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Glazebrook: post-rut hunt
– Hunting Experiences

By early May on Poronui-owned Glazebrook Station — located on the upper Waihopai River near the South Island town of Blenheim — the free-range red stag roars and fallow buck croaks are rarely heard. The main rut is over and for many trophy hunters, they too think the hunting season is winding down. But this is not so for the canny hunter.

The Glazebrook rut is exciting, but the post-rut period, which stretches from late April through to mid-June, is also well worth booking a hunt for. There are four main reasons for this:

  1. The rut period is often fully booked. Post-rut bookings are more flexible.
  2. The wary boss stags and bucks that held hinds or does in thick cover during the rut are now out in the open, feeding intensely to regain lost body condition. They’re finally visible.
  3. Post-rut red stags, in particular, are often the biggest trophies. When the rut ends they leave their inaccessible bush rutting areas and no longer have canny female sentinels looking out for danger. Many are nomadic wanderers for a few weeks before mobbing up with other stags for winter.
  4. Glazebrook has a superb lodge. Although days are shorter and colder, there is a warm and hearty base to operate from.

Even though the rut is over, there are always a few females that weren’t bred, so boss stags and bucks are still on the lookout for animals in oestrus. Everything post-rut is much more subdued, so trophy beasts are quite happy either sitting on ridges keeping an eye out, and nose open, for breeding opportunities, or are head down feeding intensely. Spot and stalk is a sure-fire hunting technique.

The crazy season is over and post-rut it is much more relaxed. Guides often get their first look at a cunning stag or buck that eluded them in the roar at this post-rut time. The stag they nicknamed ‘Houdini’ because he outwitted them every time in his bush hideaway, is likely to be spotted feeding on a clearing in the middle of the day oblivious to danger.

Glazebrook is steep country but very negotiable, with dramatic mountain vistas forming the backdrop. Red deer and fallow deer are the main trophy species, though Arapawa rams and feral populations of wild goats and pigs are also present. Post-rut trophy hunters often take a meat animal or two during their booked hunt and, once a trophy is taken, may help with some goat control. Think outside the square at Glazebrook and you may be well rewarded.

Limited May 2021 dates available. Please contact steve@poronui.com

Greg Morton
One of New Zealand’s longest hunting/fishing profile journalists. Outdoors writer since 1987. Past positions include New Zealand correspondent for The Hunting Report; The Bird Hunting Report, and The Angling Report, and writing a regular hunting article for New Zealand Outdoor for 30 years. Presently writes a monthly article named Fair Chase for New Zealand Fishing News and a hunting blog for Poronui, while continuing his passion for hunting, fishing, and wildlife photography. Lives in Alexandra, Central Otago.
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