Author(s): Simon Gibson
Ever since their release at the head of George Sound in March 1905, nothing has aroused hunters' passion more than the greatest of all the deer species, the magnificent wapiti. A big bull taken in Fiordland's demanding terrain is New Zealand's premier big game trophy. Rampant commercial exploitation, eradication efforts by bureaucrats, poaching and politics, combined with the dedicated efforts of individuals and groups to save the wapiti, all played a part in the herd that exists today. The gift of ten wapiti from US President Theodore Roosevelt, himself a keen hunter, plus another ten purchased by T E Donne, Manager of the NZ Government Tourist Department, formed the nucleus of the herd. Today they range from Charles Sound in the south to Sutherland Sound in the north with Lake Te Anau forming the eastern boundary. In 1923 the first licences were issued and as interest grew and the herd spread, more blocks were made available. By the 1950's demand was so great that the blocks were opened to a ballot system. Today there are 25 blocks that attract hundreds of applicants each year. Simon Gibson has spent thousands of hours in the wapiti area over a period of twenty years and is well qualified to write this essential guide for the modern hunter. It is an important information resource for those who want to accept the challenge of trying for NZ's toughest trophy. How to hunt wapiti, keeping fit and mentally focused, the right food, reading the weather, travelling Fiordland's daunting terrain safely plus information on every block fill the pages of this book along with dozens of colour images that portray the wapiti and the wapiti country in all its beauty. Written by a man who loves the beauty, challenge and danger of the wapiti country, this book adds to many books written about one of the world's great game animals.