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Young Hunters at Korakanui School

By Zane Cole-Baker, Richard Turner & Dylan Peake


A 5:00am Start


My 9 year old self wakes to the sound of a land cruiser, idling right outside my window.  Half asleep I stagger to the  wardrobe to get my hunting gear on. I hear dad putting the hunting rifles in the trunk (that makes me nervous but excited).


Dad yells “C'mon son, hurry up. Let's get going.”  I leap into the 4x4 and we’re off straight towards Ngaroma Rd. I’m filled with 100 emotions rapidly going through my head. 


We get to our destination around 6:00am.  Straight away we’re searching through the open fields, near bush, hoping to find something. Dad had told us a mate of his shot two hinds up here last week so there must be a stag around.  We search around the bush line hoping to find something, but once again nothing.


We decided to go back to a clearing we found on our way up, and had one more look before night fall. I saw some movement right on the bush line. Dad hadn't seen it. I nudged him and said to look as I pointed towards what looked like a 12 pointer stag. Dad’s eyes went big, he saw it too.


“It's time for your first stag. Get your rifle lined up quickly but quietly,” Dad said.


Just as I had the stag in my sights, it lifted its massive antlers and turned its head. He had smelt us.


“Quick take the shot Zane! He's going to bolt!”


I was so nervous that I had started shaking.


“Take a big breath and hold it.” Dad whispered. 


I pull the trigger…


The recoil from the 308 was massive and it hurt my shoulder. But when I opened my eyes and looked through the sight, I saw the big animal dropping. This brought tears to my eyes. “Don't worry son. It was a great shot!” Dad rubbed my head smiling. He was so proud.


I was sad for the animal but I was glad it didn't die in pain.  My dad still talks about that stag. I haven't got the heart to tell him that I had my eyes shut when I pulled the trigger.


Zane Cole-Baker (13)






It is morning and I roll over. I am so excited, I'm going to get my first stag today. We were all ready to start our journey with our warm clothes, guns and knives packed. “Have we got all our stuff on the truck?”


“Yes!” Uncle and I shout.


We left our driveway and drove towards Tokoroa. When we arrived at our destination, we got our guns and knives out of the truck.As we dragged our heavy feet down towards the river, I popped my head over a small bluff and what I see instantly changed my mood.


I was so excited. I whisper “Down there, down there, a stag!”


We crept towards it and found a spot where we slowly put our stuff down on the ground. I grabbed my gun out and slowly rested my gun on the ground. I scoped and lined the stag up. I took a deep breath. I slowly squeeze the trigger and shoot.




As we make our way down the rugged valley towards the rushing river, I spot the stag. I head down toward my stag. I had done it! I had shot my first stag!


Richard Turner (11)




A Great Days Hunting


One morning, I'm thinking it’s time to go for a hunt. 3 minutes I said to myself. Warm clothes on, guns ready, ute packed, time to head off into the misty darkness of the morning.


We were spotting and looking out the back of our own farm, heading towards the river. I think I see an animals head. I tapped on the roof, and we came to a stop. I showed Dad where I thought the deer was. He aims straight at the deer. He breathes in and out before slowly putting pressure on the trigger... boom! The deer drops, rolling down the hill and into a swamp.


We go to get the deer and it's still alive. I finish the 12 pointer deer with a 22 bolt. I help Dad gut the deer and carry it back to the ute. Then we carry on hunting.


Time to shoot rabbits. Boom, boom, boom. One by one the rabbits are thrown onto the back of the ute.


When we get home Dad and I skin the deer, as flies swarm around us. We finish skinning the deer, cut it up and then cut up the rabbits to cook them for dinner. A great days hunting.


Dylan Peake (11)


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