The spirit of hunting is alive and well in the Far North, with more than 200 people filling Mangōnui Hotel last Saturday for its inaugural Pig'n'Pest event.
Dedicated hunters, their family and friends, as well as local spectators turned out in spite of the dreary weather, keen to see who had caught the largest pig, rat, possum and rabbit.
A total of 23 possums, 21 rabbits and six rats were entered in the kids' Heaviest categories, with $100 prizes awarded to winners Tama Lanigan for his 3.75kg possum, Ace Penny for his 55g rat and Ashantye Waihi for her 3.7kg rabbit.
In the adults' categories, a total of 40 pigs were weighed in, with the top prize money of $3000 won by Walter Neho who held an Average Weight Pig of 105.1lb.
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The Heaviest Pig award went to Ramari Jakobs for her 210.7lb (95.57kg) beast, earning her an official "Two Tonne Club" Ridgeline of New Zealand T-shirt, awarded by Ridgeline judges on the day.
Bonus prizes were also given out for the Ugliest Pig, Biggest Tusks and Best Dressed Possum.
A Mangōnui Hotel representative said they were extremely pleased with the turnout and hoped to make it an annual event.
"There was a really good vibe despite the weather and people told us they really enjoyed the event, which was great to hear," they said.
"We've received a lot of comments on how organised the event was, so we'll definitely be looking to do it again next year.
"The majority of the hunters involved go around the country entering different hunting competitions, so it was great to see them turn up, as well as the up-and-coming hunters in the kids' categories as well.
"The Mangōnui Pool Club put on a hangi to raise money for their club and a lot of local businesses donated money and prizes, so we're very grateful to them and our hotel staff who helped out on the day."