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from left: Tim Finlay with Mel of Lakenheath (cocker), Field Champion Floss
of Ballyblack (ESS), Clark Reid, Bob Whitehead with Wernffrwd Dafydd Du
(UK import cocker), Gelligoch Candy FTW (UK import cocker), and
FC Murphy of Ballyblack (ESS) with Gamekeeper, Chris Short.

The preserve operation opened for the first full-scale hunts in 2003. Most New Zealand preserves operate on the English driven system, but Poronui wanted to be different. So it was decided that a walk-up shoot, more in keeping with the New Zealand and US style of pheasant shooting, was in order.

Hunters were able to experience wild flushing birds over Spaniels, Brittanys and Labradors. Springers are the most suitable dog for the scrubby terrain and as such will form the front line of dog breeds in use at Poronui. These are wild, hard running birds and nothing puts them in the air as well as a Springer! However, large areas of crops are also in place on Poronui for the benefit of the pheasants and it is in these fields that Chris Short and his Brittany, "Lace", can offer great pointing work, as well, for those who wish to experience this.
Clark Reid's spaniel, Seadrift Pheasant
Rise, atop the hood of the Land-Cruiser
after a successful hunt, circa 1989.

When it is required, more dogs are brought in. Some of New Zealand’s leading spaniel men are set to have an association with Poronui. Field Champion Springers and English Cockers will run at Poronui and plans are underway for a Spaniel Championship wild game trial to be run here in 2004.

Poronui plans for its operation to be the best, anywhere. In this light, the dogs are all of the finest imported stock. The Springers all come from the best, true English working lines and the cockers are direct UK imports - or bred from them. Most all of the dogs are live game field trial winners. Several of which have achieved the title of Field Champion - the most sought after title in NZ gundog circles. It is important that this UK blood is used as the New Zealand strain of Springers originates from show stock and has been bred to make them virtually redundant as anything other than a duck retrieving breed.

A typical day would see in excess of 50-100 birds flushed over the dog for the gun. A bag limit of five birds per gun is the goal - and it usually attained. A word of caution though… these are tough, wild-flushing birds; they are

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