Hunting and sightseeing in New Zealand

Jul 22nd, 2019, 10:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Hunting and sightseeing in New Zealand

My husband wants to celebrate our 50th anniversary with his dream of hunting in New Zealand. (I’m not a hunter.) Does anyone have any knowledge about arranging a “short” hunting trip and longer sightseeing in New Zealand that will not cost our life savings?
comp1 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2019, 01:19 PM
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Now there's a question I've never seen on this forum.

How romantic.

I didn't even know hunting was a thing in NZ (other than possums and wild pig), but when I googled I found these, which you may or may not have run across already:

Happy to help with the sightseeing bits once you get the hunting part sorted.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2019, 09:13 PM
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I know there are organised fishing trips in New Zealand and lovely lodges to stay in if that sounds appealing. I can't imagine them having hunting trips (presumably you mean with guns?) but I've been wrong before

KayF is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2019, 11:53 PM
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There are so many hunting guides in New Zealand, so you can probably shop around for a affordable option. They'll take you to hunt species that are considered pests, such as wild deer, tahr and chamois. These non-native species began to be introduced in the 19th century and, as they had no predators, have multiplied like crazy, in turn causing great destruction to plant species. So hunting is not just a form of recreation but it's a necessity for protecting NZ's native fauna and flora.
You can also hunt for feral pigs, which were introduced in the 18th century and "plough up large areas of forest floor, uprooting supplejack, bracken and many other plants. They feed on any forest berries, fruit or succulent stems, and any surface-dwelling animals, such as wētā, litter hoppers, earthworms and centipedes. With up to 40 pigs per square kilometre of bush, large volumes of food are taken which would otherwise feed native species." (See:
Here's a link to DOC's Hunting page:

Where do you plan on going? My next-door-neighbor's father is a hunting guide in Wanaka. I'll send you a PM with a link to his site.

Before the arrival of humans in about 1280 AD, New Zealand land was inhabited by just birds, reptiles, and a few bats, which were the only mammal species to inhabit the land (I'm not counting the marine mammals).
Here's a long list of NZ pests:
Diamantina is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2019, 05:32 AM
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Diamantina -

Those links I posted above refer to stag hunting - are they considered a pest in NZ? They're not on the list you posted.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2019, 03:20 PM
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A stag is a male deer. In NZ, this usually refers to a male red deer of at least 5 years old. The antlers are often collected as trophies. There are plenty of wild deer in the NZ wilderness, eating away at the forest and trampling the forest floor. According to DOC, "Red deer are the most widespread deer species in New Zealand with wild populations established throughout most of the forested and tussock country from the Kaimai Range in the north to Stewart Island in the south. Areas that have few or no red deer are Northland, much of Taranaki, Coromandel and Banks Peninsula."

Some international visitors hunt deer on their own, but there are obvious risks:
In addition, DOC has been dropping a poison called 1080 in the forests, mainly to kill possums and rats, but sometimes deer also consume 1080. In some popular hunting areas, deer repellent is used in 1080 baits.

But there are also game estates where red deer are kept for hunting. I believe they often buy their stock from breeders who breed the deer for qualities that make them ideal for hunting, such as good body size, good antler structure in both velvet weight and size, and calm temperament. Deer hunting in NZ is a multi-million dollar industry. This is a paragraph from New Zealand Geographic Magazine about the game estates, "At its most profitable, keeping deer in captivity has evolved into so-called trophy farming, a niche industry catering for a small and eccentric but decidedly affluent market. There are hunters who, perhaps lacking the skills, time or stamina to pursue deer in the wild (known as fair chase), still desire trophy heads and are prepared to pay handsomely to obtain them. Some farmers—usually owners of large high country stations—have been only too happy to oblige. Under controlled conditions, the stags of the best antler-yielding bloodlines are raised for four to eight years, then, when they’ve begun to sport trophy heads, released into large fenced hunting blocks, where the wealthy headhunters can shoot them at leisure—say, between lunch and afternoon cocktails. The hunters know exactly what they’re getting since they’ve picked their trophy in an elegantly presented catalogue of heads and price tags."

According to the above article, wild deer were greatly reduced with the introduction of helicopter hunting, which is still done today.

Recognizing the commercial value of the red deer, the first deer farm was established in Mossburn:

In commercial deer farming--no doubt you've seen the huge deer farms across the South Island--deer antlers are harvested for their velvet, which is in great demand in China and Korea as a traditional medicine.
Diamantina is offline  
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