New Zealand Hunting Jargon

For more information e-mail   Steuart   of NZ Hunting Info Ltd




New Zealand has its own brand of hunting jargon. Many of the words and expressions are derived from the era of professional government deer cullers, professional possumers, New Zealand Forest Service employees and high country farming communities. Some of these words and expressions are quickly becoming obsolete or are being lost completely. For example, when I was young, most hunters would have worn either a bush shirt or a Swanndri, carried an oilskin parka and hunted with a cut down .303 British. Now there is a new generation of comparatively up-market clothing and a new generation of rifle cartridges. Below is a list of words and phrases that are not necessarily specific to New Zealand but would be part of our hunting vocabulary.

Wildlife
Antler thrash Where male deer has thrashed plant foliage.
Back steaks One of the best meat cuts along the backbone.
Bailer Dog that tends to keep pigs in the one place.
Bark Warning sound of red deer.
Bone out Separate the meat from the bones.
To break When a pig gets away from the dogs.
Browse Where shrubs or trees have been eaten by wild animals.
Bugle Period of wapiti rut or call of bull.
Captain Cooker Black razor back pig.
Chammy Chamois
Finder Dog that consistently locates pigs.
Grunter Wild pig.
Head, timber, rack Antlers
Holder Dog that latches onto pigs until the hunter arrives.
Jap Sika
Kea Large high country parrot.
Parry (Paradise Duck) River flat duck with sharp eyesight. Call alarms deer.
Porker Usually smaller wild pig.
Red Red deer.
Roar Period of red deer rut or call of stag.
Rootings Ground turned over by pigs.
Rubbings Result of antlers rubbings on tree trunks.
Sign Wild animal droppings, prints, browse.
Slinky Spotted unborn or newly born deer.
Spiker Two year old male deer.
Trail barker Dog that barks before a pig is located.
Wap Wapiti, Elk.
Yearling One year old deer.
Accommodation
Bivvy Two man hut. (From Forest Service terminology)
Fly camp Camp away from base camp.
Hut book Book for recording intentions left in hut.
Rock bivvy Rock overhang or cave used for camping.
Six Bunker Six bunk forestry hut of standardised design.
Tent Camp Camp made of non-permanent materials.
Plants
Beech One of the common forest tree species.
Bidibidi (piripiri) Small plant with round sticky seed heads.
Bush New Zealand slang for forest.
Bush lawyer (lawyer) Climbing plant of rose family with thorns.
Crown fern Common fern covering forest floor.
Hook grass Sedge with seeds that attach to hairy legs and clothing.
Manuka Scrub plant. Name is often used for close relative kanuka.
Matagouri Prickly bush of open grassy mountain areas.
Monkey scrub Thick sub-alpine belt of scrub between grasslands and forest.
Native forest (Native) Indigenous forest as opposed to exotic plantation forest.
Ongaonga Large vicious stinging nettle.
Pepper tree Common shrub unpalatable to deer.
Ponga (punga) A common type of tree fern.
Regen Abbreviation of regeneration. Dense patches of saplings.
Rubbish Thick scrub.
Spear grass (Spaniard) Very sharp sub-alpine plant with spear like leaves.
Supplejack Climbing plant that grows in a tangle of cane-like stems.
Toitoi (toetoe) Large grass with attractive plume-like flower heads.
Wind throw Fallen trees.
Windfall Area of fallen trees.
Equipment
Binos (binocs) Binoculars
Camp oven Cooking container with lid that is placed in an open fire.
Groundsheet Plastic for sleeping upon.
Lilo Air mattress. Name derived from brand.
Pikau Small day bag.
Scratcher Sleeping bag.
Clothing
Bush shirt Heavy woollen traditional outdoor shirt.
Long johns Long, woollen or synthetic, skin-tight undergarments.
Polyprop Warm synthetic clothing. Abbreviation of polypropylene.
Rubber gummies Ankle high rubber gumboots.
Swanni Large woollen garment of Swanndri Brand.
Rifle
Kick, boot Recoil
Scope Rifle telescope sight
Sighting in To zero one’s rifle.
Three o three (Three o) .303 British Lee Enfield
Treble two .222 calibre rifle
Topography
Blazed track Track marked by slashes on trees.
Blazed trail Trail marked by slashes on trees.
Block Demarcated area assigned to hunting.
Bluffed Blocked from further progress usually by cliffs of bluffs.
Boney ground Hard rocky ground.
Boulder bash Travel along rocky river bed.
Boulder hopping. Travel along rocky river bed.
Bush bashing Navigating through untracked bush (forest).
Bush line Timberline.
Bushed Lost in the bush (forest).
Flats Usually referring to grassed areas by a river.
Glacial river Glaciar fed river of light blue colour.
Gully Narrow side-valley.
Gut Steep and narrow side-valley.
Hanging valley Flattish valley above a cataract or waterfall.
Headwaters Upper reaches of a river system.
Private block Hunting area not open to public.
Scree slope Slope covered in small stones.
Shingle slide Unstable area of small stones on a mountain slope.
Slip Gap in hillside forest covered with grass or scrub.
Snow chute Narrow and steep valley of snow.
Spur Ridge
Station High country farm.
Tarn Mountain lake or pond.
Terrace Level areas by a river or more rarely up a hillside.
Tops Sub-alpine area above the forest and scrub.
Weather
Brass monkey weather. Very cold conditions.
Clagged out Covered in mist.
Hogs back Lens shape cloud formed by a westerly wind.
Huey Rain god.
Nor’wester Strong wind that brings rain to the west coast and mountains, while bringing warm winds to the east coast.
Old man nor’wester Strong and protracted nor’wester.
Skiff of snow. Light dusting of snow on the tops.
Southerly Change Sudden change in weather pattern to southerly winds.
Other
300 Hughes 300 helicopter.
500 Hughes 500 helicopter.
Blown Meat or clothing covered in blow-fly eggs.
Bomb up Shooting a lot of animals.
Breather Rest
Brew Drink of tea.
Bush stalking Hunting within the forest.
Chopper Helicopter
Culler Professional hunter employed to indiscriminately shoot deer.
Deer trap Fenced area designed to capture deer for deer farms.
Dimp Insect repellent. Once the only brand. Abbreviation of dimethylphthalate.
DOC Department of Conservation.
Douglas Score New Zealand system for scoring trophies.
Grunt Hard climb.
Hit the sack Go to bed.
Landie Land Rover.
Log jam Jumble of logs usually in a river bed.
Mosey Wander or amble for a look around.
Mozzies Mosquitos
Mountain Mule Old brand of framed pack.
Mountain radio Radios hired for use in the mountains.
Permalat Thin metal material used for marking tracks. Either red or white.
Recce Abbreviation of reconnoitre. To have a look.
Robbie Robinson helicopter.
Sandflies Small biting insects common in the NZ mountains.
Scramble Steep and rough climb.
Scungy Rough or of poor quality as in scungy forest.
To stick To knife a pig that is held by dogs.
To spook Scare a deer.
Topo map Map with contour lines.
Tramper A hiker with an overnight pack.
Tucker Food
Yogi National Park or DOC employee
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For more information e-mail   Steuart   of NZ Hunting Info Ltd