Rules tightened for 25th Sika Show and Competitions
An important element of the Sika Show since the beginnings in 1993 has been the collection of Sika jaws. The jaw collection data is gathered by Hunters & Habitats, and provides valuable information on the population, demography, and condition of Sika deer in New Zealand. With this, the organisation also uses the event as an opportunity to promote important messages around safe hunting practices and conservation to the thousands of people who visit the show each year.
Today, the Sika head competition and other categories of hunted animals is still a major drawcard. With this milestone birthday, event organiser Mark Bridgman-McMillan would like to address an important issue that has been brought to his attention, where the integrity of recent competition winners has been questioned.
“The rules are simple, and we do our best to run a fair competition. But unfortunately, there are people out there who think it is okay to enter the competition with deceitful intentions. We can’t check everything but if there is an issue, we would like people to talk to us. Just give us a call before you splash it all over Facebook,” Mark says.
Due to the complaints, and the realisation that working in good faith doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, the organisation has tightened the rules for this year’s competition. The rules for the 2018 competition include that entries from people with a poaching conviction or from anyone who has been disqualified previously will not be accepted, entries must be in the name of the person who has killed the animal, and animals must be free range and taken with the landowner’s permission. The applicant will need to produce a signed declaration of the land owners’ consent.
Introduced this year, and fully enforced in 2019, is also that registration for the competition needs to be done within 1 month of the animal being taken, on the Sika Show website. A photo of the animal when taken to include the habitat and surrounding features will also be required, and a $50 entry fee will be charged for non-Hunters & Habitat members.
“Personally, I much rather see the trophy go to a young hunter who has busted his guts in the bush to shoot a good stag than to someone who simply pops over a fence and kills a prize animal that he has no business of shooting, then tries to pull it off as legitimate for an ego boost,” Mark says.
He explains that the reason behind holding the competition in the first place is to collect information about the herd and its habitat. It is about conservation and protection of the herd. Unfortunately, this is being damaged by the actions of some people.
Mark says: “If you are the type of hunter that this means nothing to, then this competition is not for you.” The 25th Sika Show and Competition will be held at the Great Lake Centre in central Taupo on September 29 and 30, 2018.