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That time of year again – Hunting!

Informative Article No.2

Yes, it’s the time when all keen hunters get that longing to be far away from work, in the mountain air with the anticipation of scoring a trophy head in the most exciting way possible, yes ‘the roar’ is here again.

Well I hope YOU get out and enjoy it if you can time it right in your area.  The stags in the Kaimais here started fairly early, then went quiet for a bit, hopefully will start again soon.  Please all remember that all important rule during the excitement of your stalk, IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEYOND ALL POSSIBLE DOUBT BEFORE FIRING.  It is too late once you have pulled the trigger.

 Deer huntingThe workload here has been absolutely phenomenal over the last month or so.  A lot of guys are planning ahead and bringing the shotguns in now with enough time to get things sorted well before opening day rush, which is good.  It really helps if you can get to one of your local clubs “warm – up” shoots for a bit of practice with ‘your’ shotgun.  These are great, especially for those of us who don’t do a lot of claybird shooting but just need a bit of practice and a laugh with friends before the start of “the season”.  You know you are an addicted bird shooter when you start counting how many sleeps to go!!

There have been some interesting developments on the gamebird front.  If you want to shoot in some of the central North Island forestry blocks (Fletchers I believe) access and permits are available now only if you are a member of the Wildfowlers Association.  Membership is only about $20.00, so contact your local members, or more information can be had from Mike Hucks on 07-378-6767.  The membership gives you cover by the associations’ insurance policy, which is one of the main issues which has brought about this change.  Mark Bridgman is in charge of issuing the permits and can be contacted on 07-378-4593.  He is also in charge of the Hunters & Habitats club.  Access for the blocks concerned is by issued keys.  These are available from Mike Hucks 07-378-6767, Brendon Lewis 07-377-1490 (wk), and Nigel Wood at Hamils Rotorua has keys for Kaingaroa only.  Permits are issued at one month intervals.  There is no charge for permits to Wildfowlers association members.  It is a reflection on modern times where it pays to be covered by insurance in case of an accidental fire, or whatever, resulting in expenses being sought by emergency services which can be a costly exercise.  Just ask the unfortunate chap from Northland who had to remortgage his house to meet the approx.  $250,000 bill from the fire service for owning up to starting a fire which got out of control in the Kawekas about two years ago.  The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association also has a public liability insurance cover for it’s members for the same reasons.  More information can be had by contacting your local NZDA branch or the head office in Wellington, phone +64-4-801-7367, or fax +64-4-801-7368.  Email: 

Hopefully you have had a chance to check and testfire your rifle before venturing out on that trip for the roar.  A few rounds spent punching holes in the paper could save a lot of frustration and wasted effort.  If you hunt in any of the places that I do, you generally have to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves, so missing deer on those short trips into the bush just because your sights are out doesn’t do much for the self esteem, but at least it gives your mates something joke about! Make sure you have enough survival gear as well, even if it’s just a day trip, you never know when it might just be the day you get into trouble.

Well, enough said for now really.  Have had a few queries from shooters about the proposed phasing in of non-toxic shot and it’s affect on our guns.  To most of us this will mean steel shot.  Hopefully in next months article I should be able to outline some of the facts as they have happened in ‘the field’ in the USA, with some suggestions on the use of steel shot and suitable guns to handle it.  Until then good luck for the Roar if you are going out, and play it safe.

Hunter and mountains landscape Hunter and mountains landscape Hunter and mountains landscape