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Hunting Red Stags in April

Hunting Red Stags in April

HOW TO HUNT RED STAGS DURING MARCH/APRIL

Put simply, timing of the roar revolves around when hinds are cycling (i.e. when they’re ovulating and ready to mate). At least that’s the gist of it anyway. Stags scent out cycling hinds and essentially spend their time marking out their territory, roaring, mating, and defending their harem against other stags. And it is without doubt one of the most exciting times to hunt stags.

By way of summary, I will firstly outline the most important variables which influence when red hinds are in cycle, and then move onto discuss the WHERE, HOW and WHAT of hunting red stags in the roar later. Typically the following variables that influence when hinds cycle, and thus when the roar kicks in, are:

  • Time of year – generally red hinds ovulate between late March and mid April.
  • Shorter days – shortening days are a natural phenomena during the seasonal transition from Summer to Autumn. This helps with a quick transition from daylight to dark and dark to daylight, acting as a trigger for hinds to begin cycling.
  • Full moon  - Also a full moon is thought to help bring hinds into cycle, hence the roar tends to kick off on or near-aboutsaround Easter (the equinox), and hinds have been known to cycle again on the next full moon after the equinox.
  • Cold sharp changes in weather ­– A brisk, bitterly cold change in weather (i.e. Southerlies) can often help kick start the roar, as it exaggerates the change in season. 
  • Age and population of hinds – mature hinds (i.e. 3 years plus), are more likely to ovulate earlier than yearlings and 2 year old females. And you can only imagine how keen stags are when they scent a catchment full of estrogen from a healthy hind population. Stags will literally shift entire catchments to seek out the ladies.
  • Stag activity in the area – from the moment a stag’s velvet hardens, they begin to rub their velvet off, scrape trees, and stain their antlers in anticipation for the challenges that come with mating. The location of these scrapes, rubs, and/or wallows will tend to be within the vicinity of hinds. By late February / early March you will begin to notice stags separating from their bachelor groups as they search for hinds. So, focusing your attentions in areas that typically hold hinds is equally important.

Ideally, if nature plays her part and all these seasonal variables are all thrown in and mixed at the same time; then hinds will begin cycling and stags will start roaring. It’s as simple as that.

Now, if we can agree on the above, the next most important things to consider are WHERE do we want to hunt, HOW do we find a descent stag, and WHAT do we do once we’ve found one?

WHERE

First of all, let’s look at where you prefer to hunt. Are you predominantly a bush stalker, or do you prefer to hunt the open tops? For those that enjoy hunting in both environs equally as much, you can probably pick and choose what information/suggestions can be applied to your hunting grounds. But when reading this, be mindful of the fact that we are talking about your roar spot. You’re primary objective is to bring home a rack of antlers - and the following can be applied to both North and South Island hunters.

Select WHERE this year’s roar will be based on:

  • previous experience (or other people’s experience) in the area
  • availability and location of hinds (typically hinds will be found at the lower to mid slope contour, and therefore stags will be in this band also)
  • quality of heads in the area
  • availability of feed (hinds will still nibble during the roar, so focus on food pockets)
  • availability of sign (prints, wallows, rubbings, game trails, droppings etc)
  • what the bush canopy is like (for bush hunting, red deer generally prefer pockets of podocarp as opposed to beech forest)
  • availability of leading spurs and ridges (stags love to gather their harem onto spurs, bush terraces and particularly at the toe of slopes)
  • topography (deer prefer gentler sloping faces / terraces that catch the morning & evening sun)
  • accessibility and proximity from tracks, huts, wild animal recovery operations (WARO), or other hunting parties (deer are less spooky in less disturbed areas
  • weather (immediately after a cold, wet front is an excellent time to head bush – so if you were planning to hunt the Tongariro National Park but you knew a cold, wet front was about to clip the Eastern Kawekas, then try your luck in the Eastern Kawekas for a couple of days). The key here is to be flexible – have at least two or three roar spots up your sleeve

In fact, much of what is mentioned above applies to hunting reds in the open tops as well – (with only a few slight differences to consider which will be covered later)

BUSH HUNTING

For bush hunters in the South Island, generally stags will have moved down off of the tops after velveting (if they managed to survive WARO) to attend the hinds which predominantly occupy the lower sections of the catchment. This isn't to say you won't find them in the tops, but more often than not, during the build up to the roar, stags will mark out their territory, gather their hinds and push them onto prominent bush spurs or terraces where they can hideaway, cast their roars and defend their harem. Patches of ribbonwood and lancewoods located at the head of gullies and basins (in that belt of alpine scrub) can be a good spot to find fresh rubbings. This is a good starting point.

