Book Reviews » A History of Hunting

September 1st 2014

A History of Hunting  

The Deerstalkers Part 2 1987-2012

Reviewed By Tony Orman


Compiled as a celebration of the last 25 years of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association by NZDA patron, Ian Wright, this book comprises a variety of subjects and stories from the association’s activities. The result is a nice blend of hunting tales, instruction and historical summary.A History of Hunting

Several stand out. The first chapter, ‘Through the Shutter, Through the Years’ by Bud Jones, on hunting with the camera is excellent. Bud describes hunting with the camera as, “one of the superb joys that only seeing can provide.”

Maureen Coleman’s recounting of a woman’s foray into the world of hunting was another I enjoyed, as were Mark Nobilo’s, Ray Webb’s and Howard Egan’s contributions on fallow herds. Tom Brough on his addiction to pig hunting, Bruce Banwell’s chapter on European Red Deer and the tale of a big 334 Douglas score stag from south Westland are riveting, while compiler Ian Wright’s summation of 25 years of annual conferences will be of interest to NZDA members. Chaz Forsyth’s summary of firearm legislation is very good too. Somehow a story on fishing in Alaska made it but I’m not sure why.  While some hunters take a fly rod on hunting trips or catch trumpeter or blue cod at Stewart Island, a NZ story allied with hunting would have been far more preferable. Nevertheless all others are worthy contributions in their own individual light.

On the dust jacket it wisely says, “any organisation is only as strong as its membership”. And inside compiler Ian Wright sets out the achievements of NZDA such as preserving the right of law abiding citizens to possess and use firearms, saving large game hunting in New Zealand, preserving the right of access to hunt on public lands, recording history, giving much education in mountain safety and hunting and providing facilities such as ranges. “NZDA members can hold their heads high,” says Ian.

This book not only entertains, but also enlightens about firearms, herds and management and doubles as a valuable reference book.

My only quibble, it deserved an index to readily flick back to a subject.