Spring into the Hills | Hunting Tips

18th October 2022|2min

The tail end of winter really put the boot into some steep areas and tracks around New Zealand this year.

A guest Story by Adam Smith for the NZDA Hunting and Wildlife Magazine Spring 2022

As you will have experienced and read, the very heavy rainfall on top of already soggy ground worked over a lot of New Zealand. So, take a bit of extra time to see how that might affect your next couple of trips. While you are at it, think about the last time you did a steep climb with a pack and if you sorted out those bits and bobs from your checklist after your last trip. 

Some access roads may be washed out or have slips. There could be blowdowns as well. Give yourself extra time to get to your trailhead. Many tracks will require going around slips or downed trees. Look for information on the area that you might head to find out if it will affect how you might plan your trip. Some tracks might require large detours. 

Look for info online or from your mates. Share the info. If you encounter issues with tracks or road access share it on the various Facebook groups or, if it is in Plan My Walk our free website and app, you can add pictures and a review of the track to help other users. You can do it without giving away hunting Spot X! A great example of this is on our NZ Avalanche Advisory (NZAA) which in addition to the advisory, has a public observations section. If you are going alpine, it should go without saying to check the NZAA site for advice or any updates. 

Unpredictable weather will continue for the next few months as well. Hopefully no more ‘atmospheric rivers,’ though certainly there will be more rain. So, keep an eye on those rivers, NIWA has an interesting river flow map on their site. Have those backup plans ready to go and be sure that your contact knows what they might be. Bring the right gear every time. Rain shells and some type of emergency shelter, even a survival blanket at least, should always be on your person. 

Think about getting those walks in before you hit the hill. While you are at it, get your checklist out to look over your kit and confirm your zero. I know a lot of you are thinking, ‘done and dusted.’ But, for a lot of people there might be some bits you forgot. Do not find out on the trip that you have used your spare batteries and your gas cylinder is empty. It has certainly happened to me. But all of this is just another way to spread the excitement about an upcoming trip and have a blast.

Enjoy the hills and continue to learn!