I harvested this hind on the 19th July in the afternoon after a wet, windy morning, the sun popped out. Location is Northern Ahimanawas (roadside public area).
She was in reasonably good condition, with a nice winter coat and had last year’s young with her. Her young was well grown and did not hang around. She was also carrying a foetus (about the size of a rat). There was another animal nearby, separate to the yearling, which spooked and I did not see (assume hind).
While I would not call her fat after gutting / butchering her there was a little fat around her rump, kidneys etc. – condition score 4? I’d estimate a 50kg animal before butchering.
Her jaw appeared to show an animal middle age. I forgot to take the jaw with me but plan to recover this before October as will be passing through.
I didn’t get a good look at the uterus but would like to learn exactly where and what to look for.
She had been eating a light green slim type of leave mainly, possibly bush lawyer or something similar? They were inside the bush next to a long grassy clearing although little feed on the clearing right now.
In this public area typically the animals will be in average to good condition and there is enough hunting pressure I believe to ensure a relatively healthy heard and the sika tend to do well in the podocarp mix of forest here – at this time of the year they particularly like the sunny faces under the Rimu stands which have pepperwood etc. undergrowth.
I’ve hunted further South / East towards the private and scrubby area and my limited experience there is the animals aren’t so healthy, more of a mixed bag.
There is often plenty of birdlife in this area, especially Kereru. I vividly recall looking up the valley in May 2019 when I was in the area and never had seen so many Keruru in my life. Assuming peak feeding time after a mega seed mast.