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Around the Campfire
– About

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

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