The Last Great Adventure Details:
This is the story of a special group of New Zealanders whose initiative and daring perfected the capture of wild animals. Relive their adventures, meet the amazing characters who captured wild animals in NZ and North America. Reviewed by Andy Lyver NZ Hunting & Wildlife Magazine The Adventure capturing live deer with a helicopter is described as 'better than sex' by one of the pioneers. Another swears he couldn't wait to go to work and would have done the job for nothing. In a stunning video of exceptionable caliber, these men and other rugged individuals describe the events that led to the birth of deer farming in New Zealand. Dave Asher and Dave McCarlie of South Coast Productions began the story with 'The Venison Hunters' which covered the development of the venison industry beginning with ground hunters, progressing fixed wing aircraft and then helicopters. 'The Last Great Adventure' takes up the tale as the declining numbers of wild deer could no longer sustain the demand for venison and visionaries like Goodwin McNutt began to experiment with capturing animals for farming. In 1970 the first deer farm licence was issued and the courageous men who had been helicopter shooting, turned their skill to recovering live animals to stock farms. Pilots, shooters and their machines were now asked to do more than they had ever been asked for - and the video takes the viewer on a crazy breakneck ride - with outstanding footage of animal pursuit and capture. One helicopter is filmed sliding into a tight gut, while the rotor blades trim foliage as the pilot jinks and yaws the machine to give the shooter the best angle to net a deer. Between these extraordinary sequences, equally extraordinary men share these memories of those high-risk days. Just like earlier times, when venison recovery methods evolved as the industry grew, deer capture was refined on the job. Some fearless (or foolhardy) individuals chose to bulldog deer by jumping out of the helicopter and onto the animal's back. Kiwi ingenuity was also employed to devise a less punishing means of capture, using dart guns, electric stunning and net guns. None of these endeavours were without risk; and stories abound misfiring guns, skids shot off, bullets whistling by, and 38 chopper crashes in one single year. With typical Kiwi initiative however, these pioneers not only rose to these everyday challenges, but also became world leaders in the capture of live animals. Towards the end of the video, an American television clip shows New Zealand pilots and shooters working with moose, buffalo and wolves. Today more then three million deer are farmed in New Zealand for velvet and venison - and export income exceeds $260 million, The birth of this important industry would have not been possible without the men featured in the video - men of vision and fortitude. One veteran tells it this way; 'I've pushed chalk since, and driven nails- but I look back on that period in my life as the time when I had a real man's job.'