All eyes were on a group of customers in Kaikoura Hunting and Fishing on Wednesday afternoon once onlookers realised who they were - the Crusaders on a team-building exercise.
The players were picking up gear and their guides before heading into the hills for a day and night of shooting, fishing and bonding. The trip was organised by team captain George Whitelock and Anton Evans of Kaikoura Hunting and Fishing.
The trip was more than a hunting expedition.
The players were split into six teams pitted against each other in a man v wild competition. The teams were led by the four Whitelock brothers (George, Adam, Sam and Luke), Ben Funnell and Luke Romano.
Points were awarded for animals caught and killed (humanely, of course) including deer, goats, rabbits, possums, pigs, crayfish, paua, eels and blue cod.
The hunting took place across the district courtesy of various landowners, and fishing courtesy of the Takapu fishing charter boat and other fishermen. Bonus points were awarded for the best yarn, best hunting outfit and best story of the one that got away.
The players spent the night either in huts or with host families, much to the excitement of young Crusaders fans who were keen to get autographs and hang out with the players for the evening.
The hunters had varied success, with some teams bagging almost the entire wishlist but others falling short, preferring to work on the social aspect of the competition.
- The Marlborough Express