Introduction

Find out information about the tahr ballot for the Hooker-Landsborough and Adams Wilderness areas and submit an application for the ballot.

There are several areas where tahr populations need to be reduced to minimise effects on the environment. There may be aerial tahr culls of nannies and juveniles in parts of the Hooker/Landsborough and Adams Wilderness Areas.

2020 winter ballot

Hunters need to be aware that:

  • applications will only be accepted through the online application form
  • applications opened 9 am Monday 30 September 2019 and closed 4 pm Friday 25 October 2019
  • there are party-size limits for safety and to minimise impacts on campsites: minimum size 2; maximum size 6
  • a one-off non-refundable fee of $60 will be charged for each application regardless of whether the applicant is successful or not
  • all correspondence for the 2019/2020 Tahr Ballot must be sent to haasthuntingballot@doc.govt.nz

Aerial access 

In the 2020 ballot, recreational hunters will have some managed aerial access into the Hooker / Landsborough and Adams Wilderness Areas made available under the terms of the ‘Himalayan Tahr Control Plan’, approved by the Minister of Conservation in 1993. This reflects the identification in the plan of recreational tahr hunting as one of the primary controls for tahr in particular areas.

Managed aerial access is being provided to position recreational hunters, and will be for a limited period of May to June. This period was selected to limit effects on other wilderness users and to coincide with the tahr rut and the period when skins are at their best.

Recreational hunters are being given this access to help reduce tahr densities to the target levels set in the tahr control plan. While a hunter’s chief objective may be trophy bulls, the Department encourages all hunters to remove nannies and juveniles in the process and to reduce group sizes to less than five animals.


Aerial access to these areas is a privilege - look after the opportunity.

Future access is reviewed annually and will depend on the way all parties involved co-operate to achieve the tahr density objectives set out in The Himalayan Tahr Control Plan.  Access must be managed to minimise effects on the wilderness values that these areas have been set aside to protect. Effects on these values will take longer to determine.

Post-season inspections locate hidden rubbish such as burnt tins, plastic, string, bags of coal, unburied toilet waste, offal and just poorly rehabilitated campsites. Remember these sites are inhabited for 8 straight weeks and it can be very unpleasant for the Parties towards the end of the season. 

It is imperative to see an increasing number of sites being left clean and tidy with minimum impact, as this is the key to continued hunting access.


Aerial operators

The right to fly recreational hunters into these sites will be issued to approved operators. Hunters are free to select a servicing operator from this list. Operators not appearing on the list may not be used.

AATH Aerial-Assisted Trophy Hunting

Aerial-assisted trophy hunting using a helicopter will be permitted in the Wilderness Areas during part of the ballot period, usually the last 1–2 weeks from the 14 June – 31 August.

Apart from this, no helicopter wild-animal carcass or live recovery for deer, chamois or tahr is allowed during the ballot period in the Wilderness Areas If you see any of this happening, record as much information as possible including helicopter registration (numbers and letters displayed on the machine) photos or video footage, and report this to the nearest DOC office as soon as possible so there can be an investigation.

Find out more about Aerial Assisted Trophy Hunting.

Dates

All landing sites will be open to aerial access between Saturday 25 April 2020 and Friday 19 June 2020.

This timeframe is broken into seven-day periods only, starting from Saturday 25 April 2020 and ending on Friday 19 June 2020.

  • 1st period: 25 April – 1 May 2020
  • 2nd period: 2 May – 8 May 2020
  • 3rd period: 9 May – 15 May 2020
  • 4th period: 16 May – 22 May 2020
  • 5th period: 23 May – 29 May 2020
  • 6th period: 30 May – 05 June 2020
  • 7th period: 6 June – 12 June 2020
  • 8th period: 13 June – 19 June 2020

Hunting areas

There are 25 landing sites throughout the Hooker / Landsborough and the Adams Wilderness Areas (see list below). In total, there are 200 opportunities (25 sites x 8 weeks) in the ballot. No landings are permitted outside these sites.

