hunting rabbits, a .22 rifle is a popular choice. Air rifles
can be very powerful and are often a bit quieter than a
.22, and make a great choice for small game too. You don’t
need a firearms licence to use an air rifle if you are over
18. Either way, you’ll want a rifle with a good scope,
and you can use a silencer on a .22 to reduce the noise
level. I know not everyone likes guns but teaching your
kids gun safety and practicing target shooting is great
fun fir most kids and an invaluable skill during a time
when food may be scarce.
widely spread throughout the county and live in
a range of different environments. They can often
be spotted on sunny slopes in bush clearings,
tussock hillsides, farmland on the edge of bush
and rocky areas. Goat are most often found in
a mob, and are easily spotted and stalked due
to their smell and their bleating. Bow hunters
especially like hunting goats as they can get
within range to safely and humainly make the kill.
They can be shot wit a .22 rifle but a .22 magnum
or 223 is preferable. Young goats and small nanny's
can be great eating. They also make great dog
are the most widespread deer species in New Zealand
with wild populations established throughout most
of the forested and tussock country from the Kaimai
Range in the north to Stewart Island in the south.
have few or no red deer are Northland, much of
Taranaki, Coromandel and Banks Peninsula. Red
deer are medium sized animals of about 180 kg
While calibres as small as .222 have been successfully
used on red deer the recommended calibre is a
minimum of .243. Feeding activity tends to be
greatest in early morning and late afternoon.
Plan your hunt to be at likely areas early morning
and late afternoon. Hunt into the wind as quietly
as possible and take advantage of available cover.
When bush stalking carry your rifle, as opposed
to have it slung over your shoulder, to keep movement
to a minimum when lining up a shot. In windy weather,
deer will seek sheltered areas and will keep to
shelter in heavy rain, whilst during light drizzle
overcast weather feeding can occur all hours of
are plentiful in most parts of New Zealand. They
can be hunted at anytime of the year and make
great eating. The best time to hunt rabbits is
in the late afternoon or evening, but they can
often be found anytime of the day or night. Hunting
them at night with a spotlight is another good
option. When hunting rabbits, a .22 rifle isthe
best choice. However they can also be taken with
a bow but you need to be fairly proficient with
1 - Cut the a ring around
each leg of the rabbit, just above the leg joint.
Only cut enough to get past the hide. Do not cut
deeply into the skin of the rabbit; it is unnecessary
2 - On each leg, make a single
slice going up from the ring cut to the backside
of the animal. This will make the skinning easier
in the end.
3 - Start pulling away some of the hide, working
from the ring cut at the foot joint down to the
backside or genitalia of the rabbit. The hide should
come off relatively easily.
4 - Cut your way through the bone of the tail, making
sure not to sever or puncture the bladder. The tailbone
juts out and is relatively easy to locate.
5 - With both hands, start pulling the hide from
the body. The hide will slip off very easily at
this point. It should be like peeling a banana.
6 - Work your fingers into the sleeve of the hide
where the arms are, removing the arms from the hide.
This may be a little tricky at first, so don't be
disappointed if it takes a little extra elbow grease.
7 - Work the hide down from the upper torso to the
head. Pull the hide down until it rests at the base
of the skull.
8 - Sever the head from the spine. With it, the
skin should entirely detach from the remaining meat.
9 - With your hands, break the bones at the arm
and leg joints. Then, at the joints, sever the skin
from the bone using your knife.
10 - Dress and clean the animal, saving the hide
as needed. Make sure the animal is clean before
you eat it. If possible, check its liver to gauge
the safety of the meat. Save the hide for tanning
or other uses.