I grew up on a farm in North Canterbury where I had plenty of opportunities in the outdoors from a very young age. I chased rabbits with the family pet Fox Terrier and a grubber to dig them up with after school as a 7 year old and progressed as I was allowed from there. I shot my first deer at the age of 12. Throughout my high school years I spent the weekends and holidays stalking pigs and deer as often as I could. After school I found myself working as a Shepard in the high country where I discovered a real passion for the mountains and the animals that live there. I have worked with Hunters Element since 2011 and have enjoyed testing gear, having input into design and the camaraderie shared among my peers and the Hunters Element staff.
I am a hunter for no other reason than the love of the chase. I do set myself wee goals as I go along though; last year my goal was to shoot 52 deer and to utilise all of the animals. I decided that the only meat I was happy to leave on the hill was from animals I shot for a trophy, which totalled four for the year. The other 48 deer all came home with me and were then utilised one way or another. To me, to see through a goal of getting a deer each week for a year was a real accomplishment as it took more effort than I'd have imagined when I set it.
Other goals were to take big game animals with a bow and a black powder rifle. I enjoyed both of those challenges, especially the black powder shooting.
I have hunted many species, and there are many more to hunt. As I have grown older, I have become more of a trophy hunter and I make a point of treating every trophy with respect. I boil and peroxide all of my heads and record on the trophy where and when it was taken. Last year I took a very nice Royal Red stag and a 14" Bull tahr along the way. I also had the opportunity to hunt in Victoria, Australia and managed a nice 28" Sambar stag too.
My favourite piece of gear is the Bushman Coat for the simple reason that I live in it on the farm throughout the colder months of the year. It’s warm, windproof and the hood fits well enough that it doesn’t blow off in a stiff southerly or on the motorbike. It has downfalls on really wet days it holds moisture and goes cold, or if I sweat a lot in it, it can hold that on the inside of the jacket which sometimes needs turning inside out to dry. It’s a great bit of kit.
The Pinnacle Gaiters are also a favourite. They are much more rugged than the older versions. The zip is protected by its placement on the side of your leg rather than up the front and the material is heavy duty. Even a fair amount of punishment over a two week period in thick South Westland monkey scrub they have survived and are still in use weekly now.
The Hunters Element Boundary Pack is my favourite day bag. 35 litres is a great size for carrying camera gear and hunting gear alike and to still have room for some meat if required. There is ample options and tabs for tying on a cumbersome head of an ice axe. There aren’t too many pockets, but enough for me to have a spot for all my necessities. I like the frame and harness, they are comfortable and the pack isn’t heavy yet it’s proving to deal with the battles we have in the thick scrub belts.
My favourite bit of urban wear is the Granite Hoodie. I wear it a lot. I like the fit, it’s comfortable, looks great and has lasted well. It’s not an awkward bit of kit to wear in any situation either as it fits in as a mainstream yet good quality hoodie. I will be getting another Hunters Element hoodie without a doubt!