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What say you Kiwi's?
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A mate of mine has just told me he's shagging his girlfriend and her twin. I said "How can you tell them apart?" He said "Her brother's got a moustache!"
Posts: 7610 | Location: Bloody Queensland where every thing is 20 years behind the rest of Australia! | Registered: 25 January 2001Reply With Quote
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From memory Carlson Highway had something to do with the search? if he pops in he might have some info.
I think they were definitely there in 2000, and that photo is a moose. Im unsure if they have survived till now though. Reports coming from the area have got fewer and fewer.
Posts: 2885 | Location: North Island NZ | Registered: 21 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Stick a horse apple in his face and amputate his fucking arms!


"Gun Control is NOT about Guns'
"It's about Control!!"
Join the NRA today!"


George L. Dwight
Posts: 5511 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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I was involved in a Moose hunting expedition into Dusky Sound in Fiordland back in the mid 70's. Eight hunters split into two parties of four spent two weeks hunting the areas where the moose had been liberated and the few animals shot in the Seaforth River, Wet Jacket Arm and Dusky Sound areas.
Out team of four camped in Wet Jacket Arm and also stayed a few nights in the Seaforth hut and hunted around the river.

One of our party, a very experienced NZ Forest Service Ranger was permitted to take his dog into the area to help with the search. He found some very high browsing which he concluded would not have come from red deer. It was in the middle of the red deer roar and there were stags roaring everywhere but the heads from this Dusky Sound area have never been very big so despite seeing stags everyday we left them alone.

We used Bill Black and his chopper to lift in two 14' runabout boats so our two parties could get about and cover a lot of area. We underestimated fuel use so had to get two more loads of fuel flown in during the two weeks we were hunting the moose. My mate and I flew into Wet Jacket Arm in a float plane carting in as much of our parties equipment as we could fit in the plane and we set up camp ready for our boat that arrived in the next day after motoring up Lake Te Anau and being trailered over Wilmont Pass into Manapouri. Boating up to the head of Hall Arm from Manapouri, the chopper lifted the boats up over a pass into Dusky Sound.

Two of us flew out in the chopper when it lifted the boats back out into Hall Arm at the end of our hunt. Moose are prolific swimmers so I asked Bill Black if he had ever seen any swimming in the Fiords. He said he hadn't seen moose swimming but it was only a couple of weeks before that he had seen the first deer swimming in a Fiord. Bill had spent years deer culling in the Fiordland area so was flying over the Fiords virtually every day. Deer are prolific swimmers two and we saw deer on every little Island we visited in Dusky Sound so they obviously got to these islands by swimming.

Were there Moose in Fiordland then and could there be now? Dusky Sound in Fiordland is a huge rugged area, something you have to see and experience and I think Moose could live their entire life there and never be seen.

A sad footnote, only 2 or 3 months after our expedition our mate Bob the forest ranger and his dog were involved in a chopper crash while out culling deer. He took some leave to do the shooting from the chopper which suffered an engine failure crashing into a canopy of trees. Bob and his faithful dog were ejected from the machine falling to the ground, the pilot was badly injured hanging out through the bubble still up in the tree canopy. Another chopper located the wreckage and rescued the pilot, tragically Bob and his faithful old dog did not survive the fall to the ground.

On another note the hunter, Percy Lyes, who shot the last bull moose in NZ was a friend and hunting mate of my fathers and I vividly recall as a youngster sitting in Percy's little farm cottage where he lived with his mother, and his moose head on the wall with the 'bell' hanging down touching my head as I sat below the trophy.

Couple of photos taken from colour slides of our Moose hunt in Fiordland.

