Legendary bushman Bert Barra.

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Nortrack Precision Long Range Hunter Course Review.

I recently completed the Nortrack Precision long range hunter course. While I have been handling firearms for a long time. I am a novice at long range shooting, only having shot out to 500m in the past (at least with rifles). The course took two days and was conducted on a hill country farm south-east of Dannevirke in the Manawatu. We were lucky to have clear weather and while the wind was quite strong it had minimal value. The following subjects are covered and the course moves at an easy pace. - Pre-fire checks - Marksmanship Principles - Position Fundamentals - Ballistic Fundamentals - Ranging and target identification fundamentals - Synchronised shooting - Confirm ballistic data out to 600m and...

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Lieutenant Colonel MacKenzie, veteran of four Armies.

Lieutenant Alastair MacKenzie, 3 Platoon V5 Company, prior to redeploying with his platoon to a new area after a three-week foot patrolling operation in Vietnam, 1970-71.   Alistair MacKenzie was born into an Army family in England shortly after World War 2. After being transferred around various British military bases his father retired to New Zealand when Alastair was twelve years old. While at school in Wellington he was a member of the Army cadets “We would drill with and train on .303-calibre, bolt-action World War II rifles, map-reading, minor tactics, independence and self-discipline.” A young Alastair, at a forward airfield, watches as a Wessex helicopter gets loaded with supplies during the Malayan Emergency in 1957.   Alastiar joined the Royal...

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Deer culler and bushman, Bert Barra.

  Bert Barra Renowned deer culler and animal control expert, is a significant figure in both Wairarapa and 20th century hunting history. During the 1930s and ’40s, Bert shot for Internal Affairs, exceeding 24,000 animals over his career and often had the top seasonal tally for Government shooters. He came to Wairarapa in 1935 as a Field Officer for Deer Control in the Tararuas, where he was responsible for the hunting programme. Retiring from the New Zealand Forest Service in the early 1970s, Bert lived out his days in a simple hut with no power at Kaituna in the Upper Waingawa, on the main route to Mount Mitre .  This is named the Barra Track in his honour. Hunters who...

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Master bushman Joe Gibbs.

Joe Gibbs at old Smiths creek Hut, 1958. Photo credit; Selwyn Pawson. Joe was a well known hunter who lived in the Tauherenikau valley for many years serving as the unofficial Sheriff and caretaker of the valley. Joe Gibbs 1879-1969:Joe was born near Murchison on the Buller River. Growing up in this isolated area, he learnt to be an expert bushman in its remote valleys. A horseman and accurate shot, he served in the Boer war. In 1908 he went to the western US and Canada, worked as a sawyer-axeman on the great Californian redwoods, panned gold and worked silver mines. Back in New Zealand, he handled packhorses and sheep on Molesworth, then worked on the Wellington wharves. He joined the...

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The Maori guide "worth his weight in tobacco!"

A painting of Fox, Heaphy, Brunner and Kehu (smoking) with their packs and kit by a camp-fire. Kehu was the Māori guide that showed Heaphy and his party the route down the West Coast that became known as the Heaphy Track. The track had been used by Maori for centuries. Heaphy wrote of Kehu: ‘A good shot, one who takes care never to miss his bird, a capital manager of a canoe, a superb snarer of wildfowl and a superb fellow at a ford, is that same E Kehu; and he is worth his weight in tobacco!’ Kehu had an interesting history. He was originally from the West Coast but had been captured in inter-tribal warfare at age 12 and...

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