From our friends, Allen and Melinda Swank of Fortuna, California, USA
~How did you find out about Glen Dene
From a friend who had hunted with them; he and Richard donated a hunting package to a fundraising auction and we were delighted to be the winning bid!
~Did you hunt with a partner, wife or friend (include name and contact info if they would also like to participate) and did they take game
We both hunted and were successful; Allen for a Fallow Deer and Melinda for a Bronze-level red stag.
~What year(s) did you hunt for each of those animals
~Who was your guide
~What did you use, rifle bow other, make model caliber etc.
We borrowed a 7mag rifle from Glen Dene. Sighting it in at the Glen Dene range was easy; Neil was an excellent instructor.
~What time of year
Early Fall hunt (March 2018)
~What did you think about the countryside, was it an easy walk, hard climb etc.
First of all – the countryside is beautiful. The terrain varied: we had a good hike to get to a location to look for stag, we had an easy hike over rolling hills where Melinda actually shot her stag. The terrain where Allen shot his fallow deer was steep, but still had a road fairly near to bring the animal back to camp.
~Did you hike in or take the helicopter assist
Hike, drive. No heli
~Did you fish also, photos?
We enjoyed a full day of fishing with Greg Dougherty of Alpine Fishing Guides. Richard arranged everything, but Greg picked us up from the lodge and we had a really fun day. Greg is very patient with new fishermen and provides an excellent lunch. We caught rainbows and brown trout.
~What did you think about the lodge and your stay at Glen Dene
Absolutely a wonderful experience. We stayed with Lesley and Jerry; they are fantastic, warm and welcoming hosts and the chalet we stayed in had an amazing view and great privacy. We thoroughly enjoyed a good continental breakfast to start our day, lunch along with wine and cheese at the end of the day before a wonderful dinner, featuring much of the game from the station. Richard and Sarah hosted a really fun lakeside event Friday evening, with cocktails, appetizers and Richard’s wood-fired pizzas – a chance for all the hunters of the week, and their guides, to gather, share stories, laughter and pictures, making for a really nice conclusion to our stay. Transportation from and to the airport was easy, Chrissy was a great tour guide, including a bit of background on the area as we prepared for our week. Our guide Neil was truly excellent – identified excellent game to satisfy our hunting requirements, arranging for a day-trip to tour the ranch, making sure our fishing day was setup – truly an excellent coordinator and while a bit of a jokester, was all-business when it came to the taking of our animals. And – he is an excellent photographer! Higgy was also a lot of fun, touring us around the station and surrounding area during a free day. We had such a great experience, we felt like we were staying with family and can’t wait to return.
~Would you recommend Richard’s operation to a friend
Without hesitation and we already have!!
~Any other comments that you would like to make
This is a perfect environment for a woman hunter. I (Melinda) have little hunting experience away from our local blacktail hunting and my husband as my guide. Glen Dene offers a comfortable, safe environment with professional guides that tailor their approach to the personality, skills and interest of the hunter. As an example, the first day Neil offered excellent guidance in sighting in a rifle we’d never shot – his skills as a shooting instructor were evident and both my husband and I learned from the experience. Secondly, he spent time that first morning showing us a variety of different stags, allowing him to get an idea of what type of animal I was interested in and then using that information, identified a great match for what I was looking for – executing the perfect stalk. Higgy was also very comfortable to be around – funny, informative, a great tour guide and a chance to learn just a bit more about New Zealand than we might otherwise have ever known! I would whole-heartedly encourage women hunters to experience Glen Dene and would be happy to be a reference.
Richard – thank you to you, as well, for an incredible experience! Our friends are in awe of our animals!!
Special thanks to Lonnie Tucker ! Lonnie referred us to Glen Dene and co-sponsored with Richard the donated hunt that brought us to Glen Dene !