Guardians of Glen Dene: Exploring conservation through hunting

Guardians of Glen Dene: Exploring conservation through hunting

Glen Dene Station is a truly remarkable place with nearly 15,000 acres of freehold land situated between Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka in Central Otago. It offers premium lodgings and backcountry hut experiences and takes a combined conservation and recreational approach to their hunting experiences.

As a passionate champion of the environment, third-generation owner Richard Burdon highlights the pivotal role hunting plays in preserving the land he cherishes.

"Hunters and farmers are often at the forefront of conservation efforts," he says.

Fresh from the Salzburg Hunting Show in Europe, Burdon speaks fondly of the Europeans' fervour for hunting and conservation, particularly noting the remarkable craftsmanship of rifles and the extraordinary work of gunsmiths whose pieces can fetch up to €400,000. 

His dedication to the cause is not limited to Europe; Burdon's reach extends to the United States where he participated in the Dallas Safari Club Expo, hailed as the "biggest conservation fundraising event in the United States." 

At the expo, he successfully auctioned a hunt with actor Cole 'Rip' Hauser, known for his role in 'Yellowstone.' This collaboration emphasises the global community's pledge to preserve wildlife and their habitats. 

"The money that's raised to either hunt with Don or Cole then donated back to conservation." 

The results are evident in a generous $10,000 grant from the Dallas Safari Club Foundation to New Zealand's Hunters for Conservation Trust. Burdon also tackles misconceptions about hunting, citing Teddy Roosevelt's precedent of integrating hunting with conservation policy. 

"Hunters are probably the best conservationists around," reinforcing that those who hunt are genuinely committed to preserving the ecosystems that sustain their activities. 

Glen Dene's charm attracts a global clientele, particularly from the United States. Burdon tells the inspiring story of a man who, despite losing a limb, realised his dream of hunting in New Zealand. 

Bookings are in high demand, with the much-awaited roar season filling up years in advance.

Burdon masterfully intertwines the local pride of New Zealand's wilderness with the international cooperation needed for effective conservation, showcasing a model of sustainable use and protection of our natural world.

Listen to the full chat between Richard Burdon and Dominic George above.

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