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The Deer Cullers



The Deer Cullers
By Hans Willems

240mm x 170mm

271pp colour and b/w photos


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The Deer Cullers

By Hans Willems

Starting in the 1930s New Zealand undertook an innovative step to deal with what the then powers that were perceived as a serious conservation menace; the placing of hunters in the New Zealand back country to reduce the number of deer. So started the profession of deer culler; unique in the world, one of hardship and adventure. Later, authors like Barry Crump (A Good Keen Man) were to glorify the job and separating fact from fiction proved hard for many a reader.


Here at last is an authentic work about the origins and methods of deer culling in New Zealand, written with the help of ex-cullers some of whom worked with the “Old Firm” and with the support of the New Zealand Deer Cullers Inc.

Hans Willems: Originally from the Netherlands and based in the Hawke’s Bay, not too far away from his beloved Kaweka Ranges, hunting as well as the regular spot of fishing have been the great loves of his live from the age of ten. Having darkened more New Zealand back country hut doors - in both islands - than most, the lush green hills of New Zealand still beckon and he still has an insatiable urge to want to know what is around the next river bend or at the end of the next ridge.

Having hunted, tramped and fished in Europe, Australia, Papua New Guinea and – of course – New Zealand, he has made his living in the past as a meat hunter, guide and possum trapper and was, arguably some would say, the first commercial white water rafter operating in the North Island back country. As a long-time Honorary Ranger with the Department of Conservation, he still spends a lot of time in the bush and the next billie is never far from being boiled.

As well as writing books, Hans Willems writes for New Zealand and Australian hunting and outdoor publications and is a weekly columnist for the Rotorua Daily Post.

The Deer Cullers is the book closest to his heart  and travelling the country far and wide to interview ex cullers, it took a full three years of hard graft to take it to completion. This being his eighth book for the Halcyon Press he is also the author of: North Island Back Country Huts, South Island Back Country Huts, Back Country Dunnies of the North Island, Scrub Grub, Hunting Smarter, Tramping Smarter and The Hunting Tales of Percy Lyes.