My son and I had a fantastic hunt with Awatere Safaris. We hunted free range Red Stags in the roar, pigs and goats. In five days of hunting we saw over 100 stags and harvested two beautiful trophy stags plus a management stag. The stations we hunted on were very large and scenic. Travel to and from the hunt property was along a beautiful ocean byway. The property managers and owner were extremely accommodating and made us feel at home. After hunting hard each day, Gus exhibited his excellent culinary skills. Fantastic hunt, accommodation and food!
We have traveled and hunted multiple times in Africa and Canada and rate Awatere Safaris at the top of the list.
“If you are not booking with Gus and his team you are missing out!
From the time we were picked up at the airport until we were dropped off back at the airport, everything was 5 stars. The Hill Top Lodge is so comfortable it was actuality just like home. Gus hospitality staff asked us what kind of food we would like. We told them game and New Zealand cuisine, we never ate better in our lives. I’m an archery Stag hunter and Vickie was rifle hunting Fallow Deer. Gus told me, "No worries mate, we got it covered." Gus’s knowledge of the animals and how they use the terrain is second to none. We encountered some hunters on the plane ride home. They had some beautiful trophies, but after we shared our experience with them, they asked for the contact info for Gus Bisset. They missed out on the whole New Zealand experience. The memories of new friends, places and hunts, will last us for the rest of our lives.”
“Gus and his team; what can we say about them...long lost friends! All of them went far and beyond out of their way to make us comfortable and feel at home. From cooking special Irish fare for St. Patrick's Day, to extra pit stops along the way after one too many "Green teas with no milk".
Soothing, top notch, "never want to leave" accommodations. No worries, no pressure atmosphere. Brisk mornings at the kitchen counter with amazing coffee and real "Southern Man" breakfast. Dinners that would put Paula Deen to shame....and don't you dare walk away hungry.
The hunting was beyond everything David could have imagined or hoped for...wild life galore! It truly is impressive to hear the roar of a red stag while glassing the beautiful, rich countryside around Kurow. Even though I'm not a hunter myself...I had a fantastic time tagging along with David and Gus.
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Local sightseeing was educational with plenty of stops for photo shoots. We travelled to Mount Cook and had a delicious lunch in Lake Tekapo with the Church of the Good Shepherd in our view. Gus has a vast knowledge of the country's history and the complicated rules of Rugby.
After our time Hunting, we toured the South Island on our own. Gus had many suggestions and recommendations on hotels, sightseeing adventures and local restaurants. Even going as far as booking tickets to events and hotel rooms in advance for us, while remaining in touch with us to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. To sum this up, can't really say enough! You made our whole "Kiwi Experience" memorable and amazing. Thank you again for everything you guys....can't wait for our next adventure!”
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“I wish to thank you all for truly a hunt of a lifetime. Your hospitality, expertise, and knowledge were truly exceptional.
The food was GREAT, the hunting extraordinary, and the scenery - awesome.
You truly live in a most beautiful country. Thank you again for a most memorable experience. If I may be of service to you, please feel free to ask”.
“Now that some of the excitement has worn off we wanted to thank you again for our wonderful hunt and adventure in New Zealand. I asked my son Joe for his thoughts and they pretty well say it all.
Our time with you exceeded all expectations!!
Having had the opportunity to meet you for a couple of years prior to our hunt at the "Sheep" show in Reno, my wife Joanne and I knew you would offer exactly what we wanted. The intimate scale of your operation allows for a much more personal experience, in fact, just like spending time with good friends.
We were looking for more than just trophies and we got so much more than we'd anticipated.
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Wonderful comfortable lodging, fantastic meals of the best New Zealand has to offer, all in a relaxed setting, with a personalization of activities to fit our desires. The rifles you provided were the finest I've ever held, accuracy beyond belief! The stags were magnificent and fun to hunt in the thick, hilly brush country. The Tahr hunt was an adventure of its own, it's difficult to imagine squeezing that much excitement into one day, wow!