13 point red taken on 31st March 2005

HOW

Once we’ve identified WHERE we’re going, the next question is HOW do we approach and hunt our area and HOW do we find a descent red stag in the bush? Without going into too much detail, John Bissell covered some fundamental principles of HOW to hunt in NZ Hunter Issues 4 & 5, of his series “So you want to be a hunter?”

Here, John highlights the importance of:

-          knowing where, when and what to look for (concentrate in areas that meet some of the criteria – also outlined in my article from Issue 1 – Hunting Red Stags in the Alpine Environment);

-          understanding deer preferences (also covered in my Issue 1 article);

-          finding fresh sign (prints, rubs, scrapes, game trails, browsing, wallows, hair, bedding areas, droppings etc);

-          using the wind (ALWAYS hunt into the wind and use catabatic air currents to your advantage); and

-          establishing your stalking technique(s)

Again, these HOW principles (above) can be applied to hunting deer in the open tops as well.

If you can put these HOW’s to practice, you are well on your way to locating a stag. Just remember, if you come across some hinds during the roar and there’s no stag in sight; just sit back for a few minutes and watch what they do. More often than not there’s a stag nearby that keeps them on their toes and gathered close, so he won’t be far away. If you can’t pin point the stag’s whereabouts, give a low groan through whatever you use for a roar horn (or simply cup your hands) and see what happens. Make sure you’re well concealed though as you’ll soon notice the hinds staring in your direction. If you can grab the attention of the females, then the chances are, you’ll be able to get the attention of the dominant stag and fingers crossed he’ll either roar back to let you know his whereabouts, or he’ll quietly come in to check you out. Be mindful that he may try and cut your wind.

  

Wade (right) and I with a stag each on 9th April 2004                 

WHAT

WHAT do you do in the likely event that you hear a stag roaring in the distance? As a suggestion, a good way to work out his whereabouts is to cup your ears (like Dumbo) and try to triangulate his position on the hill by listening. This is difficult when you’re already in the bush on the same side of the hill as him, but if he’s roaring from the opposite face it’s a lot easier to catch his roar (most times I purposefully hunt the opposite face, moaning and keeping an ear out for faint roars that I wouldn’t have otherwise heard if I were on the same side of the valley). Another helpful pointer is to sidle for elevation and remain out of earshot from major rivers and creeks as they will drown out most sounds. Keep the stag interested by casting out the odd roar while you begin to hatch a plan of attack. Personally, I prefer to hunt in a pair with one guy given the task of roaring while the other sneaks in for the kill. Personally I have found this to be a very effective method.

Now, this is probably a good time to remind everyone of the importance of wearing blaze orange and identifying your target because this time of the year poses the highest risk for deer shooting accidents in New Zealand. How you approach the stag is entirely up to you as the pair hunting, but essentially the method I refer to involves the guy who has the task of roaring to hold back slightly, while the other sneaks in for the shot. And you should only be hunting with someone you’ve hunted with before, understand, and trust with your life. The roar has the ability to excite people and get their adrenalin pumping; and the last thing you want is an unfamiliar person with a firearm to lose focus. Another thing I recommend during the roar are two-way radios (set on the lowest volume) so I can remain in communications with my hunting mate if we ever split up. Knowing what your hunting mate is doing is vital.

Another scenario that many of us are faced with during the roar is when a stag is roaring but he won’t budge from the thickest, shittiest piece of bush in the valley. You have been roaring back and forth at each other for a while and you can tell the stag is well worked up, but he’s still not coming out of that thicket! And the bush is miles too thick to sneak in without making any inconspicuous noises… You’ve even shaken branches and made a hell of a racket to let him know you are just as fired up as he is and raring for a battle… but still he refuses to budge.

Dan Curley with a mirror matched 10 pointer roared to within 10m in thick manuka.

 

Photo taken of a 10 point red taken in the Arthurs Pass National Park by Jon Astwood of Wellington, April 2006.

Photo taken of a young stag roared in close in Mt Aspiring National Park. Photo courtesy of Stephen Foote

I can only speak from experience here, but generally I do one of two things. These are either:

i)                    remove your shoes and sneak in ever-so quietly (which has its advantages if you’re able to execute it without making one flailing sound); or

ii)                   crash into the thick shit, shaking branches and making a hell of a racket (to give the impression you’re a raging bloody stag ready to fight).

