Hunting in New Zealand

Hunt Red Stag in New Zealand

A hunt in New Zealand is a great trip for you and your significant other to experience all that this beautiful country has to offer. The spine-tingling roar of the rutting red stag is deservedly one of the main draws to New Zealand, but there are many other opportunities as well.

Hunting in New Zealand:

  • New Zealand is famous for it’s 5-Star service and accommodations. You’ll stay in a 5-star lodge, but if you have the desire to “rough it” to the sound of nearby flowing water you can stay overnight at one of the streamside camps.
  • Extremely high trophy quality. Free range hunts have considerably smaller stags than can be found on estate hunts. Our hunters who go hunting in New Zealand regularly take 400 SCI stags, with some of the best on the estate exceeding 600 SCI.
  • Amazing success rates. Success is nearly guaranteed.
  • Combo opportunities for lots of different big game species.
  • Hunters are welcome to use their preferred weapon of choice, be it archery, rifle or muzzleloader.
  • New Zealand is not restricted by hunting seasons, however our outfitter prefers to operate from late February through August, as the seasons here are opposite from the Northern Hemisphere. This makes New Zealand hunting a great “off season” option.
  • World Class fly fishing is available as an ad-on to your trip. We have a heli-fishing program that is highly recommended! The flight itself being an exhilarating part of the experience.
  • In addition to hunting or fishing you can go diving; skiing and snowboarding; countless shopping destinations; penguin viewing; TranzAlpine train sightseeing; horse trekking; sheep shearing; golfing; mountain biking; see glaciers; kiwi spotting on Stewart Island; whale watching; jet boating; bungy jumping; helicopter scenic tours; wine tours and tastings; sightseeing tours; and even waterfowl hunting.
  • We have lodges on the North and South Islands.
  • Non hunters and kids are welcome as well. This is a great family vacation. *Be sure to let us know far in advance so that we can get you on the right ranch for this situation.

Hunting Trips in New Zealand offered by Outdoors International

The best time to go hunting in New Zealand.

The main hunting season in New Zealand is between late February and the beginning of August. During this time the red stag, sika, and fallow deer are all rubbed off and hard antlered. The rut commences mid-March for red stags, followed a month later for sika, fallow, and then rusa.

  • January – Chamois and tahr hunting can be good, but they’re in their summer coats.
  • February – This is the beginning of hunting season and is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Red deer and sika stags will be hard antlered by the third week. This makes a great pre-rut hunt and you should be able to glass up plenty of stags.
  • March – Probably the most sought after time to hunt red stag in New Zealand. The rut starts revving up and will reach its peak by the end of the month.
  • April – The rut will start winding down for the red deer, but sika stags are just coming into the rut now. The sika rut peaks around mid-April. Towards the end of the month fallow bucks will start roaring. This is a fun time to be in NZ.
  • May – Stags will start moving away from the herds of hinds, making hunting a bit more difficult. However, if you’re on the South Island, the chamois and tahr coats will be in their prime. The tahr rut will be gearing up.
  • June – Towards the end of the month, stags will be in bachelor groups, and out in the open. Tahr and chamois hunting is still very good.
  • July – This is a great time to be hunting! The big sika and red stags will be coming out of the woodwork now that they’re no longer interested in the hinds. Tahr and chamois hunting is probably at its best, and rusa stags will be rutting.
  • August – By the second week of the month, the antlers of most species will start dropping, but the rusa stags will be rutting hard. Tahr and chamois hunting will still be good.
  • September – You can still find great hunting for tahr, chamois and rusa.
  • October – This is the last month to hunt tahr and chamois because their coats will start shedding. Rusa and sambar deer are still available to hunt and fishing season is just starting.
  • November – Rusa deer and exotic sheep and goats are really the only option for hunting in New Zealand during November.
  • December – There’s still some rusa hunting available along with some exotics. If you don’t mind hunting them in their summer coats, tahr and chamois hunting is good.

North Island

Exceptional stag hunting can be found on the North Island. The Sika deer were first released in 1905 and continues to hold a substantial population. The North Island has arguably the best free range Sika hunting in New Zealand. Rusa stags, fallow bucks, sambar, arapawa rams and the feral goats are all trophies worthy of pursuing as well.

South Island

In addition to red stags, chamois and tahr, you will also have opportunity at numerous other species on a trophy fee basis, including: elk; fallow deer; rams; goats; sika; sanbar; and rusa stags.

Enjoy 5-Star Service

Tucked away in secluded valleys of New Zealand are private hunting estates where serious hunters have a genuine shot at taking home the trophy stag of their dreams. Whether you stay at the main lodge, or down on the river at the safari camp, immersed in the natural elements of New Zealand (guests often like to round out their experience here under the stars and close to nature), you will receive world class 5-star service and have opportunities at world class trophy red stag.

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