Free-ranging and preserve herds
This New Zealand outfitter offers free-range red deer, tahr, chamois, fallow deer, fishing and more. Preserve hunts are also available
We have openings for red deer and tahr in free-range areas as well as red stag in intensively managed preserves. You also can combine your stag hunt with a hunt for tahr, chamois and fallow deer or with a fishing trip for trout or ocean game fish.
Red deer hunting takes place on private land. Because hunting pressure is limited, the properties hold a healthy population of stags with a good number of mature animals. Most hunters take stags from 6 to 8 years old with 6x6 to 7x7 racks with main beams averaging about 40 inches long. The animals are impressive when they roar during the rut. Calling them close can be difficult, but they are vocal enough that stalking is usually effective.
Our outfitter hunts properties from 20,000 to 100,000 private acres. There is good 4x4 access with a lot of hunting on foot. Accommodations vary from rough cabins to nice lodges, depending on the property.
Normally the good stags on free range measure 250 to 300 SCI. A better scoring rack might be an 8x8 to 9x9.
See the right column for some current prices.
Occasionally upgrades and add-ons are available, depending on the property. We can hunt from late February through to March, main rut April, post rut May and June. Best time for stag is mid-March through late April. There is good hunting before and after the rut, even in July.
Normally stags are in bachelor groups outside the rut, and hunters target the biggest stags. Hunter success rate is 80 to 90 percent on good stags, 6x5 or better.
You can add tahr to your red deer hunt for an additional fee or book a tahr-only hunt. You'll hunt tahr on foot on private land covering 50,000 to 60,000 acres.
"We try to take bull tahr at least 7 years old," the outfitter said. "They're basically a mountain goat from central Asia and are impressive trophies, typically weighing 300 to 350 pounds with a big, hairy, fluffy coat and a nice set of horns."
You can hunt year round, but the main time is March until September. The tahr rut is May and June. Mostly spot-and-stalk hunting. Tahr have excellent eyesight. The early season in March and April offers a good chance for an archer because the tahr are in the brush and have feeding patterns. Rifle hunting is excellent all the time.