Monday, May 19, 2014

Blanket fog

The Waikato River is the longest river in NZ, but not the largest by volume of flow (that distinction belongs to The Clutha). It runs for 420 odd kilometres, if you count the bit that tips into Lake Taupo at the south end before draining at the north end. It then ambles off sort of NNW, before buggering off to the west coast. Due to its river, the Waikato district is well known for generating fog. NZ being a bit of a longish thinnish country is subject normally to winds that just move fog and mist along, but when a settled weather system parks on top of the Waikato…. We’d arrived at the allotted time of 8.30, with me driving Matt’s ute. As we crossed the Bombays I said to Matt “uh-oh, we could be rooted here…” and so we were. Guns, beaters and dog handlers sat for the next few hours shooting the breeze, drinking coffee and tea and eating scones. Now and then a small vesper would disturb the leaves and raise hopes… but nah, we needed at least 100m of visibility to shoot safely. I began to feel like nodding off. Then we decided to fire up the barbecue and cook up a pile of venison sausages and heat up the elevenses. The food went down a treat and newly invigorated, we began to look forward to the shoot. Finally the call was made to proceed. We drew pegs, allocated ourselves into vehicles and said goodbye to the beating team (some of whom we wouldn’t see until day’s end; some not at all). I’d screwed modified and improved/modified chokes in; and like the day before was running 1oz loads.


More fog
The birds flew really well considering the coolish damp air; and both AJ and Coch stood out with their shooting efforts. I was pleased enough with my lot; only 2 big moments for me, once when I had an empty 'hang' in the ejector as 2 birds zoomed at me; Dickie on my right and Rick on my left picked them off; the other when I missed an absolute sitter of a cock bird coming straight over.
This bird hit a tree while flying in the fog :)

Fog watchers

We finished on dark; headed back to base for venison steaks and a beer or two then Matt and I were gone. Matt had put everything into his day's beating and was shagged. He sent a text to say he'd made it home ok - he lives an hour out from mine. Much appreciated dude.

A couple of bonus turkeys in there
As we left the scene, fog was settling.



  1. Love it! Always enjoy your posts when I'm sitting around daydreaming of our season to begin. I only wish there were more pics. I'm always a sucker for driven shoots.

  2. Not sure if you're a Facebook junky (I've been forced to join as one of my syndicates will only communicate via FB.....) but try this link for more shots:

    1. Not a facebook guy but thanks for the link. Now that's what I'm talking about! Absolutely love it. Good stuff. May your season be a good one!