In my opinion, crashing in his direction certainly gets you in on the stag as you’ll often catch him off guard as he holds his ground. But then you’ve got the issue of trying to get your bearings on where the stag is during your rip shit and bust approach - which often leaves you breathless and shaking for the shot anyway. And after all that, if the stag sees you first and realizes you’re not four-legged, then you’ll be pressed to get another chance.

Removing your shoes and making a stealthy approach in your woolen socks is probably what most conservative bush stalkers with half a brain would do. But unfortunately my inability to sneak in quietly has meant more mixed results with this method than with crashing in like an ape!! So if you ever find yourself in this predicament (and you will at some stage!) just go with your gut instinct. Do what feels most comfortable.


OPEN TOPS

The only things that differ during the roar when hunting in the open tops is that you can generally see (glass) where you’re going and you’ve got more ground to cover to get there. Otherwise, the same principles apply – stags will still:

  • hang out with hinds
  • defend their territory (which is typically larger in area than with stags in the tighter bush)
  • wallow and roar
  • push their harem onto spurs, terraces, or tuck away at the toe of slopes

Canterbury watersheds have many classic examples of vast open tussock areas that were (prior to WARO) renowned for holding healthy, top quality red stags. Given the open nature of the terrain, animals would often hideaway on tussock terraces or flat benches tucked away in sheltered guts. Their elevation band generally ranged between 800m – 1300m if left undisturbed. However, with the onset of WARO and hunting activity in the area, these hot spots can be expected to vary considerably.

Tussock country in the likes of the Ruahines (again, this will largely depend on WARO activity in the area), but I think you’ll find stags more so in that bush country down off the open tussock. The stags won’t be feeding in the lush open basins like they were in late Spring – be prepared to drop down out of the open stuff and search out spurs and leading ridges.

HOW

It’s still a good idea to use the open tops for accessing and dropping down onto bush ridges and spurs, but I would tend to focus my hunting efforts in the bush itself. Camping in the open tops can have its advantages in terms of being able to hear faint roars further up/down the valley. But do bear in mind WHERE you plan to camp and hunt, and WHAT the catabatic winds are doing. Try to avoid camping in a spot where you might wind you’re hunting grounds (covered in my article on campsite selection – Issue 6).

Another thing to bear in mind during the roar is, if your intention is to hunt for a trophy, make note that the bigger, more mature stags typically roar earlier than the younger ones. From experience this has typically been in the last week of March and first few days of April. Again, this isn't always the case, but be prepared to encounter a lot of young animals the later you leave it. So if you’re motive is to simply shoot a stag of any size, then your best bet is to go when things are really cranking anywhere in the first two weeks of April (generally speaking). During this time you have more chance of getting a reply roar from stags of most ages.

For those who have internet access, this LINK (click on the blue LINK) may be of interest to you. Here you will find a handful of comments on when hunters consider the most active roar dates for red stags throughout parts of New Zealand.

In terms of hunt times, the best times of the day to hunt for stags remain to be the first couple of hours in the morning and last couple of hours in the evening. In fact, it’s quite common for stags to roar from the early hours of the morning (3.00am) until mid morning (10.30am), settle down, and then crank up again later in the afternoon (4.30pm) and roar through until late at night (11pm). If you’ve really struck it good, they may even roar all day and all night. And if that's the case, give it all you got because those days can be few and far between!! I haven't had a day like that since Fiordland in 2006.

Rate: 
Votes: 26

Comments

Mark LuceMonday 1st February 2010 - 12.11am
As one who raises red deer and operates a hunt preserve in Maine I could relate to you hunting description during the roar. Even in a 100 acre preserve they act much the same. We are past the rut by 3 months. The mature stags are back in bachelor mode and the females , young stags and last years young are gathered elsewhere. They are amazing animals with the biggest I've raised being a 30 point 333 SCI Trophy that was 6 years old when harvested.. I've got a new breed stag this year and I expect he will exceed the 333 SCI stag........Good luck, I'd like to visit and hunt NZ at some point. Take care, Mark Luce www.hindsite-deer.com
Jamie CarleMonday 1st February 2010 - 11.27am
Cheers Mark, I had a look at your website and there are some nice stags among those photos!

Roughly how many stags would you have on your preserve in any one season? And how often are you buying in genetics for breeding purposes?

What is the country like on your property in Maine? I notice it's reasonably wooded with a lake - but is there any open grasslands or any such feed for them? It looks relatively flat country too, is this the case?