I'm sure each of your clients has their own expectations but we can't imagine anybody who meets you and books a hunt going away disappointed.
Our trophies, when mounted, will serve as a daily reminder of wonderful friends and a hunt we'll always cherish.”
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“Hunting with Gus is what the New Zealand experience is all about. First of all I want people to understand that we are just average people from Idaho, U.S.A. and with a little over a year of planning and saving anyone can come hunt in NZ.
The package that Gus put together for us was first rate and very affordable, with Jake and I being able to hunt for all the animals that we hoped to.
The accommodations were excellent and Gus is a fantastic guide and a fun fellow to be around and kept us laughing and on great animals everyday.
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The stag and the fallow that I shot are everything and more than I hoped for. Rest assured that whatever level that you are hunting, you will go home completely satisfied with the trophy's you take. We chose not to bring firearms and Gus provided us with the best rifle and scope combo I have ever fired. A fierce rifle that had a carbon fiber barrel in 7mag (almost no recoil and deadly accurate), topped off with Barnes Triple shock x bullets - totally wicked!!
Someday, I hope to come back to hunt Tahr and free range reds with Gus. If anyone has any questions or would like to see more pictures please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We truly had a trip of a lifetime. Thank you ”
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“What a trip of a lifetime!!
Thanks to Gus and the team for making it happen! I must admit I was a little nervous traveling with my newborn son, Gavin, only 6 weeks old… But Gus, was so accommodating and so flexible with his schedule that I couldn’t have pictured our trip going any better!
They made sure that he was well taken care of!
My husband has always wanted to shoot a Red Stag, Gus guided him to the perfect one! He was on cloud nine! I was also guided to some amazing animals and shot a ram and a goat. Gus made my experience so fun and unforgettable!
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We had a riot shooting wallabies as well!
Every day brought a new and exciting adventure and everyday we were treated like royalty. The company was also unbeatable! My husband and I both felt like we were hunting with some of our best friends right from the start!
Thank you! Thank you for the amazing adventures, the wonderful memories, and the gracious care you took of all of us, especially our little one! We can’t wait to come back and hunt with our friends again!”
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"Everything has been great for me during my short stay with Gus and his team. But it's even more appreciated the important help I received from Gus while hunting because my programme was extremely hard for a "young man" of only 82 years old! I was unfortunate to contract an influenza on my journey to New Zealand - this really means I had my limitations to climb mountains or even to fly in a helicopter higher than 3000 meters altitude. My challenge for this hunting trip was to get 5 New Zealand trophies: the first one was the Tahr. I realised it would be very difficult to achieve my goal, but once again the prodigious help of Gus allowed me to get the 4 other trophies I was looking for. Many, many thanks Gus for your generous spirit which was my best support and permitted me to have now 4 Gold medal trophies and 1 high Silver. I never could imagine this great result and I finish these words by saying: Many, many thanks and I wish you good luck. Very sincerely Gus, with my best wishes,"
“With the need to test Berger Classic Hunter bullets on a lot of different animals at numerous distances, we had one place come to mind immediately.
New Zealand! We had the good fortune of having met Gus Bisset and his team. They are wonderful people so the thought of going hunting at their place was immediately appealing. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation in which to test our new bullets. First class outfitter, a top notch team of guides who can run down a goat on these mountains (they made walking the slopes look like they were walking around a shopping mall). Gus's team and I took off to the Northern end of the South Island to a station (ranch) that has tonnes of wild goats and hogs where we rigorously tested the new Berger projectiles.
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A very target rich environment indeed!!
After two successful days hunting in the mountains and examining bullet performance, we headed back to our base.
We arrived back at the lodge which was just as I left it, full of fun and great food. By the end of the trip I had a mind full of wonderful experiences and memories. I will go back again and hunt with Gus Bisset because once you’ve found an operation this good you are only setting yourself up for disappointment if you go anywhere else.”
