. A bottle of bubbly rested on that bird, but it was one of 5 shot on the day.

On partridge. Now this is a fun game bird. They fly low and fast, come in on set wings at epic pace and are my new favourite game bird. Having never shot at them before. At Lusitanicus I suddenly had 4 coming my way. All I really remember was these 4 small missiles with stub wings Rocketing over the rise and screaming at me all jinking and weaving. Seeing the shooting line they put on afterburners. I swung on one that suddenly peeled perpindicular to the line and fired, feathers puffed and I had my first partrdge! Soon after, another came wizzing past and I got him with the second shot. To give an idea of the speed of these things, the second bird fell 25m behind me. Admitidly I was on a slight rise and the land fell away behind me, but hell! these things have rockets in their bums. After the drive I went out to pick up my first bird. The gun beside me asked what i was looking for and when I told him, he pointed out my dead bird 3 m from where he was standing! Some 15 m from where I was looking.

It was a great day, nice to meet some new people, Brad Gwynn in particular is a nice guy, and good to have a contact inside the Big B. Lunch was superb, organisation was superb, in fact it was all superb.

347 Pheasants & 6 partridge. And a feral cat.

On ducks. We all knew that the forecast for Monday (today) is NE Gales and "Extreme Gales" (forgive me for not knowing how to differentiate between gales and extreme gales) and Rick was already talking about this on Friday when we spoke. He was trying his best to get a crew together to go in to the ponds; AJ had already used his get out of jail card and needed to work today; Jason couldn't go; The Big V seemed to be wavering but must have fallen through; and in Tim we thought we had a shining ray of light. But nup, he couldn't do it either. As I write I expect Rick is blamming away at mallards. Hope its going well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Pro's Score

A limit for Rick.
A limit for Craig S.

Rack 'em up. Dad, Russ and Russ's nephew ought to be in the pond about now, hope they have their warm woolies and raincoats, she's brrrrrr out there.

Random Shots

Now that Milo has published his black marlin story, I can post a couple of shots of the trip:

The Triumph

Marlin broaching (Credit: Mark Armistad)

Fish aboard

Roly, Milo, Mark & Fish

Roly Bagshaw was skippering on that fine day. As mentioned somewhere else in this blog, the fish went 252kg, a fine effort.

And a shot of a fine fly caught kingfish from Nik: (Credit Nik Matheisen)

Ian with a bonefish (Credit: Simon Chu).

Ian's in Canada at the moment. He'll be pleased to know that the income tax breaks are probably sufficient to warrant a return to kiwi-land ;)

But the REAL reason he's there as we know is because he's fly-fishing mad and wants to catch a halibut on a 4 weight. :D

Thanks to all the photographers involved for helping me "pretty up" the blog a bit with some images.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Higdon Pro Staff

Rick & Craig Sapich are heading down for an evening & morning shoot. The cold has really arrived, it's dark, cold day with an expected SE stiffening breeze. Dad's going in on weekend with Russ & Russ's nephew, hope the Higdon pros don't kill all the ducks before they get there. :) Higdon Affiliates

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday and Sunday - the whirlwind

