Which Heli service did you use? Just started planning for a thar/chamois and duck hunt in 2022!I should have been better about writing this stuff down, but I think the van rental cost ~400 NZD plus gas for 14 days.
The chopper drop off was just over 500NZD per person (2150 NZD total), but that was for two round trips, as we could not fit all four of us and gear in one trip. The chopper prices are based on distance, so depending on how far they are taking you, the price varies a lot. The best thing to do is email some Heli operators in the area you want to hunt and explain what you are hoping to do. They were very responsive and able to provide pricing when I did this. I would recommend a sat phone or Inreach so you can communicate with the pilot in the field. We used an inreach and it worked well.
So I am hoping to hunt from a location where I can hunt both Chamois and Tahr. I'm aware of the cull so I will be selective with my Tahr harvest only interested in 1-2 mature bulls. I had heard good things about Ivory Lake and Prices Basin but the info was from 2017. I am not set on a location just want somewhere where I can go have a good hunt and be on Tahr and Chamois consistently. Looking at May or June as well thought the rut would be a fun time to hunt. And was looking at a heli operator because likely a once in a lifetime hunt and want to do everything I can to make this hunt successful.Where in the South Island are hoping to hunt? There's a pile of operators, so specific hunt location will dictate heli options and cost.
Thank you so much for all of that! Will give me a fantastic starting point and will give me something to do this weekend! I will diffidently reach out to James Scott as well. I believe in a week I get off newbie status. If you need any info on the states let me know I live in Arizona and am most familiar with it but have some connections and knowledge on others as well.I'm not familiar with the hills around Hokitika and Harihari, but I think the areas you listed are far enough north that you shouldn't have to contend with the Tahr Ballot Blocks in May/June - all the same, you may want to follow up with either DoC or the local pilots in that area to confirm your not looking at one of the limited access areas. As far are heli-operators in that area, here's the list for that part of the country - West Coast helicopter operators. The only one of these guys I can personally vouch for is James Scott, but DoC takes this list pretty seriously and wouldn't be promoting any cowboys on their site. A quick call to any of the guides in that area will tell you what you need to know - most are happy to chat for a few mins as professional courtesy even if you don't use their guide service. Similarly, the pilots in that region are going to be a great source for confirming current animal numbers - even though most are not guides per se, they have an inherent interest in putting you on animals since a lot of their business is word of mouth AND they're in those areas all the time . If I ever get past this "Newbie" status, I can PM you with specific guys to speak with for your research...
Congrats on a such a successful trip! And thanks for taking the time to write all this up. This will be a great resource and reference for planning my own trip over the next couple of years.