NZDA Taupo

The Taupo Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association was established on 20th May 1957 with its first General Meeting on the 10th June 1957. Our first meeting was in a hall where St. John’s Ambulance are now located. The .22 Range was amongst the pine trees and scrub in the area that is now Fletchers Mill. Eventually, permission was given from the Manager of Tauhara Lands and Survey to build a Centrefire Range on survey land behind where the refuse dump is now. A running deer target facility was constructed with old telephones for communication from the mound to the butts. Unfortunately on the very first shoot the wire which carried the deer target was shot, cutting it clean in half, which bought the shoot to a sudden halt.

Our current Range took some time to find, initially a gully behind the Spa Hotel was offered and many hours were spent cutting and clearing dense blackberry and scrub to form a suitable shooting area. However before this was completed, an opportunity to acquire a much better location became available on Mountain Road below Mount Tauhara. This is our present day home. In 1965 a meeting with the Maori owners was held and a agreement in principle was reached to lease the land. In 1966 work began on re-aligning the range boundaries. In 1967 a meeting was held to see if lease monies could be deducted from the purchase price and the possibility of free holding the land. The block was re-surveyed in January 1968 to determine more accurate boundaries. In April 1971, ownership papers for the land were finally received and deposited with the Branch solicitors for safe keeping.

October 1971 began the first of many major projects to clear and develop the range further. Curly and Straighty Elmiger using heavy machinery began clearing scrub, broom and pine trees to enable the 100m and running boar ranges to be established. These ranges are still in use today and Curly is still driving heavy machinery around keeping our ranges in pristine condition. Thanks to those founding members and all through to today who have made this branch what it is today. Keep up the great work.