Hunting in New Zealand

Hunting is a popular recreational pursuit and a tourist activity in New Zealand with numerous books and magazines published on the topic. Unlike most other developed countries with a hunting tradition, there are no bag-limits or seasons for hunting large game in New Zealand while hunting in National Parks is a permitted activity. The wide variety of game animals and the limited restrictions means hunting is a popular pastime which has resulted in a high level of firearms ownership among civilians.

The opportunity for hunters to take outstanding trophies of Red Stag, Tahr, Chamois, Elk, Fallow Buck, Boar, Goat, Whitetail, Sika and Sambar will ensure an enjoyable, fun-filled New Zealand hunting safari. The hunting location is the spectacular east coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

The best time for hunting is from mid February (fall) through to August. The end of April to August is the prime time for Chamois and Tahr as this is when they have their full winter coats (manes). The rut for the Red Stag, Wapiti (Elk), and Fallow Stag is mid March until the end of April, however they can be taken all season. The other deer species rut at different times but all can be secured throughout the season.


Visitors should hire a professional guide, as New Zealand's forests and mountains are physically demanding and the high country weather is unpredictable. Local knowledge is also essential for a successful hunt.


 It is recommended that hunters use rifles of .270 minimum calibre. Ammunition is readily available for all common calibres.

On arrival, you should declare imported firearms to New Zealand Customs who will refer you to the airport police for a permit. If you don’t want to travel with your gun, professional guides can provide suitable firearms and ammunition.