Author(s): Dave Ratcliffe
Dave Ratcliffe lived and worked through changing times. The transformation of the the venison industry when foot hunters were replaced by helicopters, and the timber industry as native logging ended.
"I had lived, hunted, eaten and drunk with some of the best there were. The skills and professionalism of those operators in this (venison recovery) business would never be beaten. Some were fearless, but none were heartless, and all of them possessed an adventurous spirit. They knew how to play hard and they knew how to drink hard, but they also knew how to work hard. I was going to find it hard to go into a world without the adrenalin, the adventure, Native logging was finishing; it was just about all over. The venison industry, was a dying game as well, as we knew it anyway. It was to continue, but not in the same depth. The bureaucrats were moving in. They were watching every move we made. Regulations were coming in, you can't do this, you can't do that, you've got to wear this, and you've got to wear that. The bureaucrats were starting to get their moneys worth. They were making rules and regulations to govern everybody else's life. They had created a bandwagon and they were getting on it. We will never get them off it. They are people who have never taken a risk in their lives, or done anything that's a dare, or know what it's like to hurt. Most of them wouldn't know what it's like to get wet - and if they are wet, it's only behind the ears. Gone are the days of flying in after dark with the last load, or leaving in the dark to be in the mountains in the morning, right on the crack of day. Or riding a push-bike without a hat, being able to get drunk in a bar, or even have a smoke in the bar. The days of the hard men have gone. The days of respect have gone. The days of freedom of speech have gone. The days of freedom of choice have gone. The days of you being able to think for yourself have gone. Common sense has gone. This book is all about the life and the lifestyles of people that lived in an Era gone."