Free Range Sambar in New Zealand are found only in the central North Island of the country. Originally from Sri Lanka they are much bigger in body size than the Red Deer but antlers formation is typically heavy 3×3 in points. There are 2 Sambar deer herds that still exist free range which are populated more in small scattered numbers than large hearts and predominantly on private farm land. The deer prefer native vegetation for habitat, resting during the day and feeding at night which make them Sambar Stags one of the most challenging species to hunt in New Zealand. Growing larger trophy heads than their Australian cousins the Sambar deer rut is from June- late August/ September.