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Fiordland Winter Chamois

By Adam McGrath

The roar had come and gone and after scoring a couple of nice heads it didn’t take long for that itch to come back – the longing to be back in the hills, hunting, exploring new country, and testing myself against the elements. After one sleepless night reading several of my favourite hunting books it was then and there I decided to try for chamois.

The toughest part about hunting in Fiordland is the very nature of the place, the steep, sheer mountain walls make it an extremely hard place to hunt especially when your quarry is on the tops. And of course there’s no guarantee the animals will even be there because the chamois population is low and scattered. Nevertheless, after extensive research on Google Earth I was convinced I could get myself into some promising chamois country. All I had to do now was hope for some good weather and pray the snow would hold until I’d had my chance.


Friday rolled around painfully slowly as I kept an eager eye on the forecast, and with three clear days to follow, my time had come. I chose an area that not only had some nice basins with glacial lakes, but which also had some gentle country in between – as we all know you sometimes have to travel far and wide to find the animals. That night I packed my gear being very careful to take enough warm clothing. With a very cold night out at an altitude of 1000 metres or more I was going to need it.

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