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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Possum hunting and Skeet Shooting in Middle Earth (New Zealand) hbl

We spent four days over Christmas at the Fish Away Lodge on the Rangatikei River.  We did a couple of nice rafting trips, a scenic one and a trout fishing one.   The owner of the lodge, Steve, brought his shotgun and thrower over to our place and we all got to try skeet shooting.







We even had a small Christmas tree and Santa found us!


It was all so nice and, well, normal....fishing, rafting, a little shooting,  some Christmas festivities...
and then Steve told us about his "Possum Plucker."
Turns out, the only way you can really appreciate the possum plucker is to see it in action. And to see it in action you have to have a possum.....a dead possum.   
Steve invented the possum plucker and he is the largest supplier of possum fur in New Zealand.  Possum fur is often mixed with merino wool to make the wool softer.  Apparently, New Zealand is the only place in the world where it is legal to hunt possum, anytime, anywhere.  So that is how we came to be out in the woods at 11:00pm sporting headlamps and Steve's trusty shotgun.  





Sure enough there were possums galore and within a couple of hours we had three.  This was Mac's first hunting trip of any kind.  He actually shot his own possum.  I couldn't believe he did it!  FYI:  New Zealand possums look nothing like the opossums of the USA.  They have nice furry tails and are really quite cute.....that is until they meet the possum plucker.  
The possum plucker literally plucks all their fur off.  


I had no idea what Christmas would be like this year.  But I can safely say that I would never have guessed that we would spend it possum hunting!  

We're in Japan now, back in the Northern Hemisphere where it is Winter.  I'm really enjoying the warmth and softness of my New Zealand merino/possum sweater!





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