29 Jul 2016

Polaris Big Four Hunting Competition - Part One

From Country Life, 9:18 pm on 29 July 2016

Photos mainly supplied by Sheryl Richardson.

It Was One Big Week in June: The Big Four Hunting Competition

Every year during a week in June, mad keen hunters spread out around New Zealand hoping to bag a stag, boar, trout and pheasant.

It's all part of the Polaris Big Four competition run by the Te Puna Hunting and Fishing club near Tauranga in Bay of Plenty.

Teams of four have four days to collect the four species.  The 2016 event attracted 91 teams, 54 of them getting all four animals, including some coming from the South Island.

When questioned about hunting and why they enter this mad event, most participants said the prizes were impressive, but mainly it's about having fun with mates, getting away from the city and seeing countryside they don't see that often.

This June's event was held in appalling weather that hit most of New Zealand.

Country Life's Susan Murray joined a team called On The Way which involved a trip up the remote Motu area in the Raukumaras, tackling narrow slippery roads, and rivers that rose in the torrential rain.  Some of the team members were trapped by swollen rivers for two days only just making it out in time for the weigh-in day.

Susan started out thinking she would just cover the trout fishing and pheasant shoot because she'd already been deer and pig hunting.   She wasn't let off the hook that easily. Between June 13 and 24 she recorded over six hours of material to become two feature programmes.


Clive McKenney You Tube clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck68BdYngKA