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Geo.
2008-07-05, 02:33
Just had a few nights out in the local bush with a mate of mine, checking the results of a possum cull. Thought the pic's may be of interest - bit of the scenery here in New Zealand and an area I like to move around in now and then - a bit hilly but handy to home!

http://www.angelfire.com/trek/nz_usa/wainak1.jpg
Part of the area we poked around in. Our camp was down off the ridge this was taken from.



http://www.angelfire.com/trek/nz_usa/whare2.JPG
Base camp.


http://www.angelfire.com/trek/nz_usa/possums.JPG
A few skins .


http://www.angelfire.com/trek/nz_usa/lewis.JPG
Lew relieving a possum of its fur coat before it heads for the pot. ;)

JAK
2008-07-05, 10:26
Beautiful scenery. What does the meat taste like?

I had no idea they were such a problem in New Zealand, 60+ million.
Introduced species from Australia for fur trade eh. Brilliant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possum

So I just read that the name comes from opposum, which in turn comes from Algonquian wapathemwa, meaning "white animal", even though it ain't.

Comparison of these two different critters...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Opossum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Brushtail_Possum#New_Zealand
and other possums...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possum
possible connection with British Isles.
http://www.rockyarchive.org/img/celebrityphotos/Humphries-DameEdnaL.jpg

dixicritter
2008-07-05, 10:56
I love the scenery! Thanks for the pics!

But... not so sure I'm interested in the contents of the pot...:eek:

Amigi
2008-07-05, 11:13
I love that Geo calls that scenery "hilly". Them be mountains to us plains folk.

Geo.
2008-07-06, 05:47
Beautiful scenery. What does the meat taste like?

I had no idea they were such a problem in New Zealand, 60+ million.
Introduced species from Australia for fur trade eh. Brilliant.

Yes, 60 million or so they reckon - that's about 15 million for each of us here! :)
Re' the taste - Tastes like possum I guess! Though to try a comparison, I suppose it's a strong (musky?) mutton-like taste. Though I was tongue in cheek with the 'pot' comment on that particular fellow as he was taken with a poison bait and so not something you'd really want to dine on. They do ok in a stew and they're herbivores so eat pretty cleanly. You just have to be careful avoiding cutting the meat around the tale base area as they have a gland there that if cut will taint the meat.
The problem with them is that they are pretty ravinous feeders and strip trees of their folliage killing them. The pelts are worthwhile - those in the pic would fetch between $8 to $13 each depending on their colour/condition.
The population exploded some years ago when the market in the fur trade dropped off and trapping eased. So it seems they're pretty good at breeding as well as eating!

JAK
2008-07-06, 10:42
Ironic that the anti-fur movement is contributing to deforestation.

Well, at least they didn't introduce Canadian Beavers.
That might have been even worse. :)

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/6-1-26/37411.html

JAK
2008-07-06, 11:10
I just did some more research. It seems you guys are even making wool from them.
http://fibreholics.orconhosting.net.nz/Possum/possum.html

I understand the fur is short, but hollow, so useful to mix with merino wool.
Wondering if you have you tried one of these merino/possum sweaters? mitts?

Also wondering how fur hats etc compare to other pelts, weight and warmth, where the possum fibres are hollow?

p.s. Have you tried the nipple warmers?
http://www.nznature.co.nz/ecofur.htm

Geo.
2008-07-06, 18:51
I just did some more research. It seems you guys are even making wool from them.
http://fibreholics.orconhosting.net.nz/Possum/possum.html

I understand the fur is short, but hollow, so useful to mix with merino wool.
Wondering if you have you tried one of these merino/possum sweaters? mitts?

Also wondering how fur hats etc compare to other pelts, weight and warmth, where the possum fibres are hollow?

p.s. Have you tried the nipple warmers?
http://www.nznature.co.nz/ecofur.htm

The thermal property of the fur is excellent and I should imagine noticeably lighter compared to a 'solid' fur. I believe polar bears have a hollow cored fur too, so maybe the old possum is on to something insulation-wise there!
As you posted, there are some folk manufacturing a mix of wool/fur clothing. It's very good though a bit more costly than straight wool. I've tried some socks that were a wool/fur mix and they had good thermal properties but they wore through much quicker than synthetic materials, but then socks get comparatively heavy duty wear.
No, haven't tried the nipple warmers! :)
Haven't tried the willie warmers either.... http://www.silverfernz.com/prodView.asp?idproduct=601
never got that cold yet - but could be a useful accessory for you blokes living up there with Nanook of the north. Could help prevent things freezing and snapping off. :eek:

Amigi
2008-07-06, 20:21
Dont mean to thread swerve here, but you guys got me thinking of bizarre, real products I've seen around the web. Worth a good laugh.

http://www.garmentguard.com/
http://www.hot-screensaver.com/wp-myimages/dvd-rewinder.jpg
http://www.motorcyclecancer.com/
And then there's the wedgie-proof underwear....

Geo.
2008-07-06, 21:43
Dont mean to thread swerve here, but you guys got me thinking of bizarre, real products I've seen around the web. Worth a good laugh.

http://www.garmentguard.com/
http://www.hot-screensaver.com/wp-myimages/dvd-rewinder.jpg
http://www.motorcyclecancer.com/
And then there's the wedgie-proof underwear....

