Tahr Interest Group

[EXCLUSIVE] Illegal helicopter hazing of Tahr caught on camera

Himalayan Tahr Photo/ Stealth Films

Himalayan Tahr Photo/ Stealth Films

As regular readers will know I am a fan of hunting…the last trip I went on required me to stalk and observe Sambar. After I shot my deer I then had to go and locate and retrieve the animal…this was all done on foot, including recovering the animal up a steep blackberry covered gully.

Some people think that hunting should be done from helicopters. I disagree with them.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with the culling of pest herds and using helicopters and trained cullers to do that.

But actually flying over scared and frightened animals, or worse hazing them into exhaustion and then allowing people to shoot them is not hunting. It disgusts me.

I have been provided this video of a helicopter operator hazing and herding Tahr on Department of Conservation land. This requires the helicopter pilot to drop off his “hunters” and then to harass and scare animals into the range of what you will see are obviously inexperienced and useless shots.

Accompanying the video is a sworn affidavit of the three actual hunters who, sitting in blaze orange, were on a ridge when the helicopter cowboys flew in and proceeded to haze the Thar. They managed to capture stills, and video of the whole incident which has been released exclusively to WOBH.

According to the affidavit, signed by three NZDA hunters, they observed in the South Opuha block the following:

On that morning at 11:17am 9the time when the first photograph was taken) we were located at grid ref 170? 42.0976’E; 43? 54.441’S at about 1200m ASL to the south of Sugarloaf when we heard, then saw an approaching helicopter. It was travelling from the valley of the South opuha and along the tributary of that river which runs between our position and Sugarloaf heading in a north westerly direction, slightly higher than we were at about 1350-1400m. We could clearly see the marking of this black machine, HQL. Read more »