Author(s): Colin Jones
In an age when young men took to the hills to protect New Zealand's bush from the ravages of deer and pigs (which the wisdom of the day had made responsible for all the ills that beset New Zealand), deer cullers were the nation's saviours. Men such as Barry Crump, Mike Bennett, Alan Farmer and all the others that have put pen to paper over the years to record the work carried out by these selfless heroes. Jonesy was there, starting in Ruatahuna in 1954, as a government shooter. Choppers had not been invented so it was tent camps, fixed wing airdrops four months apart, run out of anything and it was a long walk out for more supplies. Four bob a tail for deer, three shillings and sixpence for pigs, seven quid a week retainer. He was in the thick of it, trying hard to be good enough so he would not be shipped out, like so many were, that could not make the grade. Learning his bush craft and the ways of deer and pigs. Hunting from fly camps and department huts. Facing without flinching the privations and hardship that made up a deer culler's life. Spending his days in the bush hunting the elusive deer and pigs that he was paid to kill. In hindsight it was more like some giant "boys own adventure." Compulsory Military Training interrupted things for a brief while, but doing your CMT with the likes of Colin Meads and other mates from Te Kuiti was really no hardship. Then the triumphant return to the outdoor life and Lake Christobel in the South Island. So sit back, relax and relive the years and yarns with Colin Jones. Return to an age when men were men, women were nowhere in sight and the deer were supposed to be everywhere.