|under the native beech canopy, image, ©|
Wild pigs in New Zealand frequent a variety of bush cover. They can be hunted in native forests and native coastal scrub areas, gorse and exotic scrub, forestry and farmland. New Zealand has a wide variety of these types of cover and can be accessed pretty easily. However some areas have restrictions of entry such as pine forests, national conservation areas, and private land.
|forested native valleys, image, ©|
Native forests adjacent to farmland also provide cover and are damp environments which allow the pigs to take shade in the height of the summer and make 'wallows' for bathing. Being adjacent to farm land means the pigs can frequent the paddocks and graze on grass, grubs, and lambs who have strayed too far from their mothers. Hunting in native forest areas is usually relaxed, as pig rooting in the paddocks is a dead giveaway about the location of the pigs, and the farm owner will be more than happy to pinpoint where the pigs were last seen. Permission needs to be sought when entering private farmland, as there are typically 1 or 2 'resident' hunters the farmer will allow on his property. Making friends with these lucky few hunters or the farmer is likely to gain you access.
|pigs in gorse scrub area, typical of farm edge, image, ©|
Pigs are most commonly found on scrubby hill country (mostly exotic such as gorse, broom and pig fern/bracken) where there is aerial cover and they can make 'nests' which traps the heat of the day and provides some insulation. This type of terrain can be slightly frustrating to hunt depending on how thick the scrub is, but the reward at the end of it makes it all worth it!
|under the exotic pine forest canopy, image, ©|
Forestry can vary in terms of what its like to hunt, as depending on the age of the forest the ground cover can be very different and range from scrub, pruned pine branch litter, and open forest floor. Commercial pine forest areas do have restrictions on access, and will normally require an entry permit (for safety reasons). They also typically have locked gates, so if you want access with a vehicle you will have to arrange getting a key.
In winter, pigs will try to find warmer, sunnier places to reside so their distribution varies between seasons. This usually means they are in lower country, which makes less of a hill to climb.
The following information about the distribution of pigs within national parks was found on the DoC website:
"Kahurangi National Park:
The best hunting is on ... Pearse, Riwaka and Motueka Valleys and north of Murchison; also in the Aorere goldfields, Parapara and Anatoki.
Abel Tasman National Park
Good hunting in the northern end of the park and to a lesser degree the southern end from Marahau to Anchorage and around Tonga.
|under the exotic pine forest canopy, Wangapeka Valley, image, ©|
Everywhere including D'Urville.
Nelson Lakes National Park
Low numbers in the lower D'Urville and Matakitaki/Glenroy, but good hunting in areas adjoining the park, around Murchison and in Big Bush.
Mt Richmond Forest Park
Most areas in the Park.
Ferny Gair, Spray/Waihopai.
|plantation forestry in Marlborough Sounds, image, ©|
George, McLean, Clarence Reserve, Kaikoura North."
Danger! Dog Owners Beware!
Another thing to be wary of when hunting with dogs is the laying of poisons for possum control. This has resulted in many hunting dog deaths so ensure you are aware of any recent 1080 drops or laying of cyanide. The accessway will have a sign advising of the distribution and dates which it will be effective.
|central otago highcountry, Roxburgh, image, ©|
To find out what permits or restrictions apply for your regions protected areas (especially for hunting with dogs) click here to go to DoC publications
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