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North Canterbury HUNTS

3 January 2023

North Canterbury Branch has completed its 2022 HUNTS course with a successful Tahr hunt in the head waters of the Rangitata gorge. All trainees had success, with Milton the youngest member at 13 scoring a head shot with a loaned .243. 

Images: North Canterbury HUNTS - Peter Weusten

Volunteers put in approximately 260 man hours to complete the 5 week course, with 4 certified instructors, 3 instructor trainees, as well as half a dozen assistants acting as hill guides and similar.

The age of our trainees ranged from 13 to 74 with a good spread inbetween. We covered survival, navigation and fire lighting on a weekend at the branch's lodge in the Lewis Pass. Very localized rain showers made the fire lighting a challenge thanks to chief instructor Ian Brabbs' use of a billy full of water.

Ballingers Hunting and Fishing Store opened after hours where the staff volunteered to stay back and carried out educational sections covering firearms/scopes, tents and sleeping bags, and boots and equipment.

A massive thanks to the instructors Stephen Small (South Canterbury), Ian Brabbs, Alex Gale and Peter Freestone, along with Trainee Instructors Andrew Walton, Bevan Hussey, and Tania Kiely, as well as the guides and assistants who made this course successful!