The weather was ok, rained in on 2nd to last day & fly out the morning.
snow damage was pretty awful, worse than the darkness we agreed & made stalking difficult
I got whistled at by a hind bedded down on the first day not long after we arrived after unpacking, up behind hut on the face to left at 550. I chased it around from the top but no cigar.
Bowen went across the river up to the clearings planting a salt block & shot & missed 1 on day 2. Day 3, I joined him to stalk the clearings & Bowen got whistled at far down in the valley on left.
Nick bagged the most successful hunting block upstream seeing close to 12 deer including a stag, shooting at a yearling & letting a pregnant hind, for another day.
we stuck to those blocks each day, Nick upstream, Bowen across the river & me up behind the hut. 
great hut – but frustrating bush for stalking was the verdict. still a great escape from the hurly-burly of every day. 
Nick introduced us to a great burger joint in Taupo called Pauly’s on the way home which will forever be a new homebound pit stop.
look forward to next party planned trips. and hearing about the other trips…
– Justin Jones
Yep, the weather was indeed pretty good, until about 5 pm Saturday when it got quite damp and carried on until midday Sunday when we flew out. I walked in on Thursday afternoon in blazing sunshine and set off up the Kaipo Friday morning- up the track a few Ks and then headed for the tops to the west. I spooked a deer on the opposite side of a gully, only saw it briefly before it scarpered so didn’t manage to get a shot off. It was pretty noisy underfoot in that area so it’s not surprising it heard me coming! 
Craig, Lucian and I headed South through the clearings on Saturday morning at dawn. We didn’t see any deer but saw plenty of fresh sign so Lucian stayed in the area for the day and set up on a terrace overlooking the flats, wishing he could shoot the hares that were cruising around the tussock without scaring any potential deer away! Craig and I headed off up Jap Creek and saw a fair bit of sign especially at the Oamaru river end so we were disappointed not to see any deer that day. However, we did see a pair of Blue Ducks and had a pretty awesome time exploring up there- incredible bush. 
On Thursday night I shared the hut with a couple of guys from Te Awamutu who had seen deer around the Jap Creek entrance, and a couple of fishermen- a Croatian-Kiwi and a guy over from France who’d been absolutely slaying trout in the area for a few days. The other two nights we had the hut to ourselves- perhaps the weather forecast scared people off? 
All in all an awesome weekend, it was my first time hunting in the Kaimanawas south of Clements Mill Rd so it was awesome to get in there and explore a bit. My plan for Sunday morning was to hit the east side of the Kaipo near the hut as per your advice but due to the shit weather (and my creaking legs..) I decided to save it for next time. I reckon it probably won’t be long before I head in there for another crack.
Cheers for organising!
– Blair Martin