My Dad has always been a mad-keen fly fisherman and hunter. As soon as I was old enough I was tagging along on fishing trips and begging to be taken out bunny shooting. As the years went by, fly fishing became the main pass time and it wasn’t until I was in my later teens that I really took up big game hunting with any real conviction. I quickly became hooked on chasing different species and collecting bigger and better trophies. During my University years I worked in Gun Shops and saved every penny I could to pay for new rifles and helicopter transport in to the Alps to chase Tahr. These days I work as the Marketing Manager for Hunters Element and my passion for big game hunting, particularly bow hunting, has only grown.
Although putting meat on the table is a major part of hunting for me, I am also very driven to try and achieve two other key things when I head in to the hills. The first is the wilderness experience. For me hunting isn’t fun or worth doing without the scenery, hard work, failures, successful moments, shitty weather and all that other “wilderness” stuff that comes with excursions out into the back country. The second goal is to track down bigger and better trophies. I want to shoot the biggest stag of my life and I will almost always pass up the easy animal if I think he might be in the next valley over.
I’ve basically hunted all of New Zealand’s big game species in recent years and secured some great trophies for a few of these including Sika, Fallow and Arapawa Sheep. Tahr and Red Deer are the two animals that have peaked my interest the most and I have spent hundreds of hours looking for big heads all over the country. Although I have shot a few nice Red Stags including a large 12pointer am still on the mission for something bigger. The old 14” Bull Tahr I shot up the Landsborough during the 2016 Rut is probably the animal I look at as my greatest hunting accomplishment in terms of trophies, an animal I think I may never beat.
Having been involved in the Hunters Element Pro-team for quite a few years now I’ve had the opportunity to test a huge number of products. Over this time there have been plenty of changes and improvements and I genuinely feel that the range available today is really fine-tuned and just about perfect for the hunting situations I tend to find myself in. My favourite bits of kit start with the base layer. I love the Core range all year round, it’s warm under mid-layers and cool when exposed directly to the breeze. The new Zenith top is my mid-layer of choice, it just works in every condition and I never leave the truck without it. The new Atlas barrier range is absolutely amazing! Both the jacket and trousers have been so fine-tuned they are simply perfect in my opinion and I think they will be in my kit for years to come. Finally, the Element boots are a great set of boots for me. They are super tough heavy-duty boots with high ankle support and firm shank making them perfect for hunting through the alp's rocky country.