In October, for the first time in three years, the Sika Show was held – this time in its new venue at Mystery Creek in Hamilton. Most within the industry were a little nervous about whether the venue would be a success; there’s always an element of risk involved with any changes to such an iconic event. However, our fears were completely unfounded with record footfall and gate sales and some stallholders selling out of product on the first day – or near to it. The benefits of the show are not always so obvious as products sold – networking and information sharing has always been a big part of proceedings with organisations like the Council for Licensed Firearms Owners, the Tahr and Sika foundations, the Department of Conservation, the Game Animal Council, the ACT and National parties, and Mike McIlwraith from the NZ Police all being present. Congratulations to John Cooke and Mike Penn on a well-organised event.
For Rod&Rifle’s part, the Roar competition was the best supported – by both sponsors and participants – of any year that we’ve been involved. This was partly due to the venue and the high number of visitors to the show but also because of the efforts of the magazine owners, Phil and Jo, who ensured the competition was advertised as widely as possible and that the prizes were top-notch. I see the Roar competition growing year-on-year and becoming a prestigious event all on its own. The duck calling and Sika Show competitions themselves were also great successes with many fantastic entries and efforts.
At the Rod&Rifle stand, it was great to meet some of our writers face-to-face – some of you we only know via emails. If you’ve written for us, we consider you part of the team, so it’s always great to meet in person.
In early October, I went on the trip of a lifetime representing our magazine in Finland at the Sako Press Event where this prestigious firearms manufacturer showcased its new firearms. After the factory tour and various briefs, it was easy to see why Sako have the reputation they do; the Finnish are meticulous, hardworking and have a genuine love for their work. It’ll be a big year for the company in 2023, so watch this space. It was also good to spend time with our other NZ hunting magazine editors – Luke Care from NZ Hunter and Cam Henderson from The Hunter’s Journal – and other assorted personalities from Australia, Canada and the USA. It was clear that NZ hunters and our magazines are held in high regard internationally – we’re lucky to have the quality of magazines that we do.
It’s been an incredibly busy year for many of us. Please always try to make time for the things that bring you joy – whether that’s hunting, fishing or being with family. If you don’t book it in, it often won’t happen!