Most areas have one designated landing site but there is provision at several sites for an alternative camp site if snow and weather conditions allow. Where areas have an alternative landing site, there is only one heli landing opportunity per party, as no other party is permitted in that area at the same time.

Important: The Tahr Landing Site - Successful Ballot holders do not get exclusive rights to hunt a particular area like a Roar Block, you are able to hunt the Wilderness Area you have the Landing Site in. However, it is courtesy to only hunt the area around your Landing Site bounded by its natural boundaries.

What is being offered is the exclusive right to fly to a specific landing site for a particular period.

Anyone is free to walk in and hunt in these area’s if they have an open area Hunting Permit for the region.

Tahr Diary Results 2018–2019 (PDF, 91K)

Landing sites and campsites

Landing sites are in areas within walking distance of tahr herds and often have reasonably sheltered campsites nearby. At some sites, poor weather could prevent aircraft access. Careful planning and weather forecasting is essential. Ensure you have sufficient supplies to cope with delayed pickups.

Although the designated landing sites are the only sites where parties may land (some sites have two options), hunters can also walk from these landing sites to their own chosen campsite if they wish. Hunters should be aware of natural hazards such as dead overhanging trees when selecting their campsite. There will be kea at some sites; do not feed kea, and ensure campsites are kept as tidy as possible so as not to attract their attention.

Be aware that campsite locations may change due to flood or avalanche damage, changes to water channels or other issues.

Hooker / Landsborough Wilderness Area xxx

Map of approved landing sites in Hooker / Landsborough Wilderness Area (PDF, 2,395K)

Number

Name

 

Map Series

Map Sheet

NZTM Easting

NZTM Northing

Campsite altitude

1

and 1a

Baker Creek Lower (TL Landsborough)

(alternative site – Baker Creek Upper)

Topo50

Topo50

BY14

BY14

1344828

1346308

5144719

5142874

479 m

1284 m

2

Upper Zora (TR Landsborough)

Topo50

BY14

1344552

5147269

950 m

3

Opposite Percy (TR Landsborough)

Topo50

BY14

1346649

5145441

521 m

4

Hinds Tarn (TR Landsborough uphill of confluence of Zora Creek)

Topo50

BY14

1344180

5145629

990 m

5

Shelter Hollow (TL Landsborough)

Topo50

BY15

1349017

5147575

711 m

6

Arbor Rift (TR Landsborough)

Topo50

BY15

1348833

5147579

683 m

7

and 7a

Mahitahi Lower

(alternative site – Mahitahi Upper)

Topo50

Topo50

BY14

BY14

1340802

1342807

5151054

5149954

651 m

1044 m

8

Edison River

Topo50

BY14

1339072

5148289

1118 m

9

and 9a

Jacobs Upper

 (alternative site – Jacobs Lower)

Topo50

Topo50

BX14

BX14

1343272

1341012

5154505

5155874

728 m

633 m

10

Upper Otoko

Topo50

BY14

1333584

5144470

715 m

11

Dechen Creek (TR Landsborough)

Topo50

BY14

1341760

5142340

418 m

12

Bubble Creek (upper TL Landsborough)

Topo50

BY15

1351830

5150004

946 m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adams Wilderness Area

Map of approved landing sites in Adams Wilderness Area (PDF, 3,081K)

All sites

Number

Name

 

Map Series

Map Sheet

NZTM Easting

NZTM Northing

Campsite altitude

1

Adams Flat

Topo50

BW17

1412314

5205900

758 m

2

and 2a

Lord River

(alternative site – Lord Range)

Topo50

Topo50

BW18

BW18

1423272

1421807

5208058

5208091

1024 m

1360 m

3 and

3a

Poerua River

(alternative site – Poerua River Upper)

Topo50

Topo50

BW17

BW17

1404285

1406072

5206046

5204608

735 m

1159 m

4

Abel Lake

Topo50

BW17

1408850

5198507

1006 m

5

Barlow River

Topo50

BW17

1404891

5203065

1015 m

6

and 6a

Willberg Upper

(alternative site – Willberg Lower)

