The Pursuit of a New Slam: New Zealand

By Harrison Hoegh

Now that the Iowa seasons are over, I am lucky enough to continue to hunt through the winter months. I arrived in New Zealand on January fourth. I am studying in New Zealand until June but do not start classes until February seventeenth. This gives me a month and a half to trap possums and hunt tahr and red deer. Over the next six months Max and I will attempt to successfully hunt these four species. There are other species to hunt in New Zealand, including Wapiti and whitetail deer, but the four we are after are not limited hunts and are found in good numbers on public land. Also, I plan to hunt all four with my bow.

Red Deer

The Red deer is likely the most iconic species to hunt in New Zealand. Reds grow to trophy size in New Zealand and are common all over the country. Max has shot several reds because it is legal to hunt them year round, but has not killed a trophy during hard antler. The past two seasons he has shot large stags during the roar in April but was unable to recover them. I will get a week off in April to hunt the reds during their rut (the roar), which will be an exciting time to hunt. I should be also able to hunt some reds for meat as well in the next five months.

Himalayan Tahr

The Himalayan tahr is the species I am the most excited to hunt. New Zealand is the only place to hunt tahr and they live high in the mountains of the South Island. Their long manes and size make them a captivating animal. Three years ago Max and I hiked up to the peaks of the West Coast to hunt these large mountain goats. We saw quite a few but left empty handed. In the next few weeks I will go on a tahr hunting trip before classes begin.

Fallow deer

Fallow deer are smaller than Reds but are a unique looking deer and common to many of our hunting locations. Max has shot a fair number of fallow, and more than likely we will hunt these on weekends in pursuit of meat.

Chamois

Chamois are also found in the high country of the South Island. Neither Max nor I have hunted Chamois. Chamois are on the bottom of the list, but we will pursue them in May and June if we have shot the other three species and have meat in the freezer.

Since the fourth of January Max and I went on a possum trapping/rafting trip and a deer hunting trip as well. Rafting out of the Wanganui and getting opportunities on red deer was awesome. I look forward to sharing our adventures in the next few months. Every hunt will be on the public land of New Zealand and won’t require any purchases of tags, I hope to detail how to inexpensively and effectively hunt in New Zealand. Thanks for reading, if you have any questions please comment below.

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