NZ Hunter

Levelling Up

What other gear did I have with me? Pretty much just a sleeping bag and a knife. Was I OK? Yip. I have fond memories of those hunts as a younger fella – they were blissfully simple as I just went hunting. For some reason though, we outdoor folks keep feeling the urge to level up.

You probably understand this term already, which likely hails from the gaming community. A player moves to a new level in a skill or skills, accompanied by the ability to use new power, access new places, or begin new assignments. Scenarios become more complex and difficult as the player ‘levels up’.

When I started hunting I chased after rabbits with a single shot 22LR and open sights. I loved rabbit hunting (still do) but almost as a matter of course I developed a desire for grander things than the humble rabbit and I soon graduated to bigger game. Stalking Red deer changed my dimensions and expanded my borders from the local farm to the front country of Canterbury and then to the mountains beyond.

As my experience and success grew I sidled into the realm of trophy hunting and set about chasing ‘metrics’ of all types…size, points, symmetry, length,

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