Pro Staff: Simon Bullivant

Simon Bullivant, a resident of New Zealand, says it wasn’t any accident that he became a bow-hunter.  “Both my mother and father were very active bow-hunters, even before I was invented!  It was only natural for me to follow in their footsteps.  From the moment I could stand, I have shot arrows.  Growing up, I would hunt almost every day that I could, imagining that the rabbits I hunted were deer.  After I shot my first wild goat at the age of 7, I never looked back.  Now, many years later, I am an archery professional working at The Advanced Archery Pro Shop in Auckland, New Zealand.  I get to spend every day now promoting the sport I had grown up loving.”

Many people have had an impact on Simon’s archery career, and he says that he finds it hard to narrow it down to a single person.  “My father Philip,” Simon says, “has definitely been my greatest inspiration.  He was one of the elite bow-hunters in New Zealand and all I wanted to do was be like him when I was younger.  Now that I’m in my 30’s, I can still only hope to be as good a man as he has been.  Aside from him, however, the two other biggest influences would be Kevin and Carol at Advanced Archery.  Their knowledge, skill and expertise has helped me progress through the years.  I was one of their hunting adviser’s for 11 years, and now they employ me full time in their pro shop.  Being a full time part of the archery and bow-hunting industry has been a dream come true, and was made possible when I bought my MR6 after Advanced Archery secured the Mathews dealership.”

Simon’s favorite part of archery is the mental focus required to make shots under pressure.  “When your mind is filled with fuzz and the heart is racing, being able to slow it all down, visualize the moment and perform your best is the best part of it all.  But in archery in general, it really comes down to just shooting arrows for me.  I loved it as a kid and now, years later, I still love just getting out there with friends and family and feeling the bow draw back and load the limbs with energy.”

To all new archers, Simon says, “Before you do anything, get a professional coach and learn the correct technique.  Next, purchase the best release aid you can afford; and shoot a Mathews, of course!”

Simon loves hunting.  His favorite animal to hunt for is the Sambar stag.  Sambar stags are the third largest species of deer in the world, and are a major food source for tigers in their homeland, Asia.  These giant deer, though weighing over 500lbs, are quiet, smart, and elusive.  There is not a lot known about the species, but Simon has greatly enjoyed being able to study them up close in the last few years.  Simon has shot three stags in the top 10 in New Zealand and won the Bow-Hunter of the Year title for the 2011/12 season.

“I don’t do this because it’s a job, but because it’s my passion!” Simon exclaims.  On top of being a passionate hunter, he is also an active member of the New Zealand Bow-Hunters Society and is the vice president for the Auckland region.  He contributes to several Australian and New Zealand magazines, and here are some of his other recent accomplishments as an archer:

  • 2011 – New Zealand Bow-Hunters Society, most big-game – 1st
  • 2011 – New Zealand Bow-Hunters Society, most deer – 2nd
  • 2011 – New Zealand Bow-Hunters Society, biggest deer antlers, all species – 1st
  • 2011 – New Zealand Bow-Hunters Society, biggest fallow deer antlers – 1st

Simon says his most memorable archery moment happened at 4:50pm on the 27th day of April 2002.  “I was hunting alone when I spotted a large-bodied stag in a thicket far across a large swamp.  Although I was unable to see his antlers, I could tell from his body that he was a mature stag.  The only way to access where the stag was feeding was to swim the swamp.  I had to swim across and after paddling my way through the wetland, I was drenched and tired out.  However, I still had to stalk a long ways until there was only 40 yards between the stag and myself.  At this point, I had not seen the beast since entering the water.  When the stag stepped out in front of me, I nearly fell over!  He was the biggest stag I had ever seen!  My heart was racing. Trying to stay calm was next to impossible.  All I could do was try to manage the shaking in my body.  When the opportunity came, the shot was perfect and the stag expired fast.  He carried 16 long, heavy points, and was the 2nd biggest stag taken with a bow and arrow in the 60 year history of the New Zealand Bow-Hunter’s Society!”

When not hunting or shooting, you’ll find Simon big-game fishing for striped marlin in the northern waters of New Zealand’s North Island.  “I also enjoy the art of Taxidermy,” Simon says, “and am an active member of the New Zealand Taxidermy Association.”


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  • Mathews Bowhunter of the year
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