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Discover the story of Bushbuck founder, Tim Dunn, from his adventurous childhood and entrepreneurial drive to building one of New Zealand's leading hunting and outdoors brands.
For Bushbuck founder Tim Dunn, the great outdoors is part of his DNA. Growing up, he spent most weekends camping, hiking, and exploring in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, known for its spectacular fiords, lakes, valleys, and rugged mountains. His appetite for adventure continued at school where he immersed himself in rock climbing, snowboarding, kayaking, and training with the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council.
From a young age, Tim started sketching ideas for inventions and products in a notebook. These ideas were often related to the outdoors activities he was involved in and problems he wanted to solve. It was an early sign of what was to come with Bushbuck.
In his early 20s, Tim was introduced to hunting by a friend and took to it instantly. Weekends were spent hunting deer and tahr in the famous Mackenzie Country, a wilderness paradise in South Canterbury. Tim was also exposed to hunting through his wife Hannah’s family, who own a sheep, beef and deer farm in the region. Farming and hunting go hand-in-hand in New Zealand and Tim was involved with culling rabbits, wallabies, possums and deer on the family land. As he evolved as a hunter and started acquiring more high-end gear, he identified an opportunity that would shake up the industry. The seed for Bushbuck was planted.
After leaving school, Tim studied mechanical engineering with a view to bringing some of his entrepreneurial ideas to life. He found himself at the forefront of the rapid prototyping industry and the dawn of 3D printing. Tim was headhunted by a cutting-edge biomedical engineering company and worked as a lead design engineer for 10 years, during which he learned the intricacies of prototyping and product design and development.
During that time, Tim also designed and developed New Zealand’s first cable wakeboarding system and launched a mobile app that provided hunters with offline maps, hunting spots, and information on animal species and huts in each area, which he grew to more than 3000 users. Equipped with valuable new skills and business experience, he decided it was time to act on the idea that would become Bushbuck.
Tim and his hunting mates were always buying new gear. But good quality hunting gear was expensive. Tim realised a major reason gear was so expensive was because brands were built upon an outdated retail store model, which incurred massive overheads.
His idea was to create a high-end hunting brand that sold products directly to consumers online. That way, you could uphold the highest quality standards while passing on savings to customers.
After a whirlwind international tour of manufacturers, the first Bushbuck product line was launched from a spare bedroom in Tim and Hannah’s Christchurch home. In the years since, Bushbuck has become one of New Zealand’s leading, fastest-growing, and most trusted hunting and outdoors brands.