Deerstalkers commit to public

In March this year, Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association had their annual fly-in maintenance trip to Roaring Stag Lodge and Cattle Ridge Hut in the eastern Tararua Ranges.

Roaring Stag is a modern 12 bunk hut, which sits on a plateau just above the tranquil Ruamahanga River. The hut has over 1000 visitors annually and is popular with anglers, hikers and hunters.

The four bunk Cattle Ridge Hut is nestled in a slight depression on the eastern side of Cattle Ridge in the open tussock and overlooks Roaring Stag Lodge and the Ruamahanga River. The Hut is at the top of one of the hardest climbs in the Tararuas and is an important shelter for the more adventurous. Cattle Ridge also has some of the best hunting in the Tararuas.

The Wellington NZDA has a long and proud association with both huts, which stretches back to the early 1960s and the building of the original Roaring Stag Lodge. In 2005, the Wellington NZDA in partnership with DoC completely rebuilt Roaring Stage Lodge. More recently, 2019, the Wellington NZDA extensively restored Cattle Ridge Hut, the NZDA Wellington Branch raised $70,000 for the hut’s restoration.

The Wellington Branch of the NZDA have a current management agreement with DoC for the care and maintenance of both huts. In this annual maintenance trip, gutters were cleared, dirt and slime were removed from walls, windows were cleaned, surrounding tracks were trimmed, heli-pads were cleared and builtup rubbish was removed. After the hard mahi was done, there was time for some hunting. No meat was harvested this trip but a good time was had by all.

The branch is proud of their huts and thankful for the ongoing partnership they have with DoC to maintain and care for these assets.

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