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Around The Campfire

After the rifles have been locked away, hunters look forward to ‘downtime’.

People who hunt together are often friends for life. After the rifles have been locked away, hunters look forward to ‘downtime’. The group sitting around the fire embers will most likely be family, long-term friends or new acquaintances with a similar love for wild places. Ages will range, from new hunters entering hunting to experienced hands wise in knowledge though slower on the steep stuff. There will be a gender mix although males still occupy most seats around the flickering flames.

I was taught about hunting from my father, and quickly became a hunter for life. Most hunters can identify an older family member or older friend as the mentor who turned on the hunting light bulb. I watched, I learnt, I listened, I read copiously, and then I applied the information acquired to hunting environments I visited and quarry I hunted. Looking back I always saw myself as a lucky hunter but now as an older hunter I realise it was not always luck but often being a good student that brought success. Friends I hunted with as a youth are still good mates today.

On the hill when deadly serious about stalking a trophy animal I often prefer to hunt alone, but it’s no fun camping or lodging on your own. The best scenario is go hunting as a group, camp as a group, hunt with purpose and skill either alone or in pairs, then come back together as a group in the evening to review what was seen, tell hunting yarns, celebrate the success and commiserate over the missed opportunities.

How does a Lodge cater for this inherent desire of hunters to talk with other hunters after the day is done? Celebrate it, is the answer. In the case of Poronui there are a few pointers I can identify. No television is a major, a blazing logfire a second, a bubbling away ambience a third, an excellent hunting and fishing atmosphere, good hospitality, food and drink, guides who mix easily with clients in the evening, a ‘people person’ Lodge manager who is genuinely interested in what has happened over the day.

This atmosphere doesn’t end in the main lodge, it continues in the accommodation wing, and for those who want to have the fire in the open it goes even further when hunters stay at the Safari Camp down by the Mohaka River.

Evening catch ups can be noisy though. Belly laughs are not meant to be quiet.

Greg Morton

My Poronui Hunting Experience, by Alex

I had heard about Poronui from my Poppop. My family had hunted in the area and had flown over Poronui Station with Helisika. My Poppop had long dreamed of staying there; and for his 80th Birthday we all came to stay.  

As part of booking the trip, we discussed all the amazing experiences available and I was allowed to book a half day hunt. I did not know what to expect and was nervous. Although I had been hunting for pheasants, rabbits and possums; I had not ever stalked a large prey. Mark, the Head Poronui Hunting Guide came up to Blake House to meet me on our first evening. He seemed a quiet, genuine kiwi guy and explained his plan.  

He collected my father and I on Sunday morning in his 4WD Ute. We parked the truck and tramped up the hill, Mark leading, me with Dad’s gun and then Dad.  We saw a lot of stags. Mark got me into position for a Fallow hind, we lined up the standing shoot, peeking around a bush. I shot the deer in the upper shoulder. It took two steps and fell over. I went over to the animal and thanked it for giving its life.  

Mark and I lifted the deer up to a small clearing where Mark showed me how to gut it out and make it into a back pack.  Dad took some photos. Both Dad and Mark seemed proud and I felt great getting my first deer.  A big thank you to Mark and Poronui for an amazing experience.



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