Bob Pittaway’s third and latest book, The Lure of the Hills, is an autobiography focusing on deer hunting in the North Island. His previous two titles, which are standalone, are Pigs at my Doorstep (2004) and Fallow Deer Hunting in New Zealand (1992).
Bob starts this book by detailing his early experiences in Wanganui during the 1960’s when, as a young boy, he first saw fallow deer at a neighbour’s farm, kick-starting a life long passion for deer and hunting.
The book finishes with Bob reflecting on his decades of hunting and includes some interesting details and photos of some of the best deer heads shot by other local hunters, which he was fortunate to Douglas score (DS) in his role as an official measurer (Douglas Scoring is the accepted standard of measuring antlers in New Zealand).
In addition to many chapters on hunting fallow deer, red deer and sika in and around the hills and farms of Central North Island, there are specific chapters recounting trips to Fiordland for wapiti, Stewart Island for whitetail deer and the Ben Ohau range in the Southern Alps for bull tahr. Many of the hunts result in a ‘trophy’ in Bob’s eyes, which serve as a memento of his hunt, but later in his hunting career he shot some true trophy-class red deer stags — two 15 pointers with DS of 300 3/4 and 280 respectively, and a 14 pointer with DS of 280.
From very early on in his hunting career Bob carried a camera and also wrote a hunting diary so his book contains many colour photos accompanying each detailed story.
This book is an easy read and it seems Bob’s acknowledgement of his wife’s editing efforts on the book were well deserved as the book is far more readable than other titles in its class.
The Hunter’s recommendation is: buy it
The Hunter’s ratings are:
- Overall rating: 6.5 out of 10
- Photos and illustrations: 3 out of 5
- Trophy quality: 3 out of 5
- Writing quality and style: 3.5 out of 5
- Page-turner status: 3 out of 5
For your information the following is the book’s blurb:
Author of Fallow Deer Hunting in New Zealand and Pigs at my Doorstep, Bob Pittaway recalls some of his more memorable hunts in the hills of New Zealand. A mainly North Island hunter Bob has ventured south to Stewart Island for Whitetail, the mountains for the South Island for Chamois and Tahr, as well as pursuing Red, Fallow, Sambar and Sika deer in the north. His occupation has placed him at various times in prime hunting locations or has helped him gain access to private hunting blocks. He has had a life long passion for deer and hunting which nowadays he is passing onto the younger generation, so they too can experience this great pastime. The books covers the best years, up to the presant day, of a very active hunting career, with some first class trophy animals along the way. The many photographs in this book also show the authors interest in wildlife photography which has developed over the years. The book finishes with some advice to hunter’s wives from Bob’s wife Wendy.
Bibliographic informationTitle: The Lure of the Hills
Author: Bob Pittaway
Publisher: Halcyon Press, Auckland, New Zealand
ISBN: 1877566101, 9781877566103
Format: Softcover, 164 pages, colour illustrations, 24 cm
Book review of The Lure of the Hills by Bob Pittaway book review