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Tell us who you are and what you do ?

Hi my names Mike smith, I’m a roofer by trade and a super keen pig hunter! I love all forms of hunting and love filling my family’s freezers! I’m married and have a young family, I have four children, all girls two of which are twins!!  My eldest girl is keen to get out hunting with me also, I’m excited to be able to teach my children the skills and knowledge that hunting gives you. To also show them that hunting is about gathering food and spending time on the hill, or in the bush with friends and family and how it is about the adventures and memories not about the animal!

How did you get into hunting ?

My dad inspired me to start hunting. I started hunting with him when I was a young fella, he had me out on the hills shooting goats and chasing pigs! I always had this little fire inside me to get into hunting, unfortunately it wasn’t something we did a lot as growing up we pursued motocross and there wasn’t time to hunt! It wasn’t until I was about 24 that I started to get into pig hunting, my step dad John Lockley took me on a hunt with his dogs, and I’ve never looked back! From that first hunt I quickly became obsessed and loved learning to work with the dogs, I’m passionate about my dogs more so than what I am to catch a pig!

What do you enjoy most about hunting outdoors ?

I think thing I enjoy most about the outdoors and hunting, is the memories that come with whatever adventure/hunt you do with family and friends, and you can’t beat that fresh air!! I also enjoy the challenge that each hunt brings. The big days that you put in on the hill can be rewarding and others that aren’t, make you want more. For me I always learn something new, it’s like a mental reset from everyday life! Hunting takes you places you would never have seen otherwise! 

Tell us your best piece of gear and why you love it ?

That’s a hard one, When it comes to hunting gear there’s always something new on the market to keep our wallets empty.. I would have to say it would be my Garmin alpha 200i being able to track the dogs and have an in-reach on me at all times gives me peace of mind while I’m on the hill! It can be used in all form of hunting not just pig hunting so that’s awesome. Plus I can message the wife when I’m out of service to make sure there’s cold beers in the fridge for when we get home! 

Any advice for people wanting to get into hunting :

I would say reach out to other hunters- social media is an awesome way to chat with people about getting into it. It’s certainly very difficult to try get into it without the help from others, you’ll find that most people will be happy to help, or if you’re lucky you might even get an offer to go for a hunt! if you don’t ask you don’t get I always say! 

Tell us a story about your best hunt :

To be fair I don’t have a best hunting experience. I just love being out In the awesome back country that NZ has to offer- every hunt is a good experience for me. The main reason I pig hunt is for the dogs. Every weekend they put in 100% hunting for you, so I believe as a pig hunter I need to put in 100% for them. It keeps you fit mentally and physically and it’s rewarding getting a pup and watching it develop and start catching pigs! There’s nothing like standing on the side of the hill watching your dogs track a pig or seeing them  amp up when there is a pig about! The anticipation waiting for that first bark, there’s definitely a rush of adrenaline that I can’t explain that rushes through you! Every situation is different, every hunt has its challenges. You might have had to run 1k to get to the bail and then you have to carry the pig out! Or you catch one 10m off the track! Either way I always say, It’s character building!! Plus not to mention the like minded people you meet along the way, I’ve made life long friends and appreciate the places hunting has taken me and things it’s taught me!

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