A Little Bit of History, 27 July 2009
Poronui is bisected with access roads, and the names of most of these reflect a colorful piece of history. Wounded Poacher Road immortalizes an incident that occurred in 1995, when two local brothers decided poaching on Poronui would increase their chances of a successful hunt.
Our story begins when the two brothers tramped into an area that is now enclosed in the Safari Park, planning an evening of spot lighting. After walking fruitlessly in the dark, they decided to camp out and have another go in the morning. At first light they split up, with the older and more experienced brother heading out into the open grass country; while his younger sibling - who had never shot a deer - hunted the pines.
After going only a short distance the young brother shot a deer, and was quickly joined by more experienced brother who had heard the shot. They gutted the deer - but for some inexplicable reason the elder and more experienced brother went after another animal, first telling his younger brother to stay with the gutted deer.
The elder brother headed off but managed to get confused in the pines, and ultimately hunted his way around in a loop. Soon he was over-looking the very clearing where his brother sat - behind the dead – and gutted - deer they had secured earlier. Seeing the deer, but for some reason not his brother, our “experienced” poacher fired from only 23 meters, ‘killing’ the deer again before hitting his younger brother in the leg. The bullet entered above the knee and penetrated the length of the thigh to the groin area, luckily missing major blood vessels.
Running down into the main valley in search of help, elder brother’s luck improved when he found pilot Shamus Howard at the Helisika hanger, and he was able to quickly recover the wounded poacher and transport him to hospital where he recovered.
However, to add insult to injury, the police pressed charges for illegal hunting!