Me crossing a side creek up the Seaforth River
Posts: 3152 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Very cool! Thanks for sharing Eagle.
Posts: 2885 | Location: North Island NZ | Registered: 21 July 2008Reply With Quote
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Great comment Eagle! I used to live up the coast from Ken Tustin and he was very persuasive in his arguments for the continued presence of Moose. However, it was also his opinion that they only survived as long as they did because of huge drop in Red deer numbers during the helicopter venison recovery years. Moose are unsuited to the Fiordland topography and weather and are ultimately doomed to be out-competed by Reds.
Having hunted them in Canada and Alaska I can attest that Moose can be very hard to locate in the easy contoured, open forest of their natural habitat let alone the "tiger country" of Fiordland.
Given the time, skill and effort over so many years that Ken put into finding solid evidence with little success I would be surprised if anyone else succeeds now so few, if any,Moose can survive. I hope they do though!
Posts: 62 | Location: New Zealand  | Registered: 24 March 2018Reply With Quote
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Ray Tinsley, Fiordland hunter and author of the books "Call of the Wapiti" and "Call of the Moose" also spent a lot of time in Dusky Sound searching for the elusive moose. Ray lived not far from where I lived and a couple of us spent a night with Ray before our trip to Fiordland picking his brains and looking at a lot of colour slides he had taken of the areas where we would be hunting/searching.
Not too long after our trip he published his "Call of the Moose" book in which I and others were acknowledged for supplying photos for his book although none of mine were ultimately published. Ray was very passionate about the moose and spent a good deal of his time down in Fiordland searching for them. Sadly Ray passed away at a relatively young age of about 52 without fulfilling his wish to see and photograph a live Fiordland moose.

In the years following 1952 when Percy Lyes shot the last bull moose taken in Fiordland they reverted to the noxious animals list which all our game animals were on meaning they could be hunted and shot anytime, anywhere.

This was the interesting dilemma we discussed amongst ourselves before and during our Fiordland expedition looking for the moose, would we shoot a moose if we saw one or just try and photograph it and leave it be. All of us were experienced hunters who had shot a lot of NZ game animals so were not greenhorns looking for anything to shoot however we all carried rifles and the temptation would have been strong to shoot a moose even knowing it may be the last in existence in NZ. I shot a couple of deer for camp meat and also a roaring stag that was coming across a small creek towards me even though I was hidden in fern. It had a nice 10 point but small head, representative of most of the stags we saw. I couldn't resist and shot it about 10 metres away as it came on towards my position.

Had I seen a moose I think the temptation to shoot would have been too strong for me. Luckily I didn't see one so did contribute to them living on Big Grin

PS: Ray's book contains a lot of good old photo's of all the moose shot and seen in Fiordland. He tells a good story too.
Posts: 3152 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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And there was a hell of a lot more shot than ever officially acknowledged. I think some of the fishing boats took out a few.
Posts: 2885 | Location: North Island NZ | Registered: 21 July 2008Reply With Quote
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What an amazing adventure eagle27.

Spectacular scenery.

Posts: 1663 | Location: Australia | Registered: 25 December 2006Reply With Quote
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A chopper pilot doing deer recovery reported seeing a moose early last year. He was circumspect about the location but from what he said I have figured its not far from where Ray Tinsely reported hearing moose in the 1970's. The dark animal just stood and looked at them while red deer were fleeing from the chopper. The guy had worked in Canada I think and knew what they looked like.

I went into the Henry Burn with a friend in 2014 and it was quite easy to locate what has been described as moose browsing sign, browsing which I have not seen in other areas of Fiordland and nothing that a red deer or a possum would do. It was so obvious it was a bit of an anti climax, so we spent time looking for prints, but the terrain is all moss and fern and windfall.

Ken Tustin's cameras have been taken out of Herrick creek, he is getting on in years, and also the animal that he was trying to get another picture of had stopped passing through the valley every winter leaving browsing sign. Ken speculated that the animal had died, and may well be the same animal that he had photographed as a young one in 1998. I think the DNA he got was from 2000 and 2002. I saw moose browsing there in 2014.
There is no real reason to think there are not moose there now, other than you cant prove a negative! But there have been decades between confirmed sightings...
But at any given time, no one is really looking.

Ken told me the best thing we can do for the lonely moose of Fiordland is to shoot as many red deer as we can down there. They compete directly with moose for food (except for barking) and the deer numbers have risen steadily since the 70's while the moose sign he observed has reduced...

As for the age old question of whether you would shoot one if you saw one - I just bought a 9.3x62. Smiler No one would believe a photograph nowadays in this world of photoshop and fake news, and you would be hard pressed to be believed even if you left the head on Ken Tuston's letterbox. My working theory is if I shoot one they may then do something about protection.
(Note that now the cameras are gone from Herrick creek, that DOC immediately laid plans for a massive aerial 1080 drop over the whole area, the first one ever.)
Posts: 274 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 18 December 2006Reply With Quote
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