Hunting for a Hobby by Trevor Paul Bentley

Published in 2011 | RRP $39.99

Hunting for a Hobby is Trevor Bentley’s first foray into book writing, however having contributed stories to hunting magazines in the past he is no stranger to writing.

In his book, Trevor portrays the struggles and successes of an ‘average’ New Zealand hunter, providing accounts of his public land hunts for red deer, wapiti, tahr and chamois, where he uses skills and lessons taught to him by his father, Trevor Bentley Senior. You get the sense the author has great respect for Trevor Senior, and the following quote by him is used to close out the book: “You won’t shoot any deer sitting in front of the television son”.

As the author points out, hunting successes are few and far between and just like in real life this book is more about all those weekends spent hunting when skills are learned and failure is more common than not.

The highlights include chapters about securing a trophy 10 1/4″ chamois buck in the Copland Valley, South Westland (on the same trip he proposed to his now wife, Mel), shooting a 12 1/2″ bull tahr while solo and deep in the Southern Alps, and taking a representative wapiti-type bull in the Dark River block during the Fiordland wapiti bugle of 2009.

In Trevor’s book you will not find chapter after chapter of epic story about locating trophy-book heads but you will get an honest account by a young hunter learning his way around the back-country and enjoying his hobby.

One gripe I have is the pixelated cover photo. This is a shame because the subject matter and composition of the photo are great.

The author is an avid reader of New Zealand hunting literature and this shows through because it is a well written book. I get the sense that writing and photography are now both very much on Trevor’s mind, and coupled with his love for hunting, I am sure we will see another book published by this author.

The Hunter’s recommendation is: borrow it

The Hunter’s ratings are:

  • Overall rating: 5 out of 10
  • Photos and illustrations: 3 out of 5
  • Trophy quality: 2.5 out of 5
  • Writing quality and style: 3.5 out of 5
  • Page-turner status: 2.5 out of 5

Publisher’s Blurb

For your information the following is the book’s blurb:

Hunting is the practice of pursuing living animals (usually wildlife) for food, recreation or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting.
Hobby is an activity carried out in one’s spare time, for pleasure or relaxation.
Put the two together and you have the most fun you can have with your pants on.
Join the author on some of his hunts around New Zealand as he actively pursues his hobby — hunting for Red deer, Chamois, Tahr and the ultimate trophy — Wapiti. All taken and hunted on public land, over the past fifteen years.
The author has recently married and is currently on an extended OE but strangely enough finds himself back in New Zealand every year just in time for the roar!

Bibliographic information

Title: Hunting for a Hobby
Author: Trevor Paul Bentley
Editions: 2011
Publisher: Halcyon Press, Auckland, New Zealand
ISBN: 1877566071, 9781877566073
Format: Softcover, 160 pages, colour illustrations, 24 cm

Book review of Hunting for a Hobby by Trevor Paul Bentley book review