Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Peter Dunne is in the thrall of ground hunters. He is spitting vitriol over helicopter hunting of deer, chamois and tahr from Helicopters. He calls it barbaric and inhumane.

“For years helicopter operators have got away with this inhumane, barbaric practice and now DoC have not only legitimised it, but they have given it priority over other forms of recreation.”

“The real hypocrisy is that for wilderness areas such as the Adams, Hooker Landsborough and Olivines where other people are not even allowed fly-in access DoC has allowed heli-hunters an unprecedented right to use helicopters.”

His argument around helicopter access for all in remote areas is very valid but his claims that helicopter shooting is inhumane and barbaric are just fatuous and silly.

A helicopter doesnt kill the animals - a bullet does. Just as a bullet kills from a gun from a ground shooter.

Bullet enters animal - animal dies - not matter where it comes from.

The ground hunting industry is being very precious. Many large estate owners sell hunting rights to smaller blocks - in what is known in the trade as " paddock assassinations."

So it doesn't matter if you take a cut lunch and a compass or a cut lunch compass and a chopper - the result is the same - dead animals - in fact Helicopter hunting is far more efficient. Much of the territory that both the chamois and tahr occupy is hell in the hills. Even a skills tramper is going to have trouble accessing it.

What Mr Dunne is overlooking is that helicopter hunting brings in some serious dollars for New Zealand. People pay big money for the chance to ping off a big game beast from an aerial armchair.

And shooting from a chopper isn't easy. In fact it can be quite difficult - it requires a degree of skill and nerve by the pilot and shooter.

These animals are recognised as a resource now but the fact remains, their numbers need to be kept under control so more hunting is good. And helicopters have a serious part to play in keeping numbers down to a manageable level.

Shooters from choppers can also target the best trophies as well - and we wonder if its not a little jealousy on the part of the ground hunting lobby that is coming into play here.

There is no " ripoff" as everyone is paying their dues and there is a win - win in terms of animal management.

So Mr Dunne - we want to know - is you puffy posturing on this related in any way to donations you are getting from a small segment of the hunting community?

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