Alpine hunts are very rewarding trips that require extra planning and preparation. Alpine environments are steep and exposed by their very nature, route finding can be critical. Additionally, weather can turn quickly and your ability to shelter can be minimised by terrain. Alpine environments are steep and exposed by their very nature. When a hunter loses their footing in this environment the consequences are typically worse than in other hunting environments. Alpine hunting fatalities are typically the result of falling which is perhaps of little surprise given the steep terrain.
A clear trend emerged through our analysis - four of the five alpine hunting fatalities were alone at the time. Had these hunters been with another person at the time of their fall, or were carrying a suitable communication device, some of these fatalities could have been prevented or downgraded to a serious incident instead of a fatality. Most incidents in the mountains involve falls and or getting bluffed. Sometimes compounded by weather. It is very important to keep in mind at all times, while moving in the mountains, the chances of a fall versus the consequences of a fall. The large number of incidents involving falls suggest that hunting in pairs, or more, is encouraged.
Choose a hunting trip that suits the skills and fitness of everyone in your group. A local hunt or backcountry adventure will all have their own risks. Carefully consider what to expect out there.
Start looking at maps and websites to gain insight into what your trip will include.
The planning you do from home will make all the difference for when you are in alpine areas of New Zealand. Whether solo or in a group, this type of remote hunting requires careful planning for self sufficiency.
Heading for a hunt into the New Zealand's bush takes skills, even if it is a short day hunt on a local property.
What you take with you will make all the difference if something were to go wrong such as getting lost, delayed or injured.
New Zealand weather is very changeable. Even if you set out in the sunshine and there is no rain in the forecast it's not uncommon to have an isolated shower. Make sure you take rain protection and extra layers you can put on if it gets cold. Remember a lot of alpine hunting is sitting around observing the area, looking for animals as well as routes. Having the right supplies means that you're more likely to remain warm, comfortable and safe for the duration of your trip.
Wear the right fabrics. Clothing only retains what heat your body produces. Certain fabrics wick moisture away from the body and retain warmth. Avoid cotton clothing – when cotton gets wet it ceases to insulate you. Wet and cold clothing significantly contributes to hypothermia.
Alpine terrain items (and the skills to use them)
or you can find more on our Supplies section
Help yourself go further and make it home safe by staying alert in the bush.
Continue your preparation with our online resources, there is still plenty to learn to ensure for a safe and enjoyable hunt.