Cheers
Jamie
Aaron MeikleSaturday 6th February 2010 - 01.33pm
"...a new moon (i.e. no moon at all) is thought to help bring hinds into cycle for the same reason as above."

That's an interesting comment, Jamie. Is it personal observation alone, or do you have some references to studies on the influence of the moon on hind oestrous cycles?


Jamie Saturday 6th February 2010 - 09.37pm
Aaron, it's meant to be full moon, not new moon that helps bring hinds into cycle... good pick up
Dean McCloyMonday 22nd February 2010 - 03.50pm
Some good info in this article.I met you and Andre last year up the Taramakau I was with me mate from Hoki,it was late at night and you where coming down off the hill you didn't make the roast tea on offer.Next time eh.
Great web site and some good stories.6 weeks till this years hunt counting down the days,hoping for some cold spells as we are getting 29 degress day at the moment.
BillSunday 19th September 2010 - 05.10pm
G'day Jamie,
I suppose your Red Deer advice would apply to West Oz as well? There is more than enough info on when the roar starts in NZ, have you ever heard of when it starts in WA. Later I would presume, the place I go doesn't have what you would call a cold snap to set them off. We have a moon too, probabaly the same one you guys see, could you safely go off that planning a hunt during the rut?
Cheers,
Bill
DylanMonday 21st February 2011 - 05.43pm
hay Jamie im a young keen man at the age of 17 and im hooked on hunting. over the few past years i have really started to get into hunting deer exspecially red stags. this coming roar im looking at heading south. im from Taranaki and i have sussed a few different hunting spots around christchurch and even invercargil. i was woundering if you could tell me of any good doc land which might hold a good stag or two. cheers Dylan
Jamie CarleMonday 21st February 2011 - 11.04pm
Hi Dylan,

Flick me an email to cj.carle@gmail.com and I'll point you in the right direction. Plenty of DOC land down south mate
mike millarTuesday 1st March 2011 - 09.39am
hunting ahimanawas 2nd april , 5 days ..50%reds 50% sika . what do i expect . am i to early for the sika .but i am also keen on chaseing the reds . got my self aj caller for the sika.do the reds put presure on the sika to start a little early , not sure what to expect .can you give me a little advice please on how to get a bit of sucess .
JamieTuesday 1st March 2011 - 11.48am
Mike, some good questions.

I too will be hunting the Ahimanawas for the first time so it will be interesting to see how the area pans out first hand. But from what I hear, there is more of a mixture of sika than reds throughout as the Japs spill out from Kaimanawas and Kawekas pushing east (and south).

In terms of dates, the general gist is that the first two weeks of April are suited to hunting reds while the last two weeks of April (and early May) are more suited to Japs. I would imagine however that where there are reds and Japs in the same valley, the reds could stirr things up with the Japs (as do the Waps bugling earlier than the reds in Fiordland).

So to answer your question, your dates should be ok for reds (if anything they may be a fraction early for reds as well) as I think you'll find the reds cranking more towards the end of your 5 days. But I think generally, you may be too early for the sika. Which is ok, you can just come back the following week!

I've never used an AJ caller, but from what I hear and read, they work very well. I'd be focusing on spurs, ridges, and bush terraces looking for fresh marks, listening out to any roars, and giving the odd call to tease something out. And keep wind in face haha. Should do the trick

Let us know how you get on
Mike millarTuesday 1st March 2011 - 06.06pm
Thanks jamie , i am travelling over from NSW OZ , And only have about a eight day stay before i head home, i was born in NZ And hunted the tararuas most of my teenage life , have been in oz for 16 years , but travel to nz 4 times a year to hunt. lower down the north island the reds start a little early , and i was hopeing it would be the same up taupo way.
very dense bush the block we have , our hut is at 1200 m , so we should hear any thing makeing a noise.the pilot said he has been seeing a mixture of reds and sika over the last couple of months, the last trip i went on was late feb just gone to venison tops , manage to get two small stags in soft velvet , each in the evenings at about 8.30 on another strip of tusck 2.5 km north of venison tops .3rd trip into the kawekas in the past 12 months, and only just starting to work the sika out .
JaradMonday 14th March 2011 - 11.01am
hi, i am looking to purchase a cow horn to use for roaring, could someone please tell me where to purchase these around the coromandel of the greater Auckland area
thanks
Jarad
JamieFriday 1st April 2011 - 07.12pm
Jarad, try trademe mate or order one online via www.huntingandfishing.co.nz
gazzaSunday 27th March 2011 - 06.56pm
hey guys has anyone heard any roaring yet around wellington orongoronga or ocean beach area yet
cheers
JamieFriday 1st April 2011 - 07.13pm
I'd imagine that the Rimutakas should be all go by now Gaz..
chrisThursday 31st March 2011 - 09.14am
great site mate, good on you, like your views on our outstanding backcountry, and world leading, diverse line-up of game animals.chris
jake andersonTuesday 5th April 2011 - 11.54am
ruahine forrest park all go at the moment.
JonoTuesday 5th April 2011 - 06.12pm
Canterbury highcountry going off too..
Adam WalkerWednesday 6th April 2011 - 03.11pm
Hi Jamie
Really good reading your posts mate, definately help with ther inspiration to get out there doing it. I have been hunting a bit, usually with me step dad as he's a pretty keen hunter, mostly pigs but went on my first roar end of March as they were making alot of noise up around Hokitika Gorge, shot my first stag, 9 pointer but solid body, good condition still as wasn't all rutted up so was good for meat, am wanting to get into alot more around canterbury in the weekends, where are some good places to start around canterbury? I live in Christchurch.