Ok so its fair to say that I've not really hunted ducks all that often this season. Gone are the days of relative freedom that went with a semi-career in studenthood, long weeks of sort of up at dawn, lazy days, out at night hunting. So far I had 2 days and 1 night on the ducks, not really enough to be considered hard a hard core waterfowler. So, Rick & The Big V went into the ponds on Thursday night and shot limits on Friday. Jason arrived down there Friday evening as did Tim, Andrew and Quinn (Tim's boy). With electronica to the fore, Rick, Jason and The Big V, all took limits on Puru while Tim knocked down a solitary bird. Good times. Saturday's driving rain and wind burst was intolerable, I was ACHING for a duck hunt because that's duck weather and you don't always get it in May in NZ. When I got to the landing on Saturday night I felt excited. When the boys appeared in the Rick-mo boat I felt really excited. By the time we got to the hut I was fizzing! Nice to see The Big V, Jason (we met last year)the Hollands and Rick again. A few beers and we hoed into possibly the best swamp meal ever, roast wild pork, pork-fat roasted duck, roast spud & pumpkin, gravy and some sprouts (gah). Lots of dishes as a result. In bed about 10.30 but I was awake later listening to rain smack the roof and wind rock the trees. Up at 05.00 to put on the kettle, and the lads emerged one by one. Taking Robo and Wonder ducks, me, Tim, Andy and Quinn headed for Willow. Just when we stopped the boat a hen hailed loudly overhead - "sweet" I thought. Got the dekes sorted and then headed into the mai mai with tthe lads and waited... waited. Had a feeding chuckle competition with the Crossfire guys for a while. Swan were out and about, and teal, and now and again we heard shots from Rick & co. in Puru. A pair was circling Rick when the Prang-dangs opened fire. Fools like that should be drowned at birth, the same idiots who park their car in the boat turning area at the landing. Then they came our way and circled a bit before buggering off. Finally 4 appeared behind us, banked hard left and came in at about 25m high. I called the shot and killed the drake, then nailed a hen and then hit another bird and cleaned it up with shot number 4. Andy hit the 4th bird but it carried on behind us, banked and headed over the crossfire to die in a hail of fire. That was it for a long while, the Thames guys packed up and then we had a brief burst of activity when a pair of greys circled and departed and then a another grey buzzed the pond, escaping a mini barrage from me. We picked up the dekes at 10.30 and got back to the hut with 40 odd birds to clean. The weather being warm, a couple of the gut hit birds were going a bit green so got breasted out. The rest were plucked, singed and drawn. man what a lopad of gear to pack out. 7 people make for plenty of boat trips and the first run up the river with me, Andy, Jason and The Big V aboard took forever at jogging pace. Sort of reminded me of the old days with the sea nymph and old Evinrude when a slow trip from Ngatea was an hour odd.

Home at 3.30 feeling really happy to have got a hunt under the belt.

Adding 42 birds to the tally brings season total to 210 odd. Pretty good going I reckon.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting a lashing

Holy crap the weather's really packed in, strong northerlies, rain, thunder and its just not going to move anytime soon. So I negotiated with Marce to head down to the swamp this evening. So yup the weather's getting a lashing. And so am I. I can't explain how bad I'm crawling up the walls. I need to hunt.

19 so far

I texted Rick last night about a severe thunderstorm warning. Tim decided to ring at 9.45pm to leave a childish message, god bless. I rang Tim just now (10.15 am) and Rick, his mate Jason and The Big V all have limits from Puru. Tim and Andrew put dekes in Park and got a bird. So they've moved down to shoot at Puru. With a frontal system all weekend and northerlies prevalent, I think more ducks will come.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rick & The Big V

News from the swamp, Rick limited out and the Big V took 5 ducks this morning for a bag of 11. Rick reported that birds decoyed beautifully to a mixture of his finest flocked decoys plus assorted electronica at Puru. I'm stoked that the ponds have kept producing consistantly in the first few weeks. They also got the first spoonie of the season, a drake with only one foot and 'messed up' on a flock. Tim and Andy are heading in this evening with Rick's mate Jason going as well. Slight Easterly still. I'd pitch a few dekes into Willow, not sure what electric ducks are available. I know my Robo had a snapped wire. Maybe Mr. Wonderduck can do it on his own? Damn I miss duck hunting. Roll on Sunday at Karaka, hopefully am scoping out a property close enough to town for the odd night shoot now and again.

