New Zealand Hunting Guides & Outfitters
For more information e-mail Steuart of NZ Hunting Info Ltd
How do you locate the best outfitter for your great New Zealand hunt?
70 websites advertising outfitter services are vying for your business. Contact NZ Hunting Info Ltd , and we’ll help you narrow down the options on offer. Most USA agents represent one outfitter. It makes sense to contact New Zealanders about hunting in New Zealand.
You’ll find our comprehensive catalogue of up-to-date prices (many of which aren’t on the internet) helpful.
Our value to you is our independence. We represent many outfitters and therefore have a good overall understanding of what’s available in the New Zealand guided hunting industry.
As a general rule:
- Budget guided hunts use public land, tents or DOC huts for accommodation and can’t guarantee success.
- Premium guided hunts are on private land, provide luxury accommodation & meals, and give access to big trophy animals.
Safari Park/ Game Estate
(Hunting in game preserves on private land.)
Hunting within fenced areas is an option provided by game estates. The size of the fenced areas varies enormously from hundreds to thousands of acres. Most of the fenced areas are so large that the animals are essentially free range. All of the big game species found wild in New Zealand can be hunted in safari and game parks. However, legislation restricts the containment of any wild animal in a fenced area outside the natural range of that animal. For example sika, sambar and rusa deer cannot be hunted in the South Island because they are not naturally found in the wild in the South Island. Similarly tahr and chamois cannot be hunted in North Island safari safari game estates.
SCI Trophy Medals
Guides and outfitters use the Safari Club International (SCI) rating systems for trophy heads because these are recognised internationally. Many guides are qualified SCI Measurers.
Fees for Red Stag trophies advertised on the internet vary both by operator and size of the trophy. There are also a variety of packages advertised.
Medal SCI Score Fee Management Up to US $1500 Bronze 190-320 US $1500-US $3500 Silver 321-365 US $3500-US $6500 Gold 365 plus US $6500 upwards
Fee for a chamois trophy is usually around US$3500-4000. The industry standard minimum is SCI 22 which for a buck is usually about nine inches although bucks with a large horn cirumference could score SCI 22 with a length less than nine inches.
The industry standard minimum is 12 inches which nearly always means the bull will be of at least four years of age. Fee for a tahr trophy is usually around US$4000-5000
Top USA Fees
The following is a quote from the
Boone and Crockett Club Fair Chase magazine Fall 1999
by James M. Peek
and gives an idea of the demand for, and prices that are paid in USA, for top elk trophies
"A while back I was provided with a site on the internet where a group of hunters were discussing their elk hunting. It all had to do with 380+ point bulls-- Boone & Crockett scores-- and where to find them. This is just one bit of evidence of how high the demand can be for trophy elk. The prices that are charged on the San Carlos Apache Reservation for an elk hunt are $12,000 per hunt, with a trophy fee of up to $40,000, depending upon the size of the bull. On the White Mountain Apache Reservation, the wait list is 3 to 4 years, and sealed bids for three elk hunts went for $26,000. The competition for big white-tail bucks is at least as great, if not more so. Rates in south Texas run from $2000 to $10,000 per gun."
Free range on private land.
Free range hunting on private title is for animals that are unfenced and therefore able to move across the boundaries of these private properties. Some private titles are large enough to hold reasonable numbers of game animals even though these animals are not fenced. In the past when wild venison prices were high private properties were vulnerable to and adversely affected by poaching. But this problem has lessened with a fall in wild venison prices and with the introduction of stricter regulations on wild game recovery practices.
Free range on public land.
Guided hunt free range public land glassing for tahr.
A NZ guide using old fashioned optics.
The majority of free range hunting trips undertaken by New Zealand hunting guides on public land are in pursuit of chamois or tahr. Both of these species are hunted on the main mountain ranges of the South Island where they can usually be found above timberline. One approach is to use four wheel drive vehicles for accessing wilderness tahr hunts on the Eastern side of the main divide. However guided hunting for chamois in this manner on the Eastern side of the main divide cannot produce consistent results. Consequently most wilderness hunts for chamois on public land are conducted on the West Coast. And this requires the assistance of helicopters.
On public land the hunting guides are in direct competition for trophies with other hunters. There is no system in place for advertising hunting intentions and no exclusivity of permits. The hunting of chamois and tahr using helicopters is legal as long as the client does not shoot while the helicopter is airborne and provided the helicopter company has the appropriate licences.
The typical approach is to firstly find a trophy animal with the helicopter and then land the hunter in a position from where he can undertake a stalk. Free range trophy hunting for deer species is unusual because these animals are less commonly found above timberline and when disturbed escape into the cover of the forest. In addition stalks for red deer cannot normally be planned from riverbeds in the same way as for tahr or even chamois.
New Zealand is home to a core of traditional hunters who have little knowledge or understanding about the guided hunting industry and the culture of overseas hunters. The question sometimes arises as to what constitutes fair hunting. Many of the American hunting organizations define the meaning of "fair chase" as shown in the following examples;
'Fair chase is the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of free ranging wild game animals in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over such animals.' (Boone and Crocket Club)
'Fair chase is defined as pursuit of a free roaming animal or enclosed roaming animal possessed of the natural behavioral inclination to escape from the hunter and be fully free to do so.' ( Safari Club International)
For more information e-mail Steuart of NZ Hunting Info Ltd