With the aim of increasing the boys practical knowledge of products they set off down the line to the Pureroa Forest Park, with a final destination of Rangitoto Station.
Thanks to the team at Hunters Element, the crew had an array of new gear to test out in the mid winter weather of the central North Island. Including the all new Hunters Element Sleet Jacket, the Broadleaf Bush Coats, Lima Boots, and Core+ thermals. Also in the list was the Downpour Elite Jacket and Spur trousers. This would result in lots of functional knowledge of the products performance in the field. All for the betterment of the customers experience when it comes time for them to head to the hills as well.
The Hunters Element Sleet Jacket was by far the boys favourite piece. With a waterproof rating of 10,000mm and 100g of prima-loft down, it keeps you both warm and dry. Perfect for glassing on a chilly/rainy evening and it is also equally useful around camp, or to keep in your pack 'just in case.' It is compact when folded up and very light. However the trade off is that it isn't quiet, but bush stalking is not its forte anyhow. This is where the Hunters Element Broadleaf Bush Coat is in its 'element.'
The Hunters Element Broadleaf Bush Coat is silent, super tough, and very well designed. From the deep roomy pockets, with draw-cord midsection and water resistant three layer membrane. Keeping you warm and dry in the harshest of wind and drizzle. It features a tunnelTech hood, and super tough outer layer making it durable in all types of scrub, all while remaining deadly quiet. The team highly rated the Frontier Bush Coat, especially where most of the hunting was in the bush as the deer were not feeding on the grass except for the early hours of the morning.
Next in line was the Hunters Element Downpour Elite Jacket. It lived up to its 10,000mm waterproof rating while remaining extremely breathable. The key elements looked for in a hunting jacket, it is a true workhorse at a great price. It has very generous pockets large enough to hold a decent amount of shotgun shells or accessories for a days hunting, and a large chest pocket also. It is seam sealed and features Hunters Elements tunnelTech hood.
Hunters Element Boots were also put to the test, with the staff all round pick being the Lima Boots. Lightweight at 700g per boot and featuring a hydrafuse lining, to keep the water and cold out - but the heat in. The Hunters Element Maverick Boots were also on the list, and are more suited to bush stalking as opposed to an all round boot. They are simply water resistant with a hydrafuse outer, high ankle support, and the same weight as the Lima's at 700g per boot. For an all round hunting pick, the Lima's are a top choice. However if you are simply always bush stalking and silence is the key to success, the Mavericks are your best choice.
Not many Deer were seen over the course of the trip, a total of three. They have been hunted very hard in recent months, with the looming green rain (1080) due to be dropped in August. However, a bit of wild pork was taken as the place is riddled with pigs. Which gave the boys a good chance to test fire the all new Benelli Lupo in .308, topped with a Burris Signature Illuminated 3-15x44. Kindly on loan in a demo model from the team at Beretta New Zealand.
This is a fantastically ergonomic, well built rifle. With a beautiful trigger and action, letting it shooting extremely well. Has a detachable, double stack magazine, and its fully customisable to match the stature of the shooter, as additional cheek risers, and shims available. Its 'Progressive Comfort' recoil system made a noticeable different when firing at targets, and it also has integrated swivel mounts. But most importantly had no trouble knocking a good pig over for some meat!
All in all a great trip and the crew learnt lots about new products from Hunters Element clothing, to new rifles and optics from Benelli. A bit of meat being a good bonus!