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Big haul ... Hunters gather for the weigh-in at a previous North Otago Boar and Stag Muster. PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

Entries are coming in thick and fast for this year’s North Otago Boar and Stag Muster.

The event, in its fourth year, is scheduled to be held on August 25-27.

The weigh-in is set for from 1pm to 3pm on the 27th outside the Loan and Merc building in Harbour St.

Co-organiser Craig Gibb said a good number of entries had been received so far, and expected that to continue over the week.

“The entries are flowing in . it would probably be 120 or 130 already and we should, hopefully, get up over 400 or 450.”

Last year, 425 animals were killed, including about 40 deer, 90 boars, and rabbits, hares and possums.

He expected the number of kills to be similar to last year’s, given animals appeared to be in “pretty good” condition.

Funds raised from this year’s event will go to North Otago and Omarama Search and Rescue.

Mr Gibb said the organisations provided a vital service in the region.

“All the money we’re raising is going to a charity that’s got meaning to somebody .. with search and rescue, you never know when a hunter’s going to need it. We’re supporting search and rescue a lot more.”

On the 27th there will be a barbecue and raffles, a guess the weight of the pig and deer competition and a silent auction.

A judge from the South Canterbury Pig Hunting Club will determine the top 10 heaviest boars, top three heaviest ladies’ boars, best tusks, average weight boar, heaviest combined weight (boar and stag), top three heaviest stags, average weight red stag, average weight red hind and ugliest red stag head.

For juniors, there are the top three heaviest boars and top three mixed bag (rabbit, hare possum) categories.

The popular event has grown over the years and Mr Gibb expected it to be around for some time yet.

“We’re definitely keen to do it again next year. We’ve had a couple of people offer good sponsorship for the next couple of years, so we’re definitely looking at carrying on for the next few years yet.”

In 2016, about $20,000 was raised and split between North Otago Land Search and Rescue and Otago Community Hospice for its North Otago hospice house project.