Wild Goats in New Zealand

For more information e-mail   Steuart   of NZ Hunting Info Ltd

This one looks a bit surprised.
black billy
What about this one?.
goat trophy

Goats (Capra hircus) are widespread throughout New Zealand and while plentiful, their distribution is somewhat localised. Many hunters rightly consider a billy goat head a worthwhile addition to their trophy collection.

New Zealand wild goats are a mixture of breeds including stock that was released over 150 years ago. In the 1980s the commercial goat-farming industry collapsed and many domesticated goats were released into the wild by frustrated farmers. However, in spite of the fact that goat numbers are high in some places, trophy heads are hard to get because the good ones are quickly shot out.

Government agencies consider that wild goats on public land are unwanted and consequently fund programs to eradicate them. The Department of Conservation contracts foot shooters to hunt wild goats in several target areas including the West Coast, Marlborough and Taranaki. However, DOC has limited resources so these eradication programs tend to focus only on those areas that are considered to have high ecological values. In other ’lower value’ areas, wild goats can reach high numbers because they have been passed over by DOC.

A wise looking billy but what happened to his horns?
standing billy
A first time trophy.
A first trophy.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) will readily supply information on hotspots because it doesn’t have the funds to carry out operations against all wild goats in all problem areas. And hunters should also be aware that some eradication programs are contracted out to private pest control companies. It is therefore a good idea to contact DOC to find out where goat numbers are high and whether control operations have been carried out in the area you wish to hunt.

In some parts of New Zealand, DOC manages special programs using Judas goats fitted with orange radio-transmitting collars. If you shoot one of these Judas goats, contact DOC and return the collar. DOC will supply you with some interesting information about the history of the goat that was wearing the collar.


For more information e-mail   Steuart   of NZ Hunting Info Ltd