Steuart Laing sums up his third book, New Zealand Hunting Adventures: Deer, Chamois and Tahr in the 21st Century, best in the introduction when he wrote “this book is a collection of hunting stories and articles written over a period during which I preferred to carry a camera rather than a rifle. The stories are mostly about hunting on the tops because that is where I was searching for material and images for my books on Tahr and Chamois.”
The book is split into four parts — Part I: Deer Hunting, Part II: Chamois Hunting, Part III: Tahr Hunting, and Part IV: General Articles, comprising of chapters on wild sheep, illegal animal releases, the kea (an alpine bird), and shooting accidents.
Each part includes a mixture of hunting adventures, guides and interesting anecdotes and asides. For example, one chapter explains a series of near miss helicopter accidents. Another chapter explains how the Department of Conservation (DOC) uses “Judas Tahr” to cull tahr outside the designated Himalayan Thar Control Plan zone in the Southern Alps. This is achieved using radio collared animals (i.e. judas) which are set free in targeted areas and because of tahr’s gregarious nature they form herds with others thereby leading DOC to their whereabouts.
Also included are useful beginner’s guides to tahr and chamois hunting, which seem to have been adapted from articles Steuart has previously published.
Included are many high quality colour photos with each chapter.
Although it seems Steuart used some the material which did not make it into his earlier books, which are both ‘how-to’ and resource guides, this book is well written, enjoyable and a diverse read, and is a standalone book fit for any bookshelf.
Other hunting related titles written by Steuart are Tahr: A New Zealand Hunter’s Handbook (2010) and Chamois: A New Zealand Hunter’s Handbook (2009).
The Hunter’s recommendation is: buy it
The Hunter’s ratings are:
- Overall rating: 6 out of 10
- Photos and illustrations: 4 out of 5
- Trophy quality: 2 out of 5
- Writing quality and style: 3.5 out of 5
- Page-turner status: 3.5 out of 5
For your information the following is the book’s blurb:
From the author of: “Chamois A New Zealand Hunter’s Handbook” “Tahr A New Zealand Hunter’s Handbook” Tens of thousands of men and women regularly hunt for big game in New Zealand and not surprisingly, many books have been written about the sport of hunting. Many of these books are memoirs about lifetimes spent shooting deer for fun or for money. New Zealand Hunting Adventures stands apart because, while it has been written by an experienced hunter, the stories are based on recent hunting escapades on public land. Steuart Laing was spurred into serious writing after his wife bought him a digital camera, so each story is accompanied by a great set of pictures. All New Zealand hunters, whether they are dabblers or diehards, will enjoy these modern hunting tales about chasing deer, Chamois and Tahr in the forests and mountains of the North, South and Stewart Islands.
Bibliographic informationTitle: New Zealand Hunting Adventures: Deer, Chamois and Tahr in the 21st Century
Author: Steuart Laing
Publisher: Halcyon Publishing, Auckland, New Zealand
ISBN: 187756642X, 9781877566424
Format: Softcover, 220 pages, colour illustrations
Book review of New Zealand Hunting Adventures by Steuart Laing book review