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Life in Early Poverty Bay

A Sportsman's Paradise

page 165

A Sportsman's Paradise.

According to Mr. Harris, Poverty Bay, in 1873, was an ideal spot for sportsmen. Pigeons and kakas were numerous. Like many others, he was able to shoot them off his horse on his rounds on Opou. If he fired to one side the old mare would simply throw her head to the other side. Twenty to thirty pigeons were easily obtainable. Ducks were to be found in large numbers in all the rivers and creeks on the Flats. Awapuni was a great home for them. There were thousands in that locality. On Repongaere Lake and Glencoe Lake it was very easy to get fifteen brace. From Harris' bend on the Waimata river right up to its source ducks were also plentiful. Right back for many miles from Long Bush was heavy bush. Many a good bag was taken from Glenroy. Pigs also were plentiful on the front ranges. He had killed many from Long Bush onwards. Parakeets used to come to the Flats in thousands. Their last visit was in 1875. Pukakos were plentiful in the Patutahi swamps (and on the adjoining lands) in those days probably 1000 acres in extent. To-day all this land is in grass. No wonder the Native game disappeared when it lost its feeding grounds!