Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

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Profile: UBCO 2×2 electric utility bike

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UBCO 2x2 electric bike

One of Boynton’s primary hunting tools is his UBCO 2x2 electric utility bike. Photo: Supplied

Environmentalist and hunter-gatherer Owen Boynton lives in his hometown where life began in Waimana on the outskirts of Te Urewera Forest.

“I was drawn to the wild from a very young age,” says Boynton. “I would watch my mentors intently and the intricate details within the lessons of bushcraft and hunting. I was inspired by the old hunters talking around the fire. That drive never went away. My father’s words – ‘To be a hunter is within you’ – sparked my journey of discovery, and 30-odd years later, here we are.”

‘Here’ for Boynton contains an interesting juxtaposition: while his daily life involves hunting in some of the country’s wildest and most untouched backcountry and caring for three native forest reserves, he is also the star and co-producer of his own TVNZ series, Toa Hunter Gatherer

A huge part of the show’s appeal lies in the philosophy Boynton brings to hunting and his profound relationship with the natural world. Initiated into the art of hunting at a young age, he often utilises ancient crafts and hunting methods. 

Despite his traditional roots, today, one of Boynton’s primary hunting tools is a much more modern device – his UBCO 2×2 electric utility bike. Silent and solid, it enables him to access and scout terrain more efficiently than on foot and has minimal impact on wildlife or the landscape. 

UBCO 2x2 electric bike
Boyton was drawn to hunting from a very young age. Photo: Supplied

Boynton is one of a growing number of hunters to discover the unique appeal of the New Zealand-designed UBCO 2×2 for hunting. The bike is

all-wheel drive, providing excellent acceleration and control in rough terrain. Although it’s lightweight and agile, it can carry up to 150kg with a frame designed for attaching kit.   

“One of the things I love about the 2×2 is its ability to silently cover ground,” he says. “It’s like a stealthy companion who’s willing to carry your gear for you without a fuss. It also allows me to hunt in environments with minimal disturbance.”

Boynton’s belief is that hunting is about being mindful and taking only what can be comfortably replaced by the natural world. Being a hunter-gatherer is another level up.

“It’s a full-circle mindset that enables us to care for our environment and maintain balance,” he says. “I believe my calling on this Earth is to be a connector to wild environs and in turn a kaitiaki – a caretaker of the natural world and a teacher in the same domain. It’s my responsibility to pass on this knowledge and, looking ahead, I hope to create a space where I can continue teaching conservation, and hunting and gathering to the next generation. One day, I want to pass on the torch to the next toa (warrior).”

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