Hunter overcomes injury, returns mentally stronger this Roar

25th May 2023|2min

Earlier this year we spoke with Nelson hunter Richard Wells who experienced a debilitating shoulder injury while hunting in 2022, threatening his decades-long hunting tradition with his family. We caught up with Richard again to hear how his recent Roar season went and what his biggest gain from the trip was, aside from bagging a few stags with the family.

Richard Wells trip report from a Haast ballot block:  

Well, its April Fool’s Day again and we’re back in the field. Following my fall injury that turned into epic shoulder and neck pain on April 1st a year ago, 12 months on and I’m back in some sort of action in South Westland walking into our ballot block opening on April 2nd.

For a while last year, it was hard to imagine being able to carry a pack of a stag’s leg, let alone for many kilometres but the physio has paid off!

I have learned that the exercises set by the physio really work and recently have also gone back to the swimming pool, after a 40+ years absence, and finding that great for the shoulder muscles (and arthritic hip!).

We were able to enjoy our Roar hunt over a week, my only limitation being the need to remember I cannot simply swing a pack up via my left arm and shoulder but generally once set up I was good as gold.

So, while the best treatment for accidents is avoid them in the first place (yes Mum!) if you do have one, the investment in a good routine to rebuild yourself pays dividends into the future. While I am not 100% and may never be in terms of left arm strength, I can safely get by and enjoy myself.

As for the hunting… well I watched the rest of the team do the business in some very pretty West Coast country but got to help carry meat back to base… and they did let me fly out!

Richard Wells, Haast Hunting

About 'Have a hmmm' 

The original story was part of ACC New Zealand's Have a Hmmm... awareness campaign.

'Have a hmmm' is a constructive wero (challenge) to Aotearoa: Take action to avoid injury and keep yourself, your whānau, friends and community safe and well. Injury can have life-changing impacts – for those who are injured, their whānau and society. Around 90% of injuries are not random events. They're predictable and therefore preventable. Yet, ACC sees 5,000 injury claims per day. That's around 2 million claims a year.

ACC is starting by asking New Zealanders to do something easy: take a moment, 'Have a hmmm' and think of others before acting. Learn more about the campaign here.