Ready to hunt wapiti
Fiordland Helicopters pilot Jonathan Larrivee, left, gives a safety briefing to wapiti hunters Mark Still, Geoff Still and Ken Mitchell.
The briefing was held before the party flew into Fiordland's Dark River wapiti block for the annual wapiti shoot.
The three hunters were some of the lucky ones whose names were drawn in the Wapiti Bugle Ballot, held this time each year.
Wapiti Foundation ballot co-ordinator Roger Foote said there were 75 blocks on offer in prime wapiti territory in the Fiordland National Park.
Parties of up to six hunters are assigned a block for 10 days. This year, 310 parties applied for a ballot, and 135 parties received one, including some hunters from the United Kingdom, he said.
The first hunting group was due back on Wednesday.
"Reports from helicopter operators tell us to expect a good season, hopefully with some really good trophies coming out."
The Southland Times