Wild fundraiser a blast

They got wet, they got muddy, and very likely they got a tad whiffy –  but it was all for a good cause.

In a move to raise money to buy and upgrade school computers, about 50 keen hunters – young and old – took part in the first ever Tauhei Combined School Wild Game Hunt competition.

From 1am Friday morning, 17 June, until weigh in at 4pm Sunday, about 35 children and 20 adults baited their hooks and embarked on a busy weekend. The event was open to anyone in the North Island, but participating adults had to have a current firearms licence as well as a game licence, and abide by the New Zealand code of safe hunting practice.  Juniors were accompanied by an adult at all times.

Co-organiser Angela Martin said the PTA fundraiser was hugely successful.  “They had a great time, you could just see the sheer delight all over the faces of some of the kids.”

An abundance of game was bagged, she said.  Most impressive were two Coromandel boars, the heavier one was put into a chiller to be turned into sausages later.

In addition there were “many” pheasants, possums, hares, rabbits, ducks and eels.  “We had several town children involved as well.  They just loved it, especially the one who caught a 7.5 kilo eel, she was astounded at the size of the creature.”

After being admired, the larger of the eels were weighed and released back to the stream.

“Kids don’t spend enough time eeling these days, many spend too many hours sitting inside playing Wii or Xbox, so this was a real chance for them to get out and do things.”

In addition to hunting, raffles were held, and sausages sizzles and lamb buns were on offer.  “We’re still finalising how much money was raised, but it was such a great event.  There was a prize for the best dressed pair of mallards –   one of the mothers put a tuxedo on one of hers.  People really got into it.”

It was so successful that they’ve already set a date for next year’s event – May 11 to 13.  “It has the potential to be a real good fundraiser, and a fun event.”

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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