It was the first and from the size of the participation it will certainly not be the last.

Woodville's New Central Hotel Open Hunt on Saturday June 15 drew entries from all around the Tararua and the Pohangina Valley.

Organisers Ian Taylor, Brett Mead and Joe Fiveash were thrilled with the response and say they will be back next year if the hotel owners agree.

From 1pm Saturday the 20 large animals and over 100 smaller quarry began arriving, scrutineered and weighed in the Fire Station yard behind the hotel before being transferred for display to the hotel carpark.

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By 3pm the rack was full and a large trailer was full of possums, hares, rabbits and ducks .
Some had come a distance.

A packed New Central Hotel bar patrons sheltered from the inclement weather outside, enjoying the hospitality and amazing prize-giving.
A packed New Central Hotel bar patrons sheltered from the inclement weather outside, enjoying the hospitality and amazing prize-giving.

Luke Peeti and Zane Taite brought in pigs that were shot at Owahanga Station out on the coast.

Andrew Melvinarrived with the heaviest red deer shot that morning about 5am in the Pohangina Valley, and a huge number of children arrived who had been out shooting as a group in the Kumeroa area.

Just as the deadline was reached it began to rain and the large crowd moved into the bar for the prize-giving.

Tararua businesses ensured that the top prize winners were rewarded and there were enough spot prizes for both children and adults so that every entrant received a prize and there were several draws to allocate more than one.

In the big game Colin Jeffery won first and second for his two heaviest boars at 66.5kg and 60kg.

Tim Poulton wins the top prize of a $700 voucher from Hunting and Fishing.
Tim Poulton wins the top prize of a $700 voucher from Hunting and Fishing.

Alisha Hart won top prize for the heaviest fallow deer at 47.6kg, Andrew Melvin's nine-pointer red deer was the winner at 87.5kg, 1kg ahead of Andrew Beatson's stag at 86.5kg.

In the children's section the heaviest opossum at 3.57kg went to Paige Taylor, the heaviest rabbit at 1.9kg went to Manaia Hibell and the heaviest hare at 3.71kg went to Sterling Rossiter while Maz Parkes had the heaviest Mallard duck at 1.5kg.

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There were prizes for the best boar tusks, fallow and red dear heads and the animal closest to the average in each category.

The ultimate prize of a $700 Hunting and Fishing voucher went to Tim Poulton after all the entries were put into the ballot.

The entry proceeds went towards costs but the possum fur and raffle proceeds went to the Woodville Volunteer Fire Brigade.