The Seasons, The Weather And The Rut | New Zealand Hunt Planner

 

They say that timing is everything.  Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s hard to deny that timing in hunting, as well as almost every other aspect of life, is critical if you are trying to stack the odds of success in your favor.

 

If you are trying to figure out when to go to New Zealand, there are three basic criteria that I suggest considering in order to make your decision -- the seasons, the weather and the rut.  Let's take a quick look at each one and I'll offer my recommendations on how to prioritize each one.

 

Seasons 

One of the most exciting aspects of hunting in New Zealand for the Northern Hemisphere (American) hunter is the ability to hunt prime fall hunting seasons during the off season.

 

In case you didn’t know...March, April and May are fall in New Zealand, while September, October and November are New Zealand’s springtime.

 

To add to the list of opposites, in New Zealand the sun rotates...

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New Zealand's Big Game Animals | New Zealand Hunt Planner

 

There are a whole pile of non-native critters that have been introduced into the wilds of New Zealand and are considered “noxious animals” by the Department of Conservation (DOC). 

 

All large mammals in New Zealand are open for hunting year round, with very few exceptions.

 

Here is a partial list of those animals.  These are the more popular species among hunters:

 

  • Himalayan Tahr
  • Chamois
  • Red Deer
  • Fallow Deer
  • Sika Deer
  • Sambar Deer
  • Rusa Deer
  • Elk (Wapiti)
  • Whitetail Deer
  • Feral Goat
  • Feral Sheep (Merino, Arapawa)
  • Feral Pig


Lets jump in and take a look at each one as a possible target species for a DIY hunter.

 

Himalayan Tahr

Location -- South Island

Public Land, DIY Opportunity -- High

Himalayan Tahr are a fantastic mountain game animal.  They are quite literally the king of the mountain...as long as that mountain is located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

 

Tahr are a large wild goat with a full bristling mane and a...

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Getting Started | New Zealand Hunt Planner

 

New Zealand has so much opportunity for the DIY, public land hunter, its amazing that it doesn't get more attention from American hunters. 

 

Consider this: travel to the country is relatively easy, NZ's hunting regulations are minimal and the number of game species and amount of game is high -- all of this in a beautiful country full of very friendly people and with an exchange rate that makes hunting out of country very economical for the adventurous US hunter.

 

Here are some of the important things to know about when getting started:

 

Available Species

Tahr, chamois, red deer and fallow deer seem to be the most commonly hunted species by international hunters.  There is good reason for this.

 

Tahr and chamois are the most common and accessible mountain game in New Zealand - and some of the finest mountain species in the world.  Similarly, red deer and fallow deer are the most common and accessible deer species,...

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