Best choice for hunter gatherers

DON WRIGHT
Last updated 09:20 09/01/2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Beginners Guide To Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand
By Paul Adamson (Random House NZ, RRP $35)

Southland's all-aged army of hunters and fishermen will prosper from a wealth of useful information in this commendable textbook on recreational pursuits in the great outdoors.

A former Wairarapa school principal, author Paul Adamson has gone to considerable lengths in focusing on clarity and simplicity for newcomers but also refreshing the knowledge of seasoned hunters and fishermen.

Any man or woman who thinks they know it all would be fools to themselves in Southland's back country, Stewart Island and Fiordland's incomparable hunting and fishing environments that can be as inhospitable and unforgiving as they are welcoming and helpful.

Legendary hunters and fishermen, among them hardened deer cullers and trophy hunters who educated the reviewer, constantly reminded me that Fiordland neither helped nor hindered those who ventured into its depths.

It always remained totally neutral. Common sense and preparedness were crucial.

The author's graphic reminders on safety and proper hunting etiquette will be appreciated by readers, Southland police and other law enforcing fish and game officers, farmers, runholders and others who have recently highlighted major concerns with night shooting and indiscriminate poaching.

Adamson's timely and welcome addition to hunting and fishing literature is magnificently illustrated for learners whether they are whitebaiters, trout and salmon anglers, duckshooters, possum hunters, deerstalkers, wapiti trophy hunters, pig hunters, campers, trampers or those merely wanting to frequent the outdoors.

Learning at a young age from parents or friends gets fledgling hunters and fishermen away to a flying start.

That is where this book plays a huge part, also complementing early knowledge gained.

Subsequent experience in the "University of Hard Knocks" then alerts outdoors enthusiasts to the practical realities and demands of hunting and fishing.

The book goes a long way to whetting the appetites of aspiring fishermen and hunters. It has been said that boys are born to fish and men are born to hunt.

Southland males, women too, epitomise that better than most other New Zealanders, the pursuits being an integral part of our upbringing.

As an experienced hunter, fisherman and author on the subjects, I doubt if I have ever read a more comprehensive literary guide for those wanting to enjoy themselves in the outdoors which instills tolerance, dependability and character in young New Zealanders.

I cannot pay this worthy book a more fitting compliment.

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