Posted on 11May 2017
The beginning of Game Gear Adventures.
When you head out to test all the new gear take a camera someone suggested. This little pearl of wisdom slowly snowballed and as we head into 2017 it has exploded into Game Gear Adventures. We have hooked up with one of NZ's best young film makers and filming our gear being used has evolved quickly into a full on Adventure series. Adventure #1 needed to be a good one and what better place to start than the South Island. Big boars in the tussock and bailing dogs was my plan and after a few quick calls I harassed Shaun Monk into setting it up down South. Now if you have watched any of Shaun's videos you will see beautiful tussock valleys - big well behaved boars bailing for the dogs and hunters effortlessly strolling around. Hours of hunting edited back to just showing the action didn't show the hard work and massive distances this fella covers to catch these pigs. Day one had us slogging up a never ending tussock ridge in 25 degree heat and into an absolutely sterile tussock basin. Even Shaun's dogs were stunned by the lack of animals and wandered about trying to wind the non existent pigs. Any action is good action I thought as finally one of his little dogs scooted off with a bit more speed. Out came the flash camera gear and lights-camera action and right on time we heard a bark then not long after a rather strange sounding squeal..... Shut the cameras down he grunted the dogs coming back. Still unsure what had just unfolded we waited and up the track with tail wagging and as proud as came Shaun's young dog . There perched in her jaws was a very dead ferret! Well as our laughter rang out around the pig less valley I realised that the story about kids and dogs always doing the most embarrassing things at the worst possible time was a true one. This little diversion seemed to break the ice and as day one ended I sat back and chatted with Shaun over fresh whitebait fritters looking forward to day 2. From here on in things fell right into place and with a slick cameraman and some wicked dogs out front we captured some epic footage over the next 3 days.
It only seemed like hours since I had arrived down south and next thing I was exiting Shaun's Isuzu Dmax at Christchurch airport. 3 good pigs and a nice red deer on the back caught us some funny looks from the tourists as we glided into the airport drop off area. I raced inside to catch my check in time and instead of struggling with Air NZ's fancy check in terminals I asked for help. After sorting the technical issues the Air NZ lady looked me up and down and upon reading my 0% Vegan slogan on my shirt she proclaimed loudly " I don't eat meat and I don't appreciate your shirt" Holy shit lady I hollered as I raced toward the check in "Lucky you didn't see the bloody truck!"
Tussock as far as the eye could see. Good binos were essential and distances were deceiving.
Traditionally good dogs go hand in hand with a good hunter - the dogs on this trip were crackers!