2018 marks twenty five years of hunting for me. By many, a relative late starter at twenty two. When I first started with my best mate and brother we did it easy, in hindsight. The game, mainly wild pigs was relatively easy to come by and the obligatory spotlighting for foxes and rabbits sharpened the skills of shooting.
But something always willed me on for more, like a glowing ember deep in my psyche. When my mate and brother were often saying I was too serious and we should get back to the old days of just having fun, I knew that would neither fan that glowing ember, nor extinguish it. In essence that ember would just continue to smoulder till it had burnt a hole right through my psyche. I had to be true to myself, I wanted to achieve more.
Looking back, I now see that it really started on a hunt in 1996 on a property that had provided a lot of success to all three of us. Matt and I had spent four days on the New England plateau then, on pre-arranged plans, travelled back to the upper Hunter Valley for another few days in the ranges.
That first afternoon saw me, solo, and on the tracks of the biggest boar tracks I had ever seen and fresh as the air I was breathing. I ended the hunt with a large mountain boar in my possession that became my first trophy mount. It was not long after that the stories of Tahr hunting in the Alps of New Zealand began to appeal to me; I have always loved the mountains.