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Rifles | GPS | Clothing | Knives | Camera | Bivibag | Boots

The nuts and bolts of hunting. I have a rather minimalist approach to hunting at times. Mostly I try and carry enough gear to make life comfortable. Most of the modern gear available to hunters is pretty good. In saying that there is a lot of crap on the market. It’s like that old saying usually associated with fishing. “Does fishing gear catch more fish or more fishermen?”

I have used number of different rifles and various cailbres over the years. For now I have stuck with two, so thats the only two I will go into detail here.

Everything here is my opinion. In saying that I am hardly going to own something I think sucks so you can expect I will say mainly good things about my gear.

One thing you cant buy is common sense. You need a fair amount of that if you are to wander off into the bush.







Obviously, an AR15. Not just an ordinary SP1 or A1 either. This thing is like a big hole you pour money into.

The AR started off as a basic A1like the one on the right. Now some years later it’s been customized at bit (the one below it). A3 flat-top upper. 16" barrel that has been custom profiled by Robbie Tiffen at Gunworks in Christchurch with a floated handquard. Robbie also made a sound suppressor for the busy end. JP adjustable gas block. Ace Skeleton Stock. Jewel 2 stage trigger. It has a few other little tricks. The whole thing was given a coat of Norrells Moly Resin in matt black (of course). It would have been cheaper to import one for all that. But hey, its only money. Lucky I am not married.

On top of that is a Leupold® Mark 4® 1-3 CQ/T scope which is shear dynamite when you get into a mob of goats. The circle with dot reticle gives fast target acquisition and it can be illuminated in low light or bright sunlight. Works surprisingly well out to 300yds.

I was never sold on accuracy of semi-autos. Until I got this one. It will consistently shoot under MOA with good loading. I will add it isn’t that fussy on loads either. 25gn of ADI BM2 with just about any 55gn pill and you have a load that will shoot well to 300yards.

You can check out my results here >

For the crowd who subscribe to the "I only need one shot to kill an animal” way of thinking. My question for them  is what if there is more than one? Lets also say if there is 3 or 4 deer standing on a clearing there is a better than average chance a good shooter using a good semi auto will get them all before they hit the bush line.

The other rifle I use is a Browning BARII Safari in .270. I dont have to say too much about this rifle, reputation speaks volumes. Has never missed a beat since day dot. 59.5gn of ADI 2213SC and any 130gn pill and it will shoot good groups. The scope I have on this is a VX-III 2.5-8x36mm. This set up is mainly used during the roar when things get tight and ideal shots dont present themselves.

Why a semi-auto?

1. It loads itself. One less thing to worry about. Actually about 4 less steps to worry about. Gives me more time to get the job done and my eyes stay on what I should be looking at; the animals at the other end. Which is safer too.

2. No bolt noise. Simple really. A few animals standing in a mob. If they can’t see you they still won’t know where you are when you open up. But lift the bolt on your bolt action to reload and 9 times out of 10 they will look straight at you. That bolt is like an alarm going off.

There's are couple of reasons.





Garmin GPSmap

Firstly I will say I still carry a compass and map for places I don’t know well. Technology has a way of letting you down when you need it most. It’s a Murphy’s law thing I guess.

Recently I lost my trusty 'ol Garmin Etrex. Very good bit of kit that has served me well for a number of trips. This time I saved a few more $$$ and bought a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx. Very serious piece of gear.

I have tried it out as you do any new piece of kit. Very impressed, can’t rave about it enough. The coverage under north island bush canopy is excellent. Everything else is typically well thought out with easy to follow menus etc. One feature I really rate is the ‘Tracback’ feature. Start a track and head off. When you shoot something you simply hit the ‘tracback’ option and you head straight back out. Just follow the built in compass or map. Very good for those evening hunts when the bush starts to look a bit different as the sun gets low.

There a heaps of other features that I will probably never use. If you want to check out a review of them check out this one here

If you were looking ay buying one go no further. Contact Tony Savage at KiwiGPS. I did the surf the net thing trying to find cheapest deals etc until I stumbled upon Tonys site. So I contacted him and had one a couple of days later at a very good price and with everything set up ready to go. Impressive and rarely seen customer support. Well done Tony.

23 Delaware Crescent, Avonhead, Christchurch 8042. Phone 03-342-1302 Fax 03-342-1309





Over the years you find yourself trying out many types of clothing to either get some edge or just stay warm! I have tried my share. Hunting clothing has come leaps and bounds in the last 10 years and I for one have welcomed this change. We now have clothing that is well thought out with the hunter in mind.

Recently I started used Stoney Creek clothing. First impressions are usually the ones that stick with you. This gear is good. Period.

Scary how well their Realtree cammo clothing works. I have hunted it many types of clothing. This stuff is something quite special. To have deer looking right you and not being able to figure out what the hell you are is something else. Its good stuff. Well thought out designs with pockets in the right places.

Check out thier web site Stoney Creek and order a catlogue.

I also have Swazi® gear. Once again, well thought out stuff that has lasted well. Very well tested in 'real' hunting conditions not just on a drawing board.

Check out the Swazi Clothing Co website.



Although I said knives I only ever really carry one. Here is where I go budget. The Original Mercator K55 Cat Knife. Very simple little knife. Holds one of the best edges I have ever had with a knife. I am on my second one now. Even shaved with it once.

The only other knife I have used is a Victorinox 6" boning knife. If they are good enough for industrial use, they'll do me.I was lucky enough to have an uncle that taught me a fair amount about butchery. So I can cut down most beasts. Having my own chiller helps too. I actually own various kinves for cutting down beasts but for cutting down deer the Victorinox is hard to beat and they are cheap as chips!

I have seen a lot of expensive knvfes out there. Most are overpriced. Amazing how many people buy a good knife but have no idea how to sharpen one?






Essential bit of gear for hunting these days. Words just can’t describe some of the experiences alone. For years I had a Cannon 30mm SLR I used to lug around. Problem is with big cameras like that you tend to leave them behind. Which I did, and I missed out on heaps of photos and moments that should have been captured.

Then I got a kick up the arse from an old mate of mine who gave me a small lecture on keeping records and a history etc. Something you dont really think a lot about when you're a young fella.

So I went out and purchased a digital camera. A Pentax Optio W10 to be exact. Small enough to carry everywhere (no excuses!) and waterproof! Waterproof? Yep, this thing has been rained on a bleed on. Just wash it under the tap and away you go. Saves having to worry about your camera case leaking etc when it rains.

Get a full review here. Steves Digicam review








In recent years I have been lucky enough to have a “loan” of a mate’s bivibag (promise I will bring it back). Very good bit of gear if you spend the odd night out. It is one of those Army jobs.

I have used it for the odd overnighter to spending a couple of nights out. Keeps your sleeping bag dry and has a built in mossi net. One day I will buy my own. Promise.


It’s still hard to beat the Skellerup Bullers. Waterproof, rugged, easy to dry out. The boots I mainly use now however are Meindl Eagles. Very comfortable boots. I use ‘em mainly in autumn and winter. Spring hunting is mainly done in sneakers. Whether that is a functional thing or just because you never have to walk that far for deer I am not sure.