Alexandra hunter a run­ner-up again

Central Otago Mirror - - ARROWTOWN AUTUMN FESTIVAL - DASHA KUPRIENKO

For the tenth time, a Cen­tral Otago rab­bit-shooter has walked away with a sec­ond place in the an­nual Great Easter Bunny Hunt.

Alexandra man Ray Mof­fat, who has par­tic­i­pated in the event in each of the 26 years since it started, said he was ‘‘rapt’’ with the re­sult.

‘‘The guys threat­ened me that if I got one more sec­ond they were go­ing to put me in a brides­maid’s dress and it bloody hap­pened again,’’ Mof­fat said.

It was his third sec­ond place in a row. He has won the com­pe­ti­tion five times in the past.

Mof­fat’s team of twelve shot 835 rab­bits, 16 hares, two pos­sums and one mouse.

‘‘My daugh­ter shot a mouse and it went in the count. She bloody got it with a shot­gun, it was un­be­liev­able,’’ he laughed.

For team cap­tain Mof­fat, 61, the event is a fam­ily get-to­gether, with his three chil­dren and good mates in the team.

‘‘We are a hunt­ing fam­ily and I shoot full-time for a liv­ing,’’ he said.

Teams shot rab­bits on the farms through the night and re­turned to Alexandra by mid­day Saturday for count­ing.

Stay­ing up after an all-night Good Fri­day shoot­ing was the hard­est part of the event, Mof­fat said.

‘‘You are ab­so­lutely shat­tered on the next day.’’

In keep­ing with tra­di­tion, the team had a 16 hour-long sleep­over at Mof­fat’s house on Saturday night.

Event con­venor Dave Ram­say said over 8000 pests were killed in the Easter Bunny Hunt be­tween Good Fri­day and Saturday morn­ing.

De­spite be­ing nine teams short from last year, 21 teams of 12 made the event a suc­cess.

‘‘Weather would have played a part in what they did dur­ing the night.

‘‘It was a bit slip­pery out there, but a lot of them [hunters] walked in­stead of us­ing ve­hi­cles,’’ Ram­say said.

A lot of Cen­tral Otago farm­ers ben­e­fited from the an­nual Easter event, Ram­say said.

Mof­fat said a farmer on whose prop­erty they were shoot­ing won’t have to worry about poi­son­ing pests for an­other year.

‘‘What we are do­ing as far as the shoot goes prob­a­bly is the drop in the bucket in the over­all scale of things, but you use every tool that’s avail­able to you.’’

DON­ALD LA­MONT

More than 8000 pests were shot at the Great Easter Bunny Hunt in Cen­tral Otago.

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