Bow hunting in New Zealand has grown in popularity with international clients coming over to hunt with New Zealand hunting outfitters and guides. While bow hunting is extremely popular within North America, it is still a relatively small number of hunters who will choose this method when traveling outside of their country on a hunting safari.
Some New Zealand hunting guides and outfitters will advertise bow hunting in New Zealand as their main method of safari hunting. Some hunts can be more bow hunting friendly than others, hunters really do need to find out all the information before booking an international hunt with the intent of using a bow and arrow.
Some considerations to think about before bow hunting in New Zealand or any international hunt:
- Have your done your home work on the game you are interested in hunting and success rate with a bow on that animal? Some Outfitters will only hunt certain ways and areas which can directly effect your success rates. It’s important to know exactly what you are in for, once you have paid a deposit it is too late to find out the truth.
- Are you confident shoting out to 60 yards? Many shots, especially on mountain animals in more open country will be between 40-60 yards.
- Will you be sitting in a blind or spot and stalk? This will predict shooting distances, and your potential shooting position (i.e standing, sitting, kneeling). Be sure you really practice these distances and positions before your hunt.
- Professional hunting outfitters will have a wounding policy, you will really want to know this before you start hunting.
- Are you prepared to go the whole hunt and not get a shot on your animal? Do you pay regardless of whether you are successful or not? Many of our hunters will spend 2-4 days hunting with a bow and if unsuccessful will pick up a rifle. The purist will be prepared to stick it out the whole hunt without even drawing their string.
- How many days can you spend on one animal? This can affect your hunt if you are going for multiple animals.
- Are you prepared to be happy with possibly a lesser quality trophy and be successful? This is often never talked about, especially on free range wild animals as typically you will have one opportunity on a hunt to make it happen. A lot of the time the trophy animal you are after will not get into a comfortable bow range.
- Know what bow size and arrow heads to use. Some animals are a lot tougher than others.
- Time of year? Many think that during the rut for most game animals is the best time to hunt with a bow. We’ve found with bow hunting pre and post rut can be more successful when animal movement is a lot more predictable with less eyes.
- Overall quality of the hunt, what is it you’re really looking for? There’s a lot of hunting outfitters out there, from budget options to high quality professional guides and operations. Use a lot of references to make up your own mind and don’t be swayed by the sales pitch.
- Ask specifically for references who bow hunted with the outfitter you are evaluating and call them. Ask about their experiences and success rates.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.