Hunting in New Zealand with a professionally registered guide prices and packages are mostly quoted in U.S dollars. Depending on the quality of the hunt pricing is typically based on a daily rate which will include a professional guide, meals, accommodation, transportation, local taxes, field preparation of trophies, transportation. And a trophy fee which is typically one set prices per trophy animal, or with the larger fair chase Estate Red Stags and Elk on class size based on inches of antler growth. Packages will typically be combined when hunters pursue 2 or more game animals, which work to be at a combined discounted rate.
New Zealand has been home to the Red Deer species since the the 1860`s with different liberations. Since that time this deer species has now become wide spread throughout both Islands. The second largest of the deer species the highest numbers are on the South Island, with differant blood lines from their liberation the Stags (males) antlers are a prized trophy by hunters as well as their meat. A mature Stag will have between 5-8 points on either side of his antlers in the wild, on the private Estates they can grow over 15 points per sized and commonly measured in the global S.C.I system, or Douglas score by local hunters. Due to the lack of game management in New Zealand the older and larger heads are found predominantly on private land due to no hunting season. The hinds (females) give birth to their calves from late October, with the mating season (roar) from March to April each year.
There are 7 different deer species in New Zealand which are Elk, Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Sika Deer, Sambar Deer, Rusa Deer, Whitetail Deer. Of these species the Sika, Sambar and Rusa deer species are only found in the central North Island, and the Whitetail in the lower part of the Southern Island. Elk, Red, and Fallow are on both Island, although all the species are more concentrated in certain areas than wide spread throughout the country. Deer can be found on both government and privately owned land though due to over hunting the larger populations are found on the private farms and stations where there is more of a management system in place.
Hunting in New Zealand there are two experiences that can be combined or preferred, this comes in the form of free range or on fair chase Estates. It is important firstly that hunters understand how the system works in new Zealand, with there being for the larger part no legal season. This has over many years heavily impacted on the quality of the game in particular the deer species on government land, with the heavy culling that took place up until the early 90’s. Taking out many of the older dominant deer and over hunting has resulted in trophy heads from lesser males breeding to now be missing points, thin main beams and with Fallow Bucks small palmation.
Government land has seen this more so than private land in recent times with hunters taking young animals, and hunting deer over those summer months putting pressure on those good feed areas deer need to grow an exceptional trophy head. This has resulted in the rise in private land areas including game Estates. Many of the larger farms or Stations particularly in the South Island that have these wild game animals on their properties now restrict hunting to only professional guides where they will pay a trophy fee per animal. This gives a game animal a very high value to a framers income and thus becomes a form of management. The animals then get a chance to not only have access to quality feed, but also grow a lot older without the constant hunting pressure as the typical guiding season for professional guides is from late February-August.
The Estates now have become the most popular for hunters, due to the management in place and exceptional deer genetics introduced into the hunting herds the males grow exceptionally larger antlers than that of the free range. Typically there is a 6ft boundary fence around the hunting area which contains most of these animals ensuring the quality of the herd, keeping out public hunters, and giving clients the option of looking over many high quality deer.
Arapawa Sheep originated from a fine-wooled breed of merino sheep from Europe.
Liberated onto Arapawa Island at the top of the South Island as food for returning whalers and sealers they soon adapted well to their surroundings.
The rams have the nickname “rasta ram” due to its long matted wool and huge 1 1/2 curl plus horns with heavy bases. These large curled horns make them an incredibly attractive and sought after trophy animal.