Ripped off

Rick went in to the hut last night and rang straight away with news - some time between Sunday and last night the hut had been broken in to. At first the scale of what was stolen was not clear and Rick sounded alarmed, but he gradually worked out that we'd lost some dodgy ammo and our fuel cans. And a packet of tobacco. So probably some dole bludger without anything to do on weekdays except steal other people's stuff. Hope the ammo blows up his gun. Scum.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Der Schwampenfuhrer

Dad still holds the title, I'm merely Der Schwampenfuhrer Jr. He's back home after 10 days of swamp prep and duck hunting. When I spoke with him last night he sounded tired but happy with the weekend's events. Rick, his mate Jason and AJ's dad went in on Friday night and shot well on Saturday to complete limits for Rick and Jason, while dad and AJ Snr. took 8 birds between them. AJ showed up Saturday night and I think from memory that altogether they got another 10 yesterday. So the first 'week' is over and a mental calculation says 170 birds from the ponds. Not bad at all. And while I can't agree with the 'science' that went into the limit setting process by AW last year, in hindsight it probably was a good call what with the drought....

The Shanks Syndicate

Where to start? After a decent drive down to the Shanks Ranch on Friday night Tim and I rolled up to find James & Shanks in residence. We sat down and regaled each other with tales of opening, James had come off a week of hunting ducks and Shanks had been keeping his head down after a good opening.

We hit the hay quite late in the evening and were awoken to the sound of barking dogs and Craig yelling JAMES! as the other guests arrived at about 7. A brekkie of toast, weetbix & coffee and we saddled up.

The inaugural gathering of the Shanks syndicate - roll call:

The "guns":

Vice Regal Shankspony (Craig)
Top Predator (James)
Cleaky (Tim)

The "manservant":

NZ Varminter (Grant)
& his boy Mitchell

We drove down to start the day by the release pen, the birds had been weaned off weeks ago so were fully wild at this point. What followed was 6 hours of up hill, down dale and bashing through a mixture of rough stuff - all the while putting up birds. Personal highlights: snaking a bird off Tim as it burst from a patch of scrub cackling its head off with a lab hard on its tail (sorry Tim, we're still mates right?), knocking down a melanistic bird at 60m from a highly elevated boulder, but unfortunately we lost this bird in a patch of shitty scrub - and knocking over a goat! Tim got his first wild birds, Craig shot well and James came right even knocking down a bird from a seated postion with his Xtrema near the end of the shooting day. Hunting near bottomless tomos is challenging in itself, my first bird of the day fell straight into one and we just weren't going down there without safety ropes and harnesses. James dropped a high rooster straight into a huge tomo as well - peril to man and dog alike even approaching that one. If nothing else we were under-dogged, having another couple of hounds would have been great in hindsight.

We stopped mid afternoon for a posed photo session, just for fun smoking some big stogies.

And let James pose for the camera with his "gun-boy":

And posed some more:

We got back to Shank's house, had some lunch (Fallow steaks with garlic), watched a film clip or 2 of day's events and cleaned the bag. Later that evening we got ready for a pig hunt, Shanks & Mitchell taking bows, me and Tim with rifles, James with video camera.

We got to the baits a wee bit late to see a black boar and 3 grey pigs milling around. As the wind was right on our face we were able to get within 20 m of the bait. Craig & Mitchell were up front when a grey boar came trotting towards them to within 8m. Craig drew and put an arrow right through the boiler room and the pig ran off up the hill and over the brow. The black boar trotted off leaving the other 2 pigs undisturbed. Craig drew again and nailed a second pig through the spine, dropping it on the spot. The other pig belted off, aided by a wayward shot from me to give it a hurry along. Craig cut the spined pig's throat then we went in search of the first pig with the aid of headlamps. I found it still moving in s patch of scrub and we had 2 in the bag. I have to say that a skilled bow hunter is not to be messed with.

Back to the Shanks homestead again to light a fire, have a bite and then the James party headed out to spotlight another pig or two while we cleaned up a pig for ride home to Ak. Tim and i got out of there at about 8, had a nice drive to Huntly where I dropped tim off and then carried on home. I hung the pig in the garage (v. unhappy wife)and hit the hay tired but very happy.

