Tahr

Firm caught hazing Thar loses licence

Earlier in the year I wrote about a helicopter firm that was busted on video hazing Thar. I released the video (viewed nearly 9000 times) at the time along with details of the complaint…a story the media ignored.

Well, now that firm has lost its licence to hunt on Conservation lands as a result of the ensuing investigation.

A company has lost its hunting permit after illegally hunting thar on conservation land in the South Opuha area.

Department of Conservation’s Eastern South Island services director Andy Roberts said Ashburton company Station Air’s permit to do aerially-assisted trophy hunting was terminated after a breach of the permit conditions. ?? Read more »

Tahr Helicopter hazing case gaining wider coverage now

Last week we broke the story of a helicopter operator caught red handed on video hazing tahr. The video has been view more than 5,000 time as the story spreads.

Now the Timaru Herald has taken up the story.

A report of “indiscriminate” heli-hunting on public conservation land in South Canterbury has angered the deer hunting fraternity.

Footage of the alleged incident has appeared on the Whale Oil blog, and a group of South Canterbury deer hunters have also provided a sworn affidavit to the Department of Conservation.

According to the affidavit, the helicopter operator chased the tahr into a small gully, before dropping two people off to shoot the animals.

“After some flying up and down the gully it was obvious that the animals were being herded to where the shooter was,” the affidavit said. ? Read more »

[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 »