Topo50

Topo50

BW17

BW17

1407259

1406124

5207133

5208746

1261 m

1020 m

7

Speculation Creek

Topo50

BW17

1408963

5208229

1333 m

8

and 8a

Poker Gully Lower 

(alternative site – Poker Gully Upper)

Topo50

Topo50

BW18

BW18

1422838

1423190

5211018

5211363

1407 m

1560 m

9

and 9a

Eblis Tops

(alternative site – Aciphylla Creek)

Topo50

Topo50

BW17

BW17

1415610

1414182

5207796

5205497

1288 m

1166 m

10

Teichelmann Creek

Topo50

BW17

1408310

5197116

1519 m

11

Perverse Creek

Topo50

BW17

1403164

5200010

1347 m

12

Adams Range (TL Poerua Valley)

Topo50

BW17

1402468

5206082

1361 m

13

Lambert River

Topo50

BW17

1418874

5206831

723 m

 

Applications

Applications will only be accepted on the online application form. You can access this through the "Apply now" yellow button at the top of the page.

Applications close 4 pm Friday 25 October 2019. 

Applications for the ballot draw must include:

  • party leader contact details – name, address, date of birth, phone number and email
  • party members names, addresses and date of birth. 

Submit only one application per party for the area and period you are interested in, putting your preferred site first. The form is limited to five choices for all applicants.

Historically, applications have concentrated on the first two weeks of the programme, invariably leaving free many weeks later on.

Fees

A one-off $60 (incl GST) non-refundable fee will be charged per application.  No other fee will be incurred. 

Each party will be limited to one application per landing site in the initial phase of the ballot system.

Party’s found to have entered more than once will have all applications voided and no refund given.

Where does the fee money go?

These charges are solely to recover the costs of managing and administrating aerial access systems in a way that ensures the wilderness values of these areas are maintained and that there is adequate liaison with participating hunters. The charges levied do not include any permit or access fee.

Costs include: labour for administration and post-season campsite inspection, helicopter hire for post-season camp site inspection, advertising.

Ballot process

Stage 1

When the ballot draw has been completed, successful applicants will be advised of their allocated Site no later than the Friday 8 November 2019.  To confirm that Site, return the confirmation email no later than 4 pm Friday 22 November 2019. If no confirmation is received by this date the balloted area will be re-issued to another party of hunters in the second stage. If there are any changes in party members or contact details, the party leader must update them on the email before returning.

Stage 2 - Online only

9 am Wednesday 27 November 2019 to 9 am 29 November 2019

Any unallocated Tahr Landing Sites or allocated sites that have not been confirmed by parties will be available online for reallocation to any parties who were unsuccessful in the original draw.

You will need the link in your Unsuccessful email to access the booking page.

1 party, 1 site only, for this stage.

Stage 3

9 am Friday 6 December 2019

Any remaining landing sites will be made available online to all hunting parties (both professional and recreational hunters, successful and unsuccessful).

Apply online on the DOC website, any cancelled sites will be added to the booking page as they come in, we recommend you check regularly. We do not keep a waitlist.

Make sure you confirm your Party details and return to haasthuntingballot@doc.govt.nz

All new bookings incur the $60 fee.

The limitation that no party is permitted to hunt in more than five sites during the 8-week period will continue to apply.

Permit conditions

In addition to the standard conditions shown on your permit, the following conditions shall also apply:

  1. One kill return/hunting diary per party must be completed in full within two weeks of the completion of your trip and emailed to haasthuntingballot@doc.govt.nz. Failure to do so may prevent your participation in further ballots in the Adams and Hooker/Landsborough Wilderness Areas. Note: Combine observations from separate hunters each day to avoid duplicating daily tallies and enter total for week.
    Tahr hunting diary (Word, 26K)or PDF, 193K
  2. This is a Wilderness Area - dogs may not be taken into these areas.
  3. All rubbish is to be flown out. This includes all plastic string, burnt tinfoil and camp improvements.
  4. Vegetation is not to be cut for any reason (dead, fallen timber only is to be used for firewood).
  5. Only those aerial operators as noted hold contracts to service recreational hunters in these areas. No other operators may be used.
  6. All toilet waste should be buried and is to be kept clear of all waterways. 
  7. No structures other than tents are to be erected. Do not forget to remove all evidence of camping, and dismantle fireplaces.
  8. No chainsaws or building materials such as black polythene etc. are to be taken in.
  9. If, on arrival at your campsite, you find that a fireplace has been established by a previous party, make use of it - do not build another.