Cheers
Adam
steven barrettSunday 8th July 2012 - 05.16pm
Hi Adam,
I hunted for my first time during the roar up around Mt Thomas way. My father and i didnt get anything as we are only really starting out hunting for deer and were too noisy but we got a really descent stag going, well actually had 3 going at the same time but we were just letting out the odd roar and got the odd reply our way. uhm but we would have counted him to be a large animal of around 12 points we could make out!! there is also a few hinds wondering around there if your looking for meat.
Regards Steven
Catalina Rosario, AustraliaSunday 23rd December 2012 - 10.10pm
YOU FILTHY ILLBRED BORN MURDERERS BIG TOUGH CUNTS AREN'T YA.
TYPICAL MURDERER MENTALITY SCUM
http://www.mountainman.co.nz/articles/article/31
KEEP BRAGGIN Y PIECES OF SHIT
Daniel McgregorThursday 10th January 2013 - 01.26am
Thankyou for that catalina rosario, you sound like a very educated individual indeed. Have a few to many alone at home on christmas eve did we??

Keep up the good work Jamie. Take care in auzzie buddy there an odd bunch over there!!!!
Daniel McgregorThursday 10th January 2013 - 01.28am
Christmas eve eve..
FlyingfoxSunday 17th March 2013 - 08.52pm
Dear Catalina,
You have destroyed whatever argument you thought you had by the way you have addressed your listeners. My hopes and prayers go out to u as you must be a very troubled individual obviously in need of help.
Keep well Catalina eventually peace will find you, as it finds us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Poor sorry sad foul mouthed nutcase
Nich BeaduricMonday 18th March 2013 - 03.34am
Is 'Bambi' your favourite Disney film, perchance?
MorgsTuesday 30th July 2013 - 10.21am
Cheers Jamie, great read and web site.
MorgsTuesday 30th July 2013 - 10.21am
Cheers Jamie, great read and web site.
MacLeanMonday 11th November 2013 - 12.33pm
Nice piece and great photo's, that last one's a real beauty!
GazzaTuesday 3rd December 2013 - 10.54pm
Its a real pity and a shame that you continue to display the photographs of some of Victoria's worst sambar deer spotlighters on your web page MM,one has been convicted,the other simply hasnt been caught ..yet!
AnonymousMonday 17th February 2014 - 02.32pm
trrruuueeeee!

Sure dissapointed me when i heard this a while back.. sigh.
JamieThursday 6th March 2014 - 11.51pm
Hi Gazza,

I'm not into spot lighting! Nor am I aware of their spotlighting antics. The trip I did with the Vic Boys was all back-pack walkng into some remote and beautiful Victorian Alpine Country (as it should be!)
JarsSaturday 18th January 2014 - 08.37pm
Hi Jamie, great posts.

I am planning a roar trip to North Canterbury this year, just wondering around what dates do the stags usually start roaring down there, i have been told that the reds start a bit earlier than in the NI.

Cheers

Jars
JamieThursday 6th March 2014 - 11.49pm
Hi Jars, any time from late MArch through until Mid April each year is pretty good bet in North Canterbury. I usually get onto the mature stags earlier in the roar though...
AnonymousThursday 13th February 2014 - 12.27am
sex
RobertFriday 21st March 2014 - 01.36am
Hi, im looking at having a roar in the gisborne area in the next couple of weeks. Can anyone give me some tips on times and places in the region?

