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Legendary hunter Rex Forrester.


Rex Forrester (1928-2001) was a New Zealand hunting and fishing legend. He was known for deer culling, helicopter hunting, live deer capture, pig hunting and trout fishing within NZ and Australia. He was also an author and had nine books published.

Rex developed his passion for the outdoors as a young Government Deer culler and went on to start one of the first guiding businesses in NZ, targeting overseas hunters and anglers. This led to him working for the New Zealand Tourist Board where he was responsible for promoting and developing the guiding industry. Rex was instrumental in building the huge guiding industry we have today.

Rex was a born adventurer and his contagious enthusiasm endeared him to many people. He worked as a government Deer Culler during height of the era and followed that up by his involvement and recording the history of the helicopter hunting era which followed straight after.  

Everyone who knew Rex was drawn to his engaging personality and he was well known as a practical joker. He had a huge impact on people with his numerous books on hunting and fishing, many of which are still available in stores today and have inspired many to take up the bush life.


A young Rex Forrester arrives at basecamp at the end of the culling season, 1949. This is a great pic showing the type of gear and the size of the packs used back in the day. We are lucky to have much better options now but getting out on the hill, taking the shot and carrying the prize out hasn't changed, just the way we do it.

Picture taken from "a hunter's life" by Rex Forrester

Rex Forrester with a stag shot while hunting the Arahura headwaters, 1946.

Roger Forrester, son of Rex Forrester, after a successful hunt at Lake Okataina. This is another picture taken from "a hunter's life" by Rex Forrester, its a great book well worth checking out.

Rogers Hut was named after him, this historic hut was built in the 1950's by a team of deer cullers lead by his father. Rex had learnt how to dress timber using a broad axe in the South Island and used these skills to make the cladding for this slab hut.

The hut is listed as an historic site and is located in the Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park.



1 comment

  • Lovely words and photos. I googled my grandfather Rex and stumbled across your blog. Wish I got to spend more time with him and learn more about his hunting career, what an icon and role model. Thanks for sharing. RIP Rex


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