Motorcycle cancer protective seat?!!! :laugh:
We all just wear protective possum fur underpants down here, whack on an extra pair if riding anything over 500cc

Wise Old Owl
2008-07-13, 15:01
I really appreciate reading this thread... Great trip.

Fyi I took the main picture and because I can see that the ultraviolet wipes out the sky this is more like what you saw. Digital's have a problem where they do not do sky well on a hazy day. It's not as good as I am not working from the original, but you get the idea...

http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg275/MarkSwarbrick/NZ.jpg

enviro
2008-07-15, 21:47
New Zealand is at the top of my list for an exotic/expensive trip. What a beautiful country you have. I've been reading several books about tramping through New Zealand.

JAK
2008-07-15, 22:22
Nice sky. Mountain tops show up much clearer. :)
Is that snow on the mountain tops, or rock, or what?

Geo.
2008-07-17, 06:01
New Zealand is at the top of my list for an exotic/expensive trip. What a beautiful country you have. I've been reading several books about tramping through New Zealand.
Yep, it's not too foul - but you've got some awesome locations in the US and (to my mind) much more interesting fauna. There are a few more NZ pic's in the thread at http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2485 if you haven't already seen them.


Nice sky. Mountain tops show up much clearer. :)
Is that snow on the mountain tops, or rock, or what?

Hello Jak,
Actually the sky was a bit more overcast than shown in Mark's 'touched up' pic, but the touch up defines the bush clearer. Those 'white' patches are bare tussock. There wasn't much in the way of snow around in that particular spot. Further west (pic right) out of photo shot, the terrain develops into mountain range and there was snow there. This spot on that particular day was too low, though the creeks in the gullies were iced up and there was plenty of thick frosts that remained all day in the valley bases that didn't get much sun.









Nice sky. Mountain tops show up much clearer. :)
Is that snow on the mountain tops, or rock, or what?

Jarhead
2008-07-26, 01:26
nice pics!

JAK
2008-07-26, 04:59
Sounds like real nice country Geo.
What other critters in those woods?

Geo.
2008-07-28, 06:36
Sounds like real nice country Geo.
What other critters in those woods?

In that neck of the woods there are deer, wild sheep, wild pig, (boar) possums
Bit further, getting into tussock country and there are wallaby (small kangaroo)

Wise Old Owl
2008-07-30, 23:56
Geo in the bush what appeals to you to be the best tasting of meat?

My son wanted to know if you are in the bush so much how do you have access to the net?

I left Australia in '63 as a boy for the USA.

Geo.
2008-07-31, 22:32
Geo in the bush what appeals to you to be the best tasting of meat?

My son wanted to know if you are in the bush so much how do you have access to the net?

I left Australia in '63 as a boy for the USA.

G'day Mark,
Varies a bit. Probably mainly in this order
Venison ( a local butcher makes up some tasty sausages with the meat)
Mutton
Wallaby (stew)

I'm not actually in the bush that much! Thing is I live in a small town and access is really easy. 30 min drive and I'm into a good bush area. (beyond the black stump as you might say in Oz.) So whenever the urge takes me, it's no problem to go walkabout!
And of course, tell your son that every tree in the NZ bush has an internet branch. ;)

LuvTheWild
2008-08-09, 15:00
I like your base-camp shelter. How long did it take to build it? I notice the door has a bar across it. Is that to keep something out?

Geo.
2008-08-10, 20:31
I like your base-camp shelter. How long did it take to build it? I notice the door has a bar across it. Is that to keep something out?

Couple of hours. A sheet of black polythene completely 'waterproofs' the roof. There are two 'slatted' bunk frames made up as well, one on each side with bracken mattresses - very comfortable!
The 'bar' across the door is just to keep the door in place from the outside. Door's not hinged, just lifted into place and tied when inside.
The timber used was all from a tree called Manuka, also known as Tea Tree, as the early settlers used the leaves to brew up a tea. The infusion also has some antibiotic qualities. Honey derived from manuka flowers also has strong antibiotic qualities. You may have seen it for sale in the US.
Manuka is pretty common in NZ bush and there's usually wind fall branches around that can be made use of. Makes a good firewood too.

mclmm
2008-08-16, 20:12
Gotta watch those treacherous kiwi possums Geo.

I was on a course with the Kiwi army out the back of Queenstown a few years back and one of those little blighters gave me a nasty nip on the pinky. It even drew blood. With the amount of flak us Aussies copped from New Zealand's finest, I thought a fellow Australian (albeit an expat - the possum) would have been a little more accommodating. But no... it was an Aussie-basher too.

Haven't tried possum yet... the ones we get in our backyard are civilised and cute, so I couldn't bring myself to knock one on the head.

Beautiful country mate. Having seen it first hand, it craps on just about anything we have over here in oz.

Geo.
2008-08-16, 21:28
Beautiful country mate. Having seen it first hand, it craps on just about anything we have over here in oz.
Thanks mclmm.
Suppose we might have the edge in scenery but I still kind of liked the bits of Oz I've seen. Me and a mate did a crossing of the Nullarbor once pushing pedals on loaded mountain bikes. Took a couple of weeks going straight across off road from Kalgoorlie then down to Port Augusta from Glendambo (south of Cooper Pedy). Liked the 'red soil'. Didn't like the sandy stretches and dismounted pushing! You've got some interesting wildlife out there....and that includes the outback characters! ;)