Roll on day II at the shanks preserve!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A limit a day

Had a chat with Rick, he and his mate Jason are looking to head to the ponds this weekend. While we were chatting, dad called and he's got another limit this morning at Puru. He mentioned that birds are coming through fairly regularly in small numbers which works just great for a lone gunner. So that's a limit a day, not sure I ever did that - go the old boy. Looks like a wet weekend, me and Tim are off to Shanks Ranch for a much anticipated pheasant and pig hunt. Need to get some pork in the freezer so am looking forward to a day of action. Stock up on some roosters too, ahhh life's good!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Update on the Aussies, and from dad

Dad called yesterday to find out where my Roboduk bag is. He's done well taking limits on Monday and again yesterday. Sounds like he's enjoying his retirement and making the most of his opportunities - way to go.

And this from Milo:

From: Miles Rushmer []
Sent: Tuesday, 4 May 2010 10:32 p.m.
To: Nick Foster; Brian Waters; Andre Strez
Subject: Re: Lakes

Legend bro!
Enjoyed the aussies today - they were saying they shot their limits of ducks on opening with (Name withheld), Peter Talleys' twin-of sorts.
Sounds like they enjoyed the shoot, and the company, yesterday too.
Fishing was hard today... last time I guided 3 up a stream was 5 years ago... Big loud aussies and stealth don't really fit the day, however they all caught small bows, and had some pretty easy shots at large browns - at best 15lb - needless to say they weren't up to the challenge. Good lads all round tho - fark - he's caught over 30 1000lb marlin and killed at +1600lb. Gotta love 'em....fucken aussies!
Ranch tomorrow....
Miles Rushmer Guiding
Trophy Trout*Saltwater*Shooting
Bay of Plenty
New Zealand

105 Links Ave
Mount Maunganui
021 371 265

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The joy of the season

Friday 31 April
First let me start by saying that this post will be sans photos, somehow I never unpacked the camera once! Anyhow, here's how it unfolded for me. Arrived at Munster Jr's (this year's hosted junior shooter organised by Tim) house at 7.30 for a cuppa and packed his gear into the car and we were off! Relatively uneventful drive to the landing, only a handful of cars were parked there. Dad (who had gone in to the hut the day before) picked us up just after 9, and we got our gear stowed in the hut before lugging the dekes out to the pond. We got Willow set up, then McLennan's, Park, Puru and finally bollocks finishing about 3pm - quite a big effort all in all. The new GHG J weights are a bonus, making life really easy. (Maybe FA can get a similar product on the market Breda? ;)
Rick arrived early afternoon, so back out to Willow to place the splasher flashers, pulsators, his Wonderduck and Roboduk and a dozen of his motion head shell dekes (brilliant!!!). In addition we had my robo and wonderduck so the place looked alive! By the time Rick and I got back both Frank and tom were in residence, leaving just the Hollands to be picked up. Unfortunately the tide was low by then and still going out so a few quick txts to let them know to take their time. Quite a bit of time was spent watching birds pealing into the ponds, and then Frank's dog took off. The neighbours brought the stoopid mutt back and shared a whisky or two before going on their way to have some 'Ambush Stew' - something to do with having to get out of waders fast when the need for a movement arose!!!!
Finally Rick and I got down to pick them up after 8 - having a wee run in with Gus on the way, he got upset with Rick... but anyway.

Saturday 1 May
Up, up and away! Fuelled by veni sausages and porridge, we're clambering into jackets, waders, hoisting ammo, blind bags, rounding up dogs and jumping into boats.
Here's the break down;
Willow pond - Nick & Rick
McLennan's - Andrew H
Watsons - Dad (Dick)
Puru - Tim & Liam (Munster Jr.)
Park - Frank
Bollocks - Tom