Thanks
RobertFriday 21st March 2014 - 01.36am
Hi, im looking at having a roar in the gisborne area in the next couple of weeks. Can anyone give me some tips on times and places in the region?

Thanks
RobertFriday 21st March 2014 - 01.36am
Hi, im looking at having a roar in the gisborne area in the next couple of weeks. Can anyone give me some tips on times and places in the region?

Thanks
Jamie CarleThursday 10th April 2014 - 05.50am
Robert, apologies for late reply. The ureweras or raukumaras are a good place to start - and very handy to gisbourne. anytime between late March to mid April is still a good time to bag a stag. Otherwise, you can find stags feeding up in late April or early May before the winter really sets in putting on as much fat as they can. This is a good time to get stags in the open where there is plenty of tucker.
WayneMonday 31st March 2014 - 08.29am
I have located a nice stag but was unable to get onto him. Am heading out again this weekend to try from a different angle. It did not know I was there, would it be likely to be in the same area a week later, a nice bit of native amongst pines with ample food. No one in are this week.
Jamie CarleThursday 10th April 2014 - 05.48am
Wayne, goodluck - apologies for late reply - but if you got onto a stag and he wasn't aware of you, then I would definately hunt the same spot; particularly if there are hinds in the area. Be interested to know how you got on when you head back.cheers
Jamie CarleThursday 10th April 2014 - 05.48am
Wayne, goodluck - apologies for late reply - but if you got onto a stag and he wasn't aware of you, then I would definately hunt the same spot; particularly if there are hinds in the area. Be interested to know how you got on when you head back.cheers
AnonymousThursday 10th April 2014 - 08.40am
Hi there, yep went back and went to the same area. He was still there with 2 hinds unfortunately one hind saw me at the same time and alerted the others, didn't get time for a good shot. One hind was particularly large and I was told that 5 hybrids were released in the area some 5 years back so will certainly be back soon.
EllieSaturday 27th September 2014 - 03.54am
MUDERERS Do you get joy at seeing innocent animals suffering!
KatieSaturday 27th September 2014 - 04.02am
MUDERERS Do you get joy at seeing innocent animals suffering! Imagine the pain and suffering these animals go through when you shoot them and then you take photos and smile and laugh and take photos to celebrate the death you just caused.What did they ever do to you!!! You enjoy pain, death and sorrow.Next time you shoot something imagine the animal your shooting as your child or other family members and friends watch the painful expression that comes across there face watch the life drain out of them and imagine the pain there feeling.
THEN GO SHOOT YOUR SELF IN THE HEAD !!!
James PassmoreWednesday 22nd October 2014 - 09.41am
Katie, animals don't have faces. And you are advocating killing people. I am not sure how you think you are better than anyone really.
I'm not sure why but these hysterical tirades always come across like spam or malware of some kind don't they.
GrahamThursday 23rd October 2014 - 01.45am
Appreciate non hunters who feel for animals, understandable. Sorry if the web shows non hunters stuff their not keen on, however it needs to happen to show the world our hobbies and interests.
I have enjoyed being involved with this website, very educational. My passion is treking the wilderness, seeking animals in the wild, planning the hunt, taking the animals with appropriate caliber firearm to prevent loss, appreciating the trophy (pics etc), skinning and taking the meat, enjoying eating and cooking exceptional game dishes which many people never experience. It is all very hard work, a tough hobby or sport. Yes we enjoy hunting, which yes is killing game (like millions of other animal, fish etc provided to the human race everyday), yet we do it ourselves, in the most beautiful remote areas you can imagine.
Please do not relate it to murdering people, or you need help. Hunters are law abiding people, you cannot have a criminal record to own a firearm and thus hunt, therefore we dont do drugs, we dont steal, we dont break laws, we abide by the hunting regulations set for sustainable use of game species. All my friends are great honest, ethical people. The govt, police and professional people know that hunters take the path of being good citizens, and educating more good citizens. A young person taught to use a firearm will learn responsibility, respect for others and earn a place in society. Recently I was on a Sambar hunt with a proud young lad from Austria, he was amazed to see people in the Aussie streets trying to look as rough as possible, as unemployable as possible, swearing (ladies too) OMG, wanting low esteem and wanting to hate people and look tough. The hunting friends I have been associated with from a very young age, and all my life have wanted to be tidy, respected, achievers and appreciate the wilderness, the animals, the food. Any hunters who take the wrong path or paint the wrong image will not last long, and be advised or rejected by their friends. To be a legal licensed hunter has required us to all be good citizens. An experienced Aussie hunter, looking fwd to my first adventure into NZ soon.

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