Party leaders are responsible for all party members adhering to permit conditions.

Hunting permits

The drawing of a successful Tahr Landing Site Ballot does not give you the right to hunt in that area, it allows you the right of being able to access it via helicopter, one drop off, one pick up.

All Party Members hunting will need to apply individually for an Open Area Hunting Permit either online or at a DOC office.

Permits run for 4 months from the application date.

Cancellations

If for any reason you are unable to use your Balloted Tahr Landing Site, contact haasthuntingballot@doc.govt.nz or the Department of Conservation, Haast as soon as possible so that it may be released back onto the booking site for someone else to utilise. Notifying your Helicopter Company that you are no longer able to use the Site is not enough as the Balloted Party Leader will be held responsible if a compliance issue arises from someone else using your Site, this could result in the Party Leader being refused entry in future Tahr Ballots.

Hunting in Hooker/Landsborough and Adams Wilderness Areas

Tahr prefer to inhabit a formidable environment and hunters must be physically and mentally prepared for this. Normal tahr range in summer is from 800 to 2200 metres; they often seek lower altitude scrub and bluffs during winter. They are usually found on or near steep rocky bluffs. Tahr usually set out to feed in the late afternoon, returning to cover the following morning. Hunting pressure may determine how urgently and how soon after daybreak they do this. Rifles with suitable calibre for shooting at long range are advised, along with good binoculars and spotting scopes. 

Safety is your responsibility

The terrain in most of these areas can be unstable and the area surrounding the sites is usually steep, broken, rocky and mountainous. There may be heavy snowfalls and disruptive westerly storms during the tahr hunting period. Avalanches are a potential hazard. Snow and ice usually become heavier towards the end of the season. The West Coast is well known for heavy rain and hunters should be well equipped and prepared. River crossings can be difficult and dangerous when water levels are high and/or discoloured.

Good communication devices are essential. Satellite phones and personal locator beacons are recommended and the Mountain Radio Service provides an excellent weather forecast and communication service. It is recommended that each hunting party take in a mountain radio.

Mountain Radio Service can be contacted via www.mountainradio.co.nz or by calling:

  • Christchurch: +64 3 343 5029
  • Dunedin +64 3 454 3262
  • Hokitika + 64 3 755 6135
  • Nelson: +64 3 544 7085
  • Wanaka: +64 3 443 7660
  • Te Anau: +64 3 249 8363
  • Invercargill: +64 3 931 1471

Identify your target before shooting

Hunters using a firearm must abide by the NZ Police Arms Code and the Arms Act 1983 and have a valid firearms licence.

Important: The system below does not give exclusive rights to hunt a particular area. Anyone who gets a permit for any of these areas and walks in to it is still free to do so. What is being offered is the exclusive right to fly to a specific landing site for a particular period.

Telephone survey

A telephone survey may be conducted by the Tahr Interest Group committee. Its sole purpose is to ask about your hunting trip and tahr sightings and kills. By submitting an application, you consent to the disclosure of your name and phone number only to the Tahr Interest Group committee.

The Tahr Interest Group committee is made up of representatives from DOC, SCI (Safari Club International), NZDA, High Country Federated Farmers, tahr farmers and helicopter operators. The group’s role is to create and enhance opportunities for the various hunting organisations to contribute to tahr control throughout the feral range. A key objective for the next few years is to improve knowledge of recreational hunters’ contributions.

2021 ballot

Information for the 2021 ballot will be available online from September 2020.

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