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Accidental folk hero George Wilder.

George Wilder was a New Zealand burglar who became a folk hero in the 1960s for his multiple escapes from prison and his non-violent approach to crime. Wilder's first escape, from New Plymouth prison in 1962, made headlines as he managed to evade capture for 65 days without using violence, avoiding capture by staying in holiday homes and leaving apology notes for the owners.  However, it was his second escape that really captured the public's imagination. Wilder managed to stay on the run for more than six months, traveling all over the North Island by foot, car, boat, bicycle, and even horseback. During this time, Wilder gained a reputation as a charming and resourceful outlaw, with the public often siding with him...

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Ronald Tinker, highly decorated member of the Long Range Desert Group.

Ronald Arthur Tinker was a highly decorated member of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), a unit that operated deep behind enemy lines in the North African desert during World War II. Born on April 13, 1913 in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tinker attended Addington School and Christchurch West District High School before finding office work with the North Canterbury Hospital Board. However, he soon left this job to become a high country musterer, spending his spare time climbing and deer hunting.   When World War II broke out in 1939, Tinker immediately enlisted in the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force and was sent to Egypt with the 27th (Machine Gun) Battalion. In July 1940, he volunteered to join the Long...

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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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