The New Zealand Fishing and Shooting Gazette first saw circulation on 1 November 1927 and was published monthly until the November issue of 1956. Its aim was to report on events and happenings in New Zealand outdoors sports, something that was being promoted worldwide by the Government of the day. The below image is the banner of the first issue of the Gazette — Volume 1, No. 1.
Up until this point in time little literature was available to be read by enthusiasts, at least on the topic of hunting and shooting. Three years earlier in 1924 T. E. Donne released his books “The Game Animals of New Zealand” and “Red Deer Stalking in New Zealand” and John Forbes, in conjunction with the Government and Major R. A. Wilson, produced “New Zealand Deer Heads”. Each of those books is now rare and valuable.
It was not until 1952 when Joff A. Thomson wrote his watershed book “Deer Hunter: The Experiences of a New Zealand Stalker” that New Zealand was given a steady supply of hunting books to read. This continues to this day with around 400 books published to date — it is without doubt one of the most popular subjects in New Zealand.
Over the years the Gazette published some interesting articles during a time period that is now often referred to as the “halcyon days” or “golden years” of New Zealand’s big game hunting. Reflecting that time, the trophy heads and adventures are monumental and epic. This was a time when large areas of New Zealand’s wilderness was un-mapped, if not un-explored, but abound with trophy deer. The Gazette published those stories.
The intention is to bring to light and reproduce those old articles, stories and photos for all to see and enjoy.
The following are extracts relevant to the commencement of the Gazette:
Editorial — The Editor takes the opportunity of thanking all those secretaries of societies who have so courteously given assistance in preparing lists of members’ names and addresses. It is largely due to their help that the Gazette is now in existence. Thanks must also be given to the many contributors and local correspondents, who have so generously given of their time and labour for the love of their sport.
It is hoped that the Gazette will fill a long-felt want among sportsmen. If it pleases you, it may please your friends. Bring it to their notice.
Local correspondents from districts not represented in this issue are invited to send in their names.
Some local reports have had to be condensed owing to lack of space. These should be as brief as is consistent with clarity, and should always be in before the 20th. As they will be eagerly read, correspondents are requested to send in their reports regularly.
November Issue — It is regretted that owing to lack of space many articles and reports of societies have had to be held over. The [December] issue will contain, among other items, articles by Messrs. V. Donald (Wapiti), Malcom Ross (Memories), E. Johansen (Boar Hunting) [etc].
“The New Zealand Fishing and Shooting Gazette.” — After some discussion it has been decided to adopt the above name. The present issue has so far overflowed its pages that extra ones have been added, but it is not expected to contain more than 16 pages and cover in future, unless exceptional circumstances warrant it.
Subscriptions are due upon the receipt of the first issue. Please add exchange to cheques outside Wellington.
All communications should be addressed to The Editor, Box 1035, Wellington.
During the angling season fishing articles will predominate, but during the shooting season a greater proportion will be devoted to shooting matters.
The columns of the Gazette are open to all subscribers upon matters affecting their sport.
And so ends the introduction to the Gazette.
Bibliographic informationTitle: The New Zealand Fishing and Shooting Gazette
Author: H.W. Tolan
Editions: Monthly Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 1, 1927); Ceased with vol. 23, no. 4 (Nov. 1956)
Publisher: Wellington, N.Z.
Format: Softcover, A5 leaflet, black and white illustrations; v. :ill. ;27-28 cm
The New Zealand Fishing and Shooting Gazette