Record numbers take aim
A popular East Coast hunting contest has bounced back from its Covid-19 cancellation last year with record entries for its 2021 edition.
More than 460 entries were received for Te Puka Hunting and Fishing Club's Stag and Boar Hunting Competition held at the weekend.
“The day was incredible and the support from our communities — from those spectating to those who entered, to our sponsors — was tremendous,” club treasurer Megan McKay said.
Entrants were aged from as young as three to over 65.
“Age was no barrier and neither was the weather for these hardened hunters.
The combination of hunters, animals, vehicles and interested people had the Te Puka Tavern “heaving”, she said.
“People were packed in like sardines to the tavern and the verandas were full as prizegiving kicked off, later than what was listed but this was due to the enormous number of entries.”
“Traffic lined the road in both directions for as far as the eye could see.
“We thank our local community, especially those who live in Waima, for their patience with the amount of traffic,” Megan said.
“The rain and cold did not deter people from attending the annual social event.”
Percy Raukawa won the heaviest stag prize with a 134.95-kilogram beast, heading off Henry Ngatai-Brown's 129.85kg animal.
Andrew Williams won the top boar prize with a beast that weighed 72.2kg, with Vincent Fox (69.6kg) runner-up.
In the children's section, Alexis Thompson won the goat section, Chloe Brightwell the hare section, Drew Williams the possum section, Zion Hooper the rabbit section and Lezae Te Reo the turkey section.
Te Puka Hunting and Fishing Club president Matt Todd thanked all the committee members and volunteers who gave their time to support the event.
“A special thanks to Rozzi Phillips, the club captain, who co-ordinated such a great competition,” Mr Todd said.
The hunting contest added to an extremely busy weekend on the Coast, highlighted by the centenary celebrations of Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union in Ruatoria.