Hunting in New Zealand
Hunting in New Zealand is a top-of-the-list destination for big game hunters wanting to experience hunting in one of the world’s most scenic countries. Every hunter thinks at some point in their life about hunting a giant red stag during the “roar” or climbing the mountains in search of a Himalayan Tahr.
New Zealand is split into two large islands, the North Island and the South Island. Most international hunters will arrive at Aukland, the Capital of New Zealand, and continue by flight from there if hunting the larger South Island. Originally there were no land-based mammals on New Zealand other than two species of bats and two species of seals. All of the game present on New Zealand today has been introduced. There are no bag limits in New Zealand for hunting large game. Hunting in National Parks is a permitted activity. Both guided and independent hunting is allowed on public land to non-resident hunters with a firearms license and a permit from the Department of Conservation.
Several of the huntable species available in New Zealand include:
Red Deer (Stag) – New Zealand has the best quality and hunting for red stag in the world. Most world records have come from New Zealand Estates.
Himalayan Tahr – Himalayan Thar were gifted to New Zealand by the 11th Duke of Bedford in 1903. They have become well-established and are a prime draw for hunters.
Chamois – Chamois is a goat-like antelope and was gifted to New Zealand by the Austrian Emperor in 1903. They have also become well-established and are on many hunters wish lists.
Fallow Deer - All 4 color phases of these impressive deer are present on both Islands
Russa Deer – Russa deer are the least plentiful deer in New Zealand and are located on about 500 sq. miles of area on the North Island. The roar is from July-August and the terrain where they are found is rough with limited access.
Sambar Deer – Sambar deer are only found on the North Island
Sitka Deer – Sitka Deer are only found on the North Island
Elk – There are impressive numbers of elk in New Zealand and trophy size is comparable with the best North American specimens.
Moose – A small number of moose were released on the South Island in 1910 but are currently thought to be extinct there today.
Whitetail Deer – Whitetail Deer are only found on the South Island, and primarily on Stewart Island.
Pigs – Feral pigs are found on both islands and are considered agricultural pests. They are a popular target of both locals and Australians.
Duck Shooting – The waterfowl season in New Zealand is from the 1st weekend in May and extends for 3 months.
Wild Turkeys – Good populations of Merriam wild turkeys exist on both islands in scattered low land areas.