New Zealand is a very popular destination for the hunting enthusiast and hosts some of the finest trophy hunting in the world.
Throughout the 19th century, British settlers introduced many game species to New Zealand. The rich habitat and lush vegetation have led to many of these species exceeding size and population norms found elsewhere. The hunting enthusiast can indulge in hunting a vast variety of species from big game such as deer, pigs, wild bulls and goats, to pest species such as rabbit and possum.
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New Zealand Big Game Species:
There are 12 species of big game available to the hunter in New Zealand:
Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Whitetail Deer, Sambar Deer, Rusa Deer, Sika Deer, Wapiti, Austrian Chamois, Himalayan Thar, South Pacific Goat, Wild Pig, and Wild Bulls. All provide good trophies and many have exceeded the trophy potential of their country of origin.
The Game-hunting Season runs from February to June each Year.
Due to the increasing numbers of some game birds in New Zealand, you will find more and more hunters and fisherman that include bird shooting on their activity list every season. Species:
Pheasant (ring-necked, mutant and black). Quail (Californian and Bob White). Peacock Wild Turkey –hunting season is from early spring, July through to December when the animals are all puffed up and a-strutting, limit of three birds per day. You will find these game bird species on farmland, in the North Island mainly. Duck (Mallard, Spoonbill, Native Gray and Black Swan) – hunting season is primarily from early May to July. Paradise Shelduck – hunting can be arranged from February to September, limited to 15-20 a day. Canada Goose – hunting can be arranged from February to November, no limits.
A reasonable standard of fitness is required to tackle the native New Zealand bush. Dense rainforest, steep hills and sudden weather changes ensure a really challenging hunt. Silent bush stalking techniques are necessary.
Equipment and Supplies
Our seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. Layered clothing with waterproofed outer layers is essential when facing the meteorological extremes that New Zealand can impose. Comfortable and waterproof boots are essential.
We recommend employing guides for obvious reasons and there are a number of full-time professional hunting guides available. We only recommend guides who have all the required certificates and proper authority to hunt the land. They all have extensive knowledge of head skinning and trophy preparation.
There are usually no problems if you wish to bring a rifle to New Zealand. However, a Tourist Firearms License must be obtained from the police on arrival. It is necessary to bring your current firearms permit or license with you. Firearms themselves are not registered in New Zealand but the owner is. Most guides can provide you with rifles on request.
Hunting on private blocks is a fair chase and offers the excitement of tracking and the thrill of the hunt. The guides will make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable hunt. Access can be gained by four-wheel drive vehicle and the country on private land is often less difficult.
Charges for a guide vary depending on the services and species being hunted and include food, equipment, and accommodation on the hunt. Trophy fees vary depending on location and what may have been done to improve bloodlines, or what the landowner has done to improve the animals numbers.
If you wish to stay in luxury accommodation and travel by aircraft or helicopter to quickly hunt several species within a short time period, then this will be reflected in the cost.