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"Our hunt in New Zealand was everything we hoped for and more.
Upon arrival in Christchurch and throughout the hunt, everything was taken care of in a professional manner. Gus and his team clearly take pride in the services he provides, the lodge is very comfortable and the meals were some of the best we have ever been treated to. We were very pleased with the quality of the trophies taken and the opportunities to fish and bird hunt as well.
We had a Red Stag, Fallow and Tahr on our wish list and also came away with a "scorcher" Feral Goat as well as a great Arapawa Ram.
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“My wife, JP, and I had a wonderful experience in June 2015 with Gus Bisset. Gus picked us up at the Queenstown airport on the morning of our arrival and I was hunting Tahr in the Southern Alps in the afternoon. The snow covered Alps were spectacular to see and Gus was able to find an excellent trophy bull Tahr before the end of the day – a successful shot made for an unbelievable start to the hunt. Our accommodations were in Wanaka, a very charming town on Lake Wanaka, which turned out to be a very good thing because the next few days were cloudy, rainy and too windy to hunt the Chamois. When the weather cleared I spent a couple days hunting the Chamois with Gus and we found an excellent trophy which, with my Tahr, is on its way to the taxidermist. Gus was very attentive from the time we met at the airport in Queenstown, I had a very successful hunt resulting in two excellent trophies and my wife and I enjoyed our time in Wanaka and the South Island of New Zealand. We highly recommend hunting Gus Bisset”.
The hunt was also the first opportunity for my wife to take her own animals rather than just photograph the hunt. After the hunt we set off on our own in a rental car to explore the beautiful South Island for another 10 days. We would highly recommend this addition if your time and budget allow. Gus had helped us plan our excursion with tips on things to see and offered to help us out if we needed anything along the way. As many have said we we arrived as clients but felt we had gained new friends when we left.
We would certainly love to return."
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"Gus, I wanted to take a minute and let you know how grateful and appreciative I am of your hard work and hospitality.
The accommodations were perfect and the menu was the best I've had in New Zealand. When it really comes down to results, you put me onto Geese and Paradise Ducks in early Spring when the hunting is very tricky. This speaks volumes for your scouting, available land and knowledge of hunting in general. Your enthusiasm and passion for hunting is very evident and is much appreciated. Thank you for an awesome Parrie and Goose hunt. I hope to see you guys in the very near future."
We (me 24, and my cousin Fernando 21) have been planning a hunting trip for years. We almost went to Canada for Brown Bear, that was until we saw this amazing opportunity to hunt Chamois and Tahr in the beautiful countryside of New Zealand (neither of us had been there). We used all our savings and embarked on the best trip of our lives! 2 days, 3 flights and 9 airline meals later we arrived at Queenstown where we met our guide and host Gus. We didn't know what was in store for us, or how our trip would play out since we had never been hunting outside of Mexico (our homeland). We arrived at Wanaka where we did some target shooting and got to know Gus and his team. The next day we started our Chamois hunting near the mountains surrounding Wanaka, it was an amazing experience to be on a Helicopter with such beautiful scenery.
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Our hunts were what a hunter would describe as perfect and even more astonishing than what we had imagined - the scenery, the chopper and the people made it even more valuable. Our next few days we moved to a different territory towards Lake Pukaki where we would hunt for our Tahr. That hunt was also amazing. We even had the chance to smoke a celebratory cigar on a mountain close to Mt Cook just on sunset.
We had a 6 star trip - we were taken care of by the most hospitable people I've ever met. Gus and his team not only gave us the best attention, but also some of the best cooking I've ever tasted. The accommodations were more than perfect, nothing was missing.
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I would certainly recommend this trip to all my friends and family (as I already have) as an awesome adventure and something you will never forget. Thanks again Gus for making us feel like part of the family, for showing us a good time and for taking care of us.
