As a two week old baby, I was carted around in the hills chasing pigs because my Mum & Dad were both mad-keen pig hunters. Once I got old enough to know what it was all about, I hated pig hunting. Adults telling stories of big old boars ripping up dogs and chasing them made me one scared little kid. I avoided going with my parents as by developing a passion for trout fishing. This love of trout fishing gave me a taste for stalking and by the age of 10 I was given a kids bow and arrow. I began to stalk and shoot small game animals any chance I got. Now, 22 years later, I am immersed in bowhunting in a personal capacity and am a full-time goat culler in a professional capacity, which I have been doing for over 14 years.
I have been chasing a goal of securing a record book animal of each big game species in New Zealand with the bow. So far I have a 14” Bull Tahr (44 ½ DS), two 10” Chamois Bucks (27 ¼ DS) and one at 9 ½“ that has huge bases and actually scores higher than the two 10” bucks (27 ½ DS). I have four record book Boars and three Arapawa Rams (73 ½ DS, 68 DS), one which is yet to be scored officially but looks as though it will go around 80 DS. As far as deer species go I have managed to get a record Sika stag (177 ¼ DS), a Rusa stag (147 ⅞ DS) and a Red stag (304 ¼ DS). I’ve also taken a good Fallow buck and a good Sambar stag but are more representatives of the species and something to work on in the future. I have successfully hunted all big game species in New Zealand, except for Wapiti – I’m waiting for the big one.
Just as much as it is about looking for the trophy of a lifetime, it’s also a great way to fill the freezer. Bowhunting for me is enjoyable because of the challenge it brings to successfully hunting game. It tends to attract like-minded people, who become lifelong friends. Its about the comradery, the passion, the successes, the failures, the highs and the lows - it sets goals for a lifetime of hunting.
In my line of work, Hunters Element gets me to thrash gear to its limit. Then the Bowhunting side of things irons out the finer details. My go-to base layers would have to be the Blizzard top and the Crux top. The Blizzard is great as a lightweight thermal and the Crux for those big ascents on hot days. My favourite mid layer top would have to be the Edge top, it’s warm and moves with your body all while wicking moisture. The Razor insulation jacket is excellent for glassing on those cooler days. The Odyssey combo is my choice for outer-layer protection against that nasty Southerly.