14th August 2023

Meet a Trapper – Richard Shields

My trapping life started in 2018 helping Hans build the traps for Lake Hayes and was on the checking rotation for a year before helping Dawn get Tucker Beach Reserve up and running by building some of the traps and taking over one of the trap lines on the Shotover river. Currently we have 103 traps monitored by 5 volunteers. Rather than a rotation, we each have our own lines to check on a regular basis. As Robyn and I have two dogs that need regular exercise we are helping Mt Dewar- Treespace with some of the traps up there, and recently become part of the Quail Rise Trappers with a few traps along the Jim’s Way community planting area that we have been assisting Greg and the team with.

Outside of trapping I’m on the committee’s and help out with Wakatipu Search and Rescue, plus Southern Lakes Multisport Club which are both heavily involved in outdoor activities, something that has been an important and rewarding part of our lives. Also helped the Back Country Trust rebuild Mullins Hut east of Hokitika. That was an interesting challenge with the weather patterns they can have in the region.

When Jo asked why I do it, I guess helping improve the environment for people to be active and appreciate the outdoors, whether it be a short walk from home or a mission in the hills has got to be a worthwhile cause.

Richard checking traps on Mt Dewar

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