Pureora hunting competition returns for 2023

The emergence of COVID-19 and the subsequent NZ Government response meant the competition has not been held since 2019. Staff from DOC’s Maniapoto office took the precaution of not holding the competition in 2020, 2021 and 2022 to stop the spread of the virus.

DOC Maniapoto Supervisor Kina Tweeddale says this year’s competition opens on Monday, 20 March.

“The Pureora Forest is a focal point for hunting in the central North Island, and the fact the DOC competition has been running for more than three decades reflects its importance to recreational hunters,” Kina says.

“After COVID-19 thwarted three consecutive years of the competition, we’re really pleased to be holding it this year and we expect hunters will be keen to participate.”

Luke Care, a local recreational hunter and hunting magazine editor, has participated in the Pureora Hunting Competition for many years.

“That’s home for me – I grew up in the Pureora, it’s somewhere I’m familiar with. My first deer was shot in the Pureora about 20 years ago.”

Luke says the Pureora competition’s major advantage is its accessibility to some of New Zealand’s largest population bases such as Hamilton and Auckland.

“It’s a beautiful part of the country with that podocarp forest. And come the roar, it attracts a lot of people.

“The competition is a great way to encourage participation in hunting, and for the Department of Conservation to foster recreation on public conservation land.”

Luke says the Pureora Hunting Competition has a relaxed and friendly vibe, with strong camaraderie among the participants.

“It’s a great chance for people from opposite sides of the Pureora block to catch up, and see what’s been happening in the other areas,” he says.

This competition culminates with a weigh-in and prizegiving – including food trucks – at the DOC Pureora Field Base (Barryville Road) on Sunday 30 April, starting at midday.

This year’s competition is being delivered with the support of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association and the Te Kuiti Pig Hunting Club.

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