New Zealand's HAKA VALLEY is deep into "God's Country" - More properly titled Hakataramea Valley of South Canterbury it is truly beautiful - and "wild country" to an ex-Londoner such as myself - who grew up thinking London's Hyde Park was a forest wilderness where horses were ridden by the wealthy and scary geese bullied toddlers for their bread crusts.
A schoolmate & I spent our teenage summers at London's Serpentine pond strutting around with our chests puffed-out to max trying to pretend that we had coke bottles hidden in our budgie smugglers ... Once only, we winter swam in the lido there with snow gently falling, after climbing the locked enclosure's fence and diving from it's frozen slimy spring-board. We attracted a small knot of red-nose overcoated scarf wearing dog walkers to admire our 1960 blanched shivering torsos. - Ah to be that young (and stupid) again ..
I have shot over properties of The Haka and would love to boast of my tally of it's pest wallaby .. but naah - those that I met bounced off into the scrub while my Chinese Type 56 got lighter with a smoking hot barrel.
I wonder how many new shooters will be attracted to help control & hunt these imported pests in the next ten years - now that it takes many months - years even - to apply for a pre-paid Firearms Licence by completing more than FIFTY PAGES of the Application Form and several thousands of hard earned dollars to pay for police's security demands, safes and alarms.
I once drove solo the gated length of The Haka Valley high country from Waimate to the top - exiting North back to civilization via Burkes Pass - on a glaringly sunny day in my hot turbocharged 4WD Subaru with Vivaldi's superb chamber-music belting-out from a c.d. - masking the rattle of rocks below from the metalled road surface. Memorable.
Alongside the sheep & cattle that stock our hills - there are hords of introduced wild pig, rabbit and wallaby .. deer and goats too in places, for shooters to wild harvest. - We are SO lucky to have escaped from the corrupt insanity of Great Britain to live in one of her finest colonies New Zealand.
The population of Britain is very dense.
Last week's NZ radio 'Country Life' is well worth listening to with it's focus on pest control in our land. We all know how shooters are being repressed by new restrictive licence regulation - while the economy is being further depressed by the ravages of feral pests in need of control ..
P.S: Back in time again - on hitting that lonely road from the Mackenzie Country at the top of The Haka - I was absorbed watching that rolling cloud of brown dust in the rearview mirror behind the Subaru - until I saw my speedo showed a petrol-sucking velocity that was most inappropriate for a dirt road ..