Just a couple weeks until I finally get to your beautiful islands! Been a long wait.

Just curious if anyone has any information on the legality of using stone points for hunting, and if spears are permitted? Specifically, the atlatl (spear thrower).... have read about people using knives/spears for killing pigs when caught by the dogs, so...?  Will be emailing DOC as well, though this may fall into the "well, no one has actually asked before" category. 

Any info would be most appreciated!



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Thanks a lot Joe!

Guess I gotta knap up some points then, a good problem to have!

If I wanted to hunt with primitive equipment (and I have sometimes), I wouldn't talk about it too widely because some folks are easily upset.   If I was confident in my own ability to be fairly sure of making a clean kill, I'd just go somewhere and do it.   However, I'd be careful with what I did on land controlled by DOC, especially if people are likely to see you.  When I hunt with a bow, I try to make sure that I don't take shots at a distance beyond where I'm fairly likely to be sufficiently accurate.   So if when I'm practicing I can get most of my shots into a six-inch circle at ranges of up to 12 paces away, then that is the maximum range that I can ethically take a shot.   I guess you've come across that concept before.

I am no expert on hunting law here, but I don't think there is anything saying you cant hunt with a spear or a stone point.

As has been mentioned, there are guidelines for bowhunting that probably should be followed if you don't want trouble.  And you do need a permit to hunt on DOC land.  

The hunting and killing of feral pigs is often done around here using dogs and a knife.  This is an accepted practice.  Having a stone knife on the end of a stick is just a variation in my opinion.

If you manage to get access to private land to hunt, then so long as the landowner is happy you aren't likely to run into trouble with your choice of method.

Best wishes....

Thanks much Coote!

Yep, I certainly am not looking to offend anyone with my goings on, and prefer to keep a low profile when in hunting mode. 

Certainly I agree with you on the range issue, this is close to my comfort zone as well. Strangely enough, I believe I  am more confident with a good atlatl dart out to 10/12 meters, 15 tops with the bow. 

Hope to pick your brain more on local cordage plants.... adhesives (spinifex glue?)... knappable stones... fun stuff like that as well. Thanks again (also going to re-read more of your book on my computer, some great stuff).



Spinifex is an Australian thing.  I don't think we have it growing wild down here.   The only do-it-yourself glues I know much about are pine resin and animal (hide) glue.

The best, or maybe the most convenient, cordage down here in my experience is provided by our native flax (although it is not related to the flax from which linen is made).  There are different varieties of flax... some seem to be more suited to some purposes than others.   I am not a flax expert, and I simply just cut off some of the leaf and experiment with it to see if it will readily give up its fibre.   The botanical name for our flax is Phormium tenax if you want to suss it out on the web.   Locally it is called harakeke.

When I was practicing regularly, I would have made my maximum bow-hunting range maybe 18 metres.  But 12 to 15 would be more certain.   I've bagged a couple of goats, a feral pig, a possum and two or three rabbits with my bow and arrows.  I admit I'm more inclined to stretch my range with rabbits.   It is hard to resist.  Havent done any bowhunting for ages though.

Around my part of the country we have argillite, and this was used by the Maori to make stone tools.  I've played around with argillite and I can't pressure flake it.   It is too tough for me.  I understand that the Maori used hammer stones for argillite... and then they generally finished the edge by grinding.  Some flint or chert or whatever it is can be found around the place, but I've never found any good natural sources of it.   I think I heard some may be found near Clarence River in the South Island.  And I had some nodules of the stuff sent to me from Raglan in the North Island, but I haven't really experimented with it yet.  They were fairly small lumps.

I think we have obsidian in the North Island volcanic areas, and certainly people have found old Maori tools made from obsidian.

There is plenty of bottle glass around though.

Hey everyone,

Sorry has been awhile since I said hello. Brief update. You have an incredible amazing country (as I'm sure you know!) Have had some fun, been eeling, stuck a pig,learned some neat things about native plants, even shot a couple possums,though hoping to get a few more to take home with me (pelts and skulls, no live hitchhikers). Good times, though transport beyond buses have been a challenge, it is the biggest little country going! Less than two weeks left, so going to hpefully do a bit of fishing, tour some more, maybe find a spot with a couple pigs and goats and that ought to be about time to head back. Heading up to Nelson for a couple days now, any places you can recommend for a wander and camping Stephen? And wouldn't mind trying my hand at a bit of that argilite. Anyways, all in all, been real happy with my NZ experience so far, and know that there will be plenty to see and do when I return.

Good luck with that argillite Jim.  It is tough stuff.

Phone me or email me.      Phone:   (03) 545 6973    Email:  srcoote[at]gmail.com

Stephen Coote.

thanks Stephen,

will do, just having some issues booking my bus. Will hopefully be in contact soon.


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