NZ Hunting Season Calendar
When to hunt in New Zealand

Check out our hunting calendar. Remember the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere. 

Hunt All Year Round in New Zealand

Different species of deer can be found in hard antler practically year round in New Zealand. The main hunting is between late February and the beginning of August when Red Stag, Sika and Fallow deer are in hard antler. The rut commences mid March for Red Stags, followed a month later for Sika, Fallow and then Rusa.

January

Chamois and Tahr are both available in their summer coats.

February

The start of the hunting season. Red and Sika stags are in hard antler by the third week. A great time to look over plenty of stags in the open country and pick a really big trophy that is in good shape before the rigors of the rut.

March

Big monster. Early in the month the Sika Stags are in the open before they head to the bush pre rut. Mid March it's all on for the Red Stags with the rut reaching its peak late March and early April.

April

As the rut of the reds begin to tail off the Sika are really hitting their straps, usually towards the end of the second week. As if this is not enough, Fallow Bucks will make themselves heard before the end of the month.

May

The Red Stags move away from the hinds during May in preparation for the winter. In the South Island the Chamois and Tahr coats are in their prime. The Tahr commence their rut and bulls are generally higher in the mountains with groups of nannies.

June

In the South Island the Chamois and Tahr coats are still in their prime. Towards the end of June, expect to see stags out in the open in bachelor groups as they try to pile on condition.

July

July is a very good month to pick out a Sika or Red Stag trophy. It is amazing what wanders out from the bush now that they have lost interest in females! Tahr and Chamois coats are superb, though by now they will leave the nannies and start congretating in bachelor groups. July Rusa stags will be making the odd grunt or two as they practice for the rut.

August

Last chance for a big Red Stag as the antlers will start dropping by the second week of the month. The smaller stags will not shed until September but the really big boys are a couple of weeks earlier. The Rusa have come out of the woodwork and are grunting up a storm.

September

There are still great opportunities for Chamois, Tahr, and Rusa

October

Probably the last really good month for Tahr and Chamois, as their coats are climate-dependent and will start to change in the coming months. Rusa and Sambar are still available and if fishing is on the program the new season gets underway 1 October.

November

Rusa are the main trophy option in November. The spring growth drags the stags out onto the grass as they recover condition after the rut. It is also a popular time for a spring meat hunt.

December

Rusa and a spring meat hunt are the pre-Christmas highlights. It ispossible to get Chamois and Tahr in their summer coats.

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