Rick and I are placing decoys at 6.10 when we hear the first shots of the season - grrr. 6.15 and a fair barrage goes off. We're still fiddling with batteries and stuff but are relaxed as we'd agreed on drakes only and all week I'd been watching birds in the mornings and couldn't tell ducks from drakes until after 7. We had a fair multitude of birds visit us, letting a good number of hens and greys go unmolested. Can't remember what time we were done, but the 6 bird limit was easily achieved without any dramas. Rick used his new Benelli 28g, and I packed the Winchester for old time's sake. We all meandered back to the hut for lunch, then rick, Tim, me, Frank and dogs went after a rooster who had been cackling. We found where he'd been, for a while the dogs got pretty excited. Back at the hut Andrew and Frank prepared for the evening hunt so Andrew could close out his limit, he needed a final bird. Frank needed 2. Andrew and I propped up McLennan's and waited maybe 90 minutes for a brace to come in. Andrew dropped the drake, finishing the day in fine style. Very gratifying to have resting ducks on the ponds all day too. Back at the hut the day's events were regaled in fine style, then Tim & Tom set to making a fine meal of venison and mashed swede, followed by apple crumble and cream. I seriously ate myself to a stand still. A few high jinks involving an eel and a pukeko carcass, then dragged myself to bed.

4.45 Sunday May 2

The alarm goes off and i'm on breakfast duty so I get up and build the fire, smoking out the top bunk residents in the process. :D This morning the roster is changed around:

Willow - Rick & Frank
McLennan's - Liam
Watsons - Tim
Puru - Tom & Andrew
Park - me
Bollocks - dad

This morning I'm using mr. Xtrema. I call a flock in early (larger groups rarely come in to Willow, with extensive competition from nearby water so its nice to see) and take one drake, missing another as they scattered behind me. Then Robo starts playing up. I change batteries. The Mojo already on the pond isn't working either, so for while its just the good old wonderduck paddling around out there. For the next half hours its backwards/forwards with batteries to Robo, as I discover that flat batteries have been left in the maimai and no sooner have i changed the battery than its flat. I nail a few ducks while up to my chest in water, including a very cool double. Birds come consistantly and I'm done by about 8 o'clock so I call dad over. As he's coming across a flock arrives and he smacks his first bird. Within an hour he's knocked down his limit as well so we hitch a ride from Tim and go about bringing in the first bags of dekes. previous experience with leaving them hidden around the ponds has been ok until last season, when we had upwards of 60 dekes stolen by itinerant shooters. We begin to pluck out the morning's bag, while the guys trickle back from the ponds and join the prduction line - pluck singe, chop, slice, gut, wash, pack. By mid afternoon we're well on top of the job, and dad's mate Larry arrives to join him for a few days.

Rick, Tim, Frank, Tom, Munster Jr and me are leaving today. Rick and I are loading for a couple of Guy's clients tomorrow on a pheasant drive. As it is Lakeland's first real official shoot day we're all keen to make it work so its breeks and ties, fancy socks with tassles and best behaviour. I get home and play with Rilee, clean the gears and put them away and make a nice dinner. Hit the hay early.

Monday June 3

I arrive slightly late at Lakelands, nothing like Monday morning traffic - a mini horror story. The guns today are Australian industrialists, friends of a well known kiwi who made his fortune in fisheries. They are quite down to earth and have travelled the world extensively pusruing fish and beasts. My gun had over a dozen 1000lb marlin to his name and the older gent's biggest trout was a 25lb brownie from Argentina.

The guns started a bit slow to be fair, but by the and of the day had accounted for 255 pheasant and 5 partridge with a few over 1,500 shots. 5:1 is not bad I'm assured. The day went marvellously well, the previous 2 year's practice paid off and it was great to see Guy and Johnno actually relaxed. I took Pete the gamekeeper from Rathmoy to the airport on the way home - now here's an interesting and enlightened dude. Will have to make sure to stay in touch. We also had Tim from Matangerahi onboard as a loader - so in terms of game bird husbandary expertise we were well covered! Caught up with Kawhia as well, he'd had the best opening of his life.

Today's guns are off to fish with Milo for 2 days, maybe no 25lbers but hell they'll see fish over 10lb for sure!

Anyway, back to work. Roll on Saturday and the Shanks Ranch.