Hunting Chamois, the next best plan!
Chamois have always been on our lease, Mt Maude, and the property Mt Burke Station, that our lease is part of.
Maude and its catchment area cover several thousand acres, Mt Burke Station 28,000 acres.
I estimate that we have 10,000 acres we can hunt chamois on, of this we currently utilizing just 3500 acres.
We are going to use all of those 10,000 acres in 2024.Several reasons for this, primary amongst them is to take the pressure we are putting on the 3500 and spread it over the 10,000. We are at risk of over harvesting the accessible country we can day hunt and as we have seen this season, as we do put this area under pressure the Chamois move away from the pressure points or head into the heavy cover.
One of the main obstacles we face is that other 6500 acres are not accessible for day hunts, it’s too far and time consuming to get there.
There is also the physical and mental effort required to get there. Point being that when you do get there you are only half way, we have to get you back again, and that can be problematic on tired legs and bodies.
Our thinking is there are 2 easy ways to help tired legs. First is all about money and helicopter access, at this time we can access Maude via a local commercial pilot for $1500US. This is drop off and pick up. We fly into a designated spot, mark it on the GSP and go hunting, at end of the day or dependent on when success comes, we are picked up again from the exact drop off point. This can work really well especially if time is important, but it does put all our eggs in one basket and there is no guarantee of success, it’s still mountain hunting, which means long shots, on small targets (mature buck is around 100lbs) and it is still physically demanding. Helicopter ride is pretty cool way to see the full scope of our hunting area.
Other option is to set up 2 spike camps up high. This option can also be worked into option one and heli accessed. Spikes camp would be set up pre-season and in use for 3-4 months. The tents will need to be well constructed and cleverly located to aviod the mountain weather conditions we get. 2 MSR Hubba Hubba 2 people tents and 2 Macpac Minaret alpine dome tents are being ordered, along will 4 top line R6 rated sleeping mats, and 4 sleeping bags, actually I already have 50% of this gear.
Theory being that if we climb the mountain anyway to hunt why came back down, just the time we’d use to come down to push on to the spike camp. Maybe it works out that we have the chamois, but we still make use of the spike camp, stay the night, rest up and take the shortest safest route off the mountain in the morning.
We have cell coverage at the planned camp site so there is plenty of comms to discuss plan changes and options.
If we haven’t taken a chamois, we carry on hunting from camp 1 around to camp 2, same options exist at camp 2. Stay and walk out to pick up point next morning or get heli to pick you up and be out in 12 minutes.
Spike camps also give us weather options that day hunts often don’t, namely getting and keeping the wind in our favour while we are in the prime Chamois country. As it stands now we are often having to do long hikes just to get the wind right, having spike camps would significantly improve our wind advantage.
For those amongst you that are fit enough it’s just the perfect way to spend 2-3 day chamois hunting. 
Oh, and it’s not just Chamois we would be seeing, there are some dandy stags out there, as well as the very occasional Tahr. Tahr are not welcome on our Chamois range, they directly compete with the Chamois for feed and habitat. Chamois are very shy animals and if Tahr move into their range the chamois will move out and good chamois range isn’t easy to find. We have places for Tahr and Mt Burke and Maude are not them.
With these plans enacted and operational now there are fewer reasons to not include chamois on your lists of can-do animals. Base cost for a Chamois is $4800US add on $1500 for heli access if you choose, well for some it is not your choice, you may find we make that decision for you.
It’s always a mountain hunt regardless of the options we are able to offer, there is no substitute for fitness and a positive can-do attitude.

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