New Zealand Hunting and Associated Books (A Bibliography) by Peter Hoar

Published 2015 | $40

Peter Hoar, a long-time reader, trader and collector of New Zealand’s hunting books, has shared his 40 years of hard won knowledge on the subject in New Zealand Hunting and Associated Books (A Bibliography).

It is fair to say that Peter has seemingly amassed one of the best and most comprehensive book collections about New Zealand hunting.

His philosophy when compiling this book was to apply the test that if a book is worthy of his bookshelf then it is worthy of inclusion, and so Peter has covered 500 books in this first edition. Most of the books are specifically about New Zealand hunting but some merely have elements or odd chapters only.

It is printed in an attractive glossy full-colour format and has a very simple and pleasing layout. There are a total of 125 pages that make up the bibliography section. Each page has only 4 books featured, and each book’s cover photo, publication date, cover type (soft, card or hard cover), number of pages, and current estimated market value are provided. In addition, books that are rare, prone to damage or sun fade are noted.

Peter was spurred into action to compile and publish this book due to positive feedback from a series of articles he wrote for New Zealand Outdoor magazine about rare New Zealand books.

It provides some useful tips for keeping your own books in good condition. The most important advice is not to inscribe or write in books (either given or received) because doing so dramatically reduces their resale value — this one is a bugbear for me personally.

One book of note not listed is Barry Crump’s A Good Keen Man (1960). I can only assume permission to publish its image, etc wasn’t given by Crump’s estate?

In the forward by Jack Luttrell, renowned deer-stalker of the halcyon trophy hunting days, he aptly states “this long awaited publication is a triumph for Peter and for all the readers and collectors of hunting books throughout the country”. I couldn’t agree more.

It isn’t for everyone because it has a precise purpose — to list New Zealand hunting books — so it’s a book for readers that collect hunting books. To me it is priceless. Thanks for compiling it, Peter.

The Hunter’s recommendation is: buy it

The Hunter’s ratings are:

  • Overall rating: 8 out of 10
  • Photos and illustrations: 4 out of 5
  • Trophy quality: N/A
  • Writing quality and style: 4 out of 5
  • Page-turner status: N/A

Publisher’s blurb

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

Peter has been a hunter gatherer since the age of 15 after he got his hands on a mate’s semi automatic .22 and started terrorising all the Rabbits and Hares that resided on or around his local golf course in Masterton. After which he did his stalking apprenticeship amongst the Goats on Mt Bruce north of town. A natural progression was the Red Deer that everyone told him lived in the Tararua range but it took him 2 years of hard toil to finally bring home the venison. That was 1972. Since then the lure of the bush was seldom ignored. It was about this time that he read his first hunting book which happened to be Philip Holden’s “Pack and Rifle”, that started a 40 year love affair with hunting books and the collecting of. Peter still loves his duck shooting, diving and whitebaiting but now limits his big game hunting to books which he says are a hell of a lot easier to carry back to the vehicle.

Bibliographic information

Title: New Zealand Hunting and Associated Books  (A Bibliography)
Author: Peter Hoar (1961–)
Editions: 2015
Publisher: Self published, Masterton, New Zealand
ISBN: 9780473327873 (paperback), 9780473327880 (hardback)
Format: Soft cover 136 pages, colour illustrations, 24 cm
Notes: 50 copies of a limited edition hardback version signed by the author were produced and sold for $200

Book review of New Zealand Hunting and Associated Books (a Bibliography) by Peter Hoar book review.