I’m a Hipster Hunter.
I only got into hunting (relatively) recently, had to learn through a course and am fairly dependant on online forums and websites for finding hunting spots and information.
I live in Auckland, don’t get out that often and when I do, only generally manage to get out for a day or so.
I shoot a 7mm08 and wear a very fancy looking camo. I have plenty of fancy gizmos and they latest toys.
I have been known to hunt ‘Behind the Wire’ – in smaller private blocks, as well as on public land.
I am learning to bone out an animal totally at the kill site – that way I don’t have to carry too much weight out.
I primarily hunt for meat. Not because I need too in order to survive, but because I don’t like the idea of not knowing the origin of my food. I ate as a Vegan for a couple of years.
I am a leftie, actually, a greenie.
I’m a Hipster Hunter.
I have a beard (I actually run the largest Beard ‘Club’ in the country) and hunt.
Because I got into hunting a little late in the game, I was keen to learn as much as I could about this new adventure. I was already comfortable with off track navigation and basic bushcraft due to the Mountain Safety Council and LandSAR courses I have done over the years, so signed up for the HUNTS course put on by the Deerstalkers Association. In addition, I pour over any online article or forum I can find, trying to sift my way through all the information (and mis-information available online). I have no interest in being the ‘experienced hunter’ who manages to get lost in the back-country and needs to be rescued by people who know carrying a map and compass is a good idea.
I live in Auckland and because of work and family commitments I don’t get out that often and when I do, only generally manage to get out for a day or so. I don’t live to hunt, so my (young) family takes priority over going out and shooting something. However, I make sure I get out to the range often, to make sure when I do go hunting my rifle and my shooting is up to par. I probably shot more rounds over a weekend than some hunters do in a year.
I shoot a suppressed 7mm08 for hunting. I am keen to do anything I can to reduce felt recoil. Thanks to modern cartridge design, ‘toughing up’ and dealing with more recoil than I have to just doesn’t make sense. I practise my shooting to ensure shot placement – so am considering dropping down to a .224 or even .223 to reduce recoil and also meat damage.
I have researched, tested and worn a pile of different clothing and camo systems and like systems that base themselves on sound scientific theory, rather than just mimicry. I realise that just because it looks good to me, it doesn’t mean it’s effective to the animals I am hunting. Gone are the days of heavy, badly fitting hunting clothing – and there certainly isn’t any reason to be cold or wet out in the bush anymore. I have worked over the years (and committed to living in Auckland) to ensure I earn good money and as such, can afford some of the nicer things to play with. It’s a constant balance between earning the money to buy things and having the time to use them.
Again, because I wanted to learn to do things correctly and didn’t have family who could teach me, I often head along to private hunting blocks, where I endeavor to learn all I can from guides and hunters that have been doing it for a lot longer than me. With the feedback I get from social media about putting on courses, it seems there are many other people out there who want to learn this sort of stuff as well. Private Land is a great way to test out a pile of gear, without having to rely on it in the bush and end up creating more work for the folks at LandSAR.
While I train to hunt and can carry a 40kg pack for hours, I don’t see the point in carrying out any part of an animal I am not going to use – so bone out and pack only meat out. I am not trophy hunting and antler size only feeds ego, so learning the skills to field butcher is important to me. Many of the older hunters were also freezing workers – so it’s not like it’s even a new idea.
Nothing fills me with pride more that being able to serve up a meal where I have hunted, killed and processed the meat. Though I won’t be able to switch into a totally self-sufficient mode of living anytime soon – it’s a good reality check for me. Most of what I do deals with ideas and an artificial world of concrete and data – dirt time helps (literally) ground me.
I am determined to ensure that the natural world doesn’t get any more messed up that it already is. We have a really bad history of mismanagement in this country and unfortunately, some drastic steps need to be taken if we want to protect the unique biodiversity of this isolated little island paradise. Apparently, having a keen interest in nature and the outdoors makes you a greenie. Which is strange, considering many hunters would profess to also care about the animals they hunt and the land they hunt it.
So yeah, I guess I am a hipster hunter. Conscientious, inquisitive and keen.