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"Barbara and I want to thank you both for a great hunt with you. We enjoyed the hunt for the Captain Cook Alpine Pig!
I personally wanted to thank you for the Duck hunt on opening day and we really had a great time!! You are truly the greatest Duck caller! Not to mention that the food and wine was outstanding! We look forward to hunting with you again."
“I want you to know, after I talked to other people that had hunted in New Zealand, I did have very high expectations for this hunt. I was not disappointed.
I got all the birds and animals I wanted and saw so many others. The Lodge was better and more comfortable than my own home. I never had food that good on any hunt and better than most restaurants that I eat at. You two could not be more professional but at the same time fun to be with, out in the field and at the Lodge. Hopefully I can come back soon. In my travels I will meet someone who wants to go to New Zealand and you will be first on my suggestion list. I feel that I came to you as a client and left as a friend. Thanks again."
Just wanted to drop a quick e-mail to say thank you for having Evan and I and for being so accommodating during our trip with you. Thank you for organising everything.
We had a terrific time and really enjoyed ourselves. Great hospitality is always a bonus - especially when you're away from home.
Thank you to everyone in your team. Cheers.
I have hunted all over North America and hunting with Gus was an absolute dream come true for me. We harvested my free range Red Stag the first day and saw an abundance of animals. Gus, my professional hunter/guide was always there to help when I needed it. The food was excellent, the lodging was very nice and the hunt was very affordable.
If I was asked "would you do it again?" - you bet, in a heart beat.
After being home for a short time, I have had a little time to reflect on my hunting experience with you. When you go on a hunt and you get a trophy as good as I did, things are always brighter and you can overlook a lot of things that you may not be so eager to if there was no trophy animal - or even a small one. But this hunt was different.
Everything was excellent.
The lodging was five-star and the meals were delicious. The guides were knowledgeable of the area we hunted in and it was certainly a pleasure to be on this hunt.
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Our carry on trophies arrived at the motel the day before our departure, packing was excellent. No problems at the airport in Queenstown, we didn't pay any baggage charges. When we got to Los Angeles it was just $25 per trophy to Portland (very reasonable). When we got home, we took Kurt's Fallow Deer to a Taxidermist who commented that the processing was excellent.
Please feel free to use me as a reference as I certainly enjoyed this wonderful hunt.
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Gus and his team were great hosts and honestly, I felt more like a friend than a client. Everything was organised perfectly from the airport pick up to the activities for us after the hunt. I would highly suggest taking your wife and doing the side trips - the list is endless. I planned on hunting with a bow and Gus was great at getting me on the animals and knew just what to do to get into place for the shot. These animals were a real challenge and although I had shots, I just couldn't find the mark and ended up taking my animals with the rifle. I ended up taking a Red Stag, Fallow and a Feral Goat.
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There were numerous animals of all species and
the trophy quality was excellent.
The terrain was a challenge but they cater for all physical abilities so you don't need to be in "sheep shape" to enjoy the hunt.
The food was unreal and there was plenty of it. All the food was fresh and homemade from scratch. I could go on forever however I think I have covered the important items - if anyone wants more information feel free to shoot me an email."
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"Gus really encompassed the true New Zealand experience.
All our meals were fantastic - we had everything from free-range lamb to bacon enclosed mushrooms! Best food I had the whole time I was in New Zealand! The hospitality was unbeatable. The accommodation was not only spectacular but also comfortable with lots of views and endless conversation.
The adventure was first class. Gus's understanding of animals and his guiding skills were very professional.
Hunting my Tahr was one of the most exciting hunts I have ever had.
Thank you !!"
We would gladly recommend an adventure with Gus.
We have just experienced a top notch Red Stag and Fallow Deer hunt and an amazing stay at the lodge. Gus was an awesome guide, displaying expertise and entertainment during each day of our hunt. The scenery is majestic and the quality of animals are first rate.
We are eager to return!
Thanks very much!