Last Sunday was the final day of the second annual North Otago Boar ‘n’ Stag Muster. This year we sponsored this event, so 7am so we loaded up Bushbuck wagon and took off to Oamaru.

Housed in the old Loan & Merc building, this event is all about hunting and supporting to community. All the proceeds from the Muster go to the North Otago hospice, while the numbers aren’t in for this year just yet, last year they raised over $11,000. This year they’ve also managed to provide a new radio system to the local Search & Rescue (well done team).

Craig Gibb who runs the event told us that they are hoping to build the event up to one of New Zealand’s biggest hunting competitions. Safe to say, they are getting there with a record turn out with over 450 individual entrants (up from 328 last year).

At 11am the trucks started rolling in and they didn’t stop until 3pm (on the dot). The Muster crew had a pretty slick system set up shuttling animals off the trucks, onto the scales & onto the rack.

At the cut off mark the count came in at 92 Boar, 23 Reds and 21 Fallow Deer. Pretty good turnout despite the weather over the past few days. There was a number of decent sized animals, some impressive tuskers and at least one or two beers consumed while teams debriefed the previous three days! I even saw a couple of weary looking hunters at the bar sporting bath robes - must've been a hard few days. 

While the weigh-in was going on we were kept busy, there was a bar inside the old granary and a roaring fire to keep warm by. They also put on a ‘guess the weight’ of the boar and the fallow buck (which if you got right would yield you a multi-kai cooker or a husqvarna chainsaw) as well as a good bit of food to go with the yarns. It was pretty cold winter’s day, so the team had put on a good feed cooked in the Multi-Kai cookers. It’s the first time I’ve tried food cooked this way, it was awesome. Corned Venison and a tasty bit of roast lamb that you could smell across the carpark.

By the time prize giving rolled around there was massive turnout with over 500 people in attendance. With over 50 sponsors there was an impressive array of prizes, including several Multi-kai cookers (I missed out on the spot prize there), a $10,000 walk-in Chiller, a custom built Razorback Dogbox from Roaring Oaks Engineering, artwork by Hunting 4 Art, a rifle, clothing from The Hunters Game and of course over $2000 worth of Bushbuck gear.

Cheers to the North Otago Boar ‘n’ Stag Muster. It was an awesome event and I’d say we’ll be entering a Bushbuck team next year!