Issue 97 - October/November 2023   |  
On Sale Thursday 12th October 2023

El Nino is back! The West Coast has been copping a pasting and we’ve had a dry and windy month on the East Coast so looks like we’re going to get a windy spring which we haven’t had for a few years.

The dust storms in the silt covered East Coast have been horrendous over the last few weeks. We’ve managed to get away from cyclone recovery long enough to film a couple of episodes for the TV Show before the stags dropped their antlers which was a bit of a relief!

The WARO land schedule issue has not been resolved, and it looks like the concessions people in the Department are not going to rethink their position. This really does look like just another case of ideology and process driven bloody mindedness by some bureaucrats. This should have been addressed as part of overall deer management and the Te Ara ki Mua adaptive management framework, not in isolation. This and the wider WARO issue is now going to need a political solution, which we’ll be strongly lobbying the incoming Minister to address.

The current Minister has announced a review of the 1953 Wildlife Act, which again will have huge ramifications for hunters and fishers. Garry Ottmann and I are heavily involved is this process, and we’re striving to get pragmatic outcomes for both conservation and game animal management. Ecological reality clearly shows valued introduced species are here to stay and need to be managed for both their resource value and their harmful effects, and we need to ensure the new legislation reflect this. This is very much a case of we can have our cake and eat it to

The Game Animal Council has just released the paper done for them by Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research on the effects of ungulates on carbon storage in our indigenous forests – see page 6. Surprise surprise, this has clearly shown that ungulates have little or no effect on intact forests, and that the best bang for our tax payers buck is to manage ungulates for biodiversity protection – exactly what we’ve been saying and the GAC, Fiordland Wapiti, Sika and Tahr Foundations have been trying to do. This totally contradicts the paper on the same topic released by Forest and Bird, and shows their “science” was basically dodgy. This is a real issue that has been getting serious legs lately, with all the talk by both some in the Department, the environmental NGOs and some politicians about nature based solutions to climate change and our carbon zero goals. Some had been hoping they could get money to control ungulates out of the climate change budget, but this shows that belief is just smoke and mirrors. Everyone needs to stops wasting time barking up the wrong tree and instead allow the Department to put that time and money into progressing working closely with the game animal sector to achieve real gains for both biodiversity and hunting.

The big news is the election only weeks away. This time outdoors people have some real opportunities the like of which we’ve never had before. There are some very clear and different policy positions from the various parties on conservation, game animals, hunting and firearms. Under MMP there is an opportunity to elect a government that will take a sensible, pragmatic direction on all the issues that are very dear to us and that will also have huge benefit for the country as a whole – even if some of them don’t understand it! So please make your choices on Election Day very carefully, and above all else make sure you do get out and vote!


In this issue:

            • The GAC news – including a summary of the new Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research paper
            • The Infamous La Perouse, a behind-the-scenes look at the NZ Hunter expedition into the Cook
            • So you want to be a professional hunter? Part two, Pest Control, by Johnny Bissell
            • West Coast Wandering – bull tahr hunting with Baxter Wilson
            • Mike Spray’s series ‘Things a hunter must know’ – Part Five, Photography
            • An insight into our hut and track heritage and the Backcountry Trust’s role in it’s protection by Rob Brown
            • ‘Take them while you can’ – hunting with the kids, by Dono Gibbs
            • E-bikes and hunting, we’ve all thought of it. Patt Barrett had some success with a big ol’ boy!
            • Michael McCormack dives into the wellness benefits of hunting and time in the outdoors
            • The perks of making mistakes, part two – Mitch Thorn from South Island Rifle Walkers passes on some lessons learned the hard way
            • ‘Small boars, big ivories’ – Jonathan Fulton and Northland pig hunting
            • Brandon McMurtrie shares some easy wild meat cooking and prep tips in ‘Get in the Kitchen’
            • ‘Journey’s End Station’ a story by Addy Jeffries about her roar hunt
            • Cam Mckay from Points South continues the Tahr Ballot block series with ‘Perverse Creek’ in the Adams Wilderness area
            • Next up in the Remote Huts series by Andrew Buglass is Crystal Biv in the Toaroha Range
            • More spectacular artwork by Francesco Formisano accompanies the latest species overview by Gwyn Thurlow and the NZDA – Wild Pigs

            Test Fires: We evaluate...

            • The Sig Sauer Rangefinder product range
            • Stone Glacier load shelf packs, the Sky 5900 and Col 4800
            • UoVision Select 30 4g cellular trail camera

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