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    Hunting New Zealand: Planning Guide & Frequently Asked Questions

    New Zealand Luxury Escapes offers exclusive hunting New Zealand vacation packages.

    Hunting in New Zealand is both a fantastic way to get outdoors and a means of helping conservation efforts in controlling pest populations. With breathtaking landscapes and an abundance of game, a New Zealand hunting tour is sure to be unforgettable.

    Read on for planning information and frequently asked questions on New Zealand hunting, including:

    • What animals can you hunt in New Zealand?
    • Where can you hunt in New Zealand?
    • Can you hunt in New Zealand without a guide?

    Frequently Asked Questions on Hunting New Zealand

    hunting New Zealand

    General Questions on New Zealand Hunting

    New Zealand is one of the most affordable and rewarding places to hunt in the world. With extremely high success rates and breathtaking wilderness, hunting in New Zealand is guaranteed to be an incredible experience. The below information will help you figure out logistics as you plan your NZ hunting trip.

    Is hunting legal in New Zealand?

    Yes, hunting is legal in New Zealand. However, you either need a valid New Zealand firearms license or a guide with a license. Therefore, we recommend all visitors book a hunting tour. Your guide can also ensure you follow all rules, such as those around hunting after dark and spotlighting on conservation land.

    Can you hunt in New Zealand without a guide?

    If you hunt in New Zealand without a guide, you will be hunting on conservation land rather than on private reserves. To do this, you will require:

    However, you will find game much sparser on conservation land, because these areas are heavily hunted, including by helicopter. We recommend hunting as part of a tour; these often take you to private reserves.

    Do you tip hunting guides?

    In New Zealand, tipping is neither required nor expected. However, if you feel your hunting guide has done an exceptional job, tips are welcomed. The amount is up to your discretion, as there is no standard percentage here.

    What animals can you hunt in New Zealand?

    You can hunt the following introduced mammals:

    • Deer
    • Tahr
    • Chamois
    • Feral Pigs
    • Wallabies
    • Feral Goats
    • Feral Sheep
    • Rabbits and Hares

    What birds can you shoot in New Zealand?

    You can hunt these gamebirds:

    • Paradise Shelduck
    • Mallard
    • Grey and Shoveler Duck
    • Black Swan
    • Pheasant
    • Quail
    • Canada Goose
    • Feral Goose

    You cannot hunt most native species, as these are protected under the Wildlife Act. The penalty for killing protected wildlife is up to 2 years in prison or a fine of up to NZD$100,000.

    Where can I hunt in NZ?

    If you have a firearms license and a permit, you can hunt on any conservation land in New Zealand. Otherwise, most hunting tours take place on private land across both islands.

    Top New Zealand hunting lodges include:

    • Minaret Station, Wanaka (South Island)
    • Poronui Lodge, Taupo (North Island)
    • Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua (North Island)
    • Woodbury Safari Lodge, Canterbury (South Island)
    • Manuka Point Lodge, Canterbury (South Island)

    The South Island offers an abundance of easily accessible wilderness rich with game, while the North Island’s temperate forests teem with uncommon species such as sambar deer, rusa deer, and sika deer.

    How much does it cost to hunt in New Zealand?

    Hunting tour packages range from NZD$750 to NZD$22,000. However, most fall between NZD$4,000 and NZD$13,000. Often these are multi-day hunting packages including lodge accommodation and meals.

    In general, New Zealand is a surprisingly affordable hunting destination with a success rate near 100%. The high success rate is because New Zealand’s introduced big game has no natural predators, so numbers flourish in wild areas.

    Our hunting tours also include sightseeing to make the most of your stay in New Zealand. Enquire now for a custom quote.

    Can you bring back meat from New Zealand?

    To bring back game meat from New Zealand to the US, you must:

    • Have your meat prepared and labeled by a licensed butcher
    • Declare your meat at customs upon arrival

    Most hunting guides partner with licensed butchers to make the process easy and straightforward.

    * * *

    Questions on Red Deer Hunting

    hunting red deer in New Zealand

    Red deer are New Zealand’s premier game animal. Read on for information about hunting this remarkable species.

    Where can I hunt red stag in New Zealand?

    Red deer are the most widespread deer species in New Zealand, with established populations in forest and tussock country from the Kaimai Range on the North Island to Stewart Island at the southern end of the South Island.

    The only areas with few or no red deer are:

    • Northland
    • The Coromandel Peninsula
    • Taranaki
    • The Banks Peninsula

    When can you hunt red stag in NZ?

    There are no seasonal hunting restrictions for red deer in New Zealand. However, the most popular time to hunt red stag is during the roar, when stags are at their most vocal as they call for mates. The roar lasts for approximately 4 weeks, from late March through April. The stags are at their most vocal during the middle 2 weeks.

    How much does it cost to shoot a red stag in New Zealand?

    In New Zealand, you don’t need to pay a specific price to shoot a red stag. This is because red deer and other large game animals are introduced pest species.

    Instead, you simply book a hunting tour package that includes guided hunting, accommodation, and meals.

    Are red stag native to New Zealand?

    No. New Zealand has no native mammals except bats, so all large game species have been introduced. This includes red deer.

    Are deer pests in NZ?

    Yes, deer are pests in New Zealand, because they browse heavily on native plant species and cause damaging changes to ecosystems. In the past, deer have been heavily culled to reduce their impact on the environment.

    What is a trophy red stag?

    The antlers are the major trophy on a red stag. A highly sought-after mature red stag trophy has 12 points and a heavy, thick spread.

    Is red stag meat good?

    Red stag meat is among the best tasting venison in the world. Often served as a restaurant delicacy, this tender meat is rich in taste, low in fat, and high in protein.

    * * *

    Questions on Other Animals you can Hunt in New Zealand

    In addition to red deer, tahr and chamois are highly popular game animals in New Zealand.

    Are tahr native to New Zealand?

    Tahr are native to the Himalayan ranges in Nepal and India. In New Zealand, these introduced goat-like animals are found in the central Southern Alps.

    Where can I hunt chamois in NZ?

    Chamois range throughout the high mountains of the South Island, as well as some lowland forests, especially on the West Coast.

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    Planning your New Zealand Hunting Tour

    Treetops Hunting Lodge and Estate Rotorua
    Treetops Hunting Lodge & Estate Rotorua

    Browse our New Zealand hunting itineraries for a luxury hunting experience.

    You may also wish to read about top wilderness and hunting lodges in New Zealand.

    Or discover the best New Zealand hunting experiences.

    Contact New Zealand Luxury Escapes today to begin planning your luxury hunting tour.

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