Hunters bring in their prey for prizes
They kept coming in on the backs of utes and trailers — deer, pigs, goats, possums, hares and rabbits — all shot in the previous few days from locations as far away as the Taupo district and the Wairarapa.
It was the second Wild Buck Hunt run by the Dannevirke Merrylees Hotel and Saturday was the prize-giving.
Overall there were 17 red deer, 15 fallow deer and eight boars with countless hares, possums and rabbits.
Most spectacular trophy was a massive boar shot in the Taupo district by Jason Albert weighing in at 152.3kg but there were other huge animals including a 19-pointer red deer shot near Pahiatua.
To keep the event manageable entries were capped this year at 100 open,which meant the day ran well, the receiving and weighing was streamlined and the prize-giving with over $10,000 of prizes ran for over an hour.
There were lots of tales of quarry appearing when least expected and others staying cunningly hidden. One local hunter went to the Tamaki on Saturday morning to find eight cars already in the carpark and deemed it unwise to go out, while another took his sons out two nights on the farm and collected 30 hares and rabbits.
Owners of Merrylees Hotel Nicola and Dan were thrilled with the response and were grateful to their sponsors and friends who worked hard to have the operation run smoothly.
At the end any unwanted big animals were processed into mince by local butcher John Shannon and donated to the food banks. John said the deer had made the supreme sacrifice and it was fitting to process the meat for a good cause.
Another good cause was also served with a raffle for a leaner carved by Geoff Bryan raising $1000 for Wop Wops Wetland developments.
A donation of $500 was made by Merrylees Hotel to the St John Shuttle
Junior Section: Heaviest Hare — 1 Blake Johnston 4.01kg, 2 Brooke Giddens 3.88kg, 3 Harry Baxter 3.852kg, 4 Sam Stratford 3.772kg. Heaviest Possum — 1 Keegan Waru 4.178kg, 2 Tane Paewai 3.55kg, 3 Jade Johnston 3.61kg, 4 Jack Stratford 3.460kg. Heaviest Rabbit — 1 Teejay Browne 2.224kg, 2 Blake Hewitt 1.88kg, 3 Cullan Hewitt 1.82kg, 4 Jack Stratford 1.790kg. Best Goat Head — Sam Harvey 783. Average Hare — Angus Prouting 3.31kg. Open Section: Heaviest Red — 1 Struan Bell 130.9kg, 2 Simon Gore 126kg. Heaviest Fallow — 1 Will Martin 54.3kg, 2 Bryce Healey 54.0kg. Heaviest Boar — 1 Jason Albert 152.3kg, 2 Colin Jeffery 94.1kg. Ugliest Head — Bryce Healey. Best Jaw — Jason Albert. Average Red — (average 80.315kg) Aaron Waru 81.3. Average Boar — (average 72.26kg) Andrew Verner 71.1.
JACK, Sam and Dad James Stratford with some of their 30 quarry, including three feral cats.
ALMOST 50 youngsters crowd the prize-table.
DEREK Morse receives his rifle worth $1000 as a spot prize from sponsor Richard France of Dannevirke Hunting and Fishing.
AN impressive lineup of hares, possums and rabbits.
KEEGAN Waru with the heaviest possum and his prize.