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NZ Hunting Guidebook
Poronui, NZ
-38.974218, 176.292992
Your guide to hunting in New Zealand

At Poronui Hunting we want to make your New Zealand hunting trip as memorable and as easy as possible. And if you’re looking to hunt for a red stag trophy,  you’ve come to the right place!

It’s important you have the right clothing and equipment for the climate and the hunting terrain in New Zealand. The weather can change suddenly, especially in the forest or at high elevation, so you need to be prepared. Four seasons in one day is a phrase that could have been coined to describe New Zealand, and, remember, the seasons are opposite those of the northern hemisphere.

New Zealand is a small mountainous country, and our climate is heavily influenced by maritime conditions. As a result, weather conditions can fluctuate significantly at any time of the year, and it pays to be prepared.

The terrain can be challenging and a good level of fitness is recommended, especially when stalking a stag over a couple of days. You’ll be traversing hillsides, dropping over mountains, and creeping through streams and gorges in search of your trophy stag.


When is the best time to hunt in New Zealand?

Different species of deer can be found in hard antler practically all-year round in New Zealand. The main hunting season 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.

Select a month below
Best for: Red stag, Sika

Big monster. Early in the month the sika stags are in the open before they head to the bush before the rut. Mid-March it's all on for the red stags with the rut reaching its peak in late March and early April.

What to bring to NZ checklist
  • A good wind-proof, water-proof shell layer is essential at any time.
  • Layering for the conditions is preferable to wearing a heavily insulated coat, as, even in the middle of winter, a warm day would make this unbearable on the hill. This allows you to be comfortable during the chill of an early morning frost and then strip a layer or two off later as temperatures rise.
  • Camouflage-patterned clothing is an advantage but not essential, though colors need to be dull greens, browns, or olive if camouflage isn’t worn.
  • Solid footwear is important. Boots with good ankle support and a firm sole with good grip are very important, particularly in the steeper conditions found in the South Island.
  • Most New Zealand hunting is spot and stalk. Good binoculars are essential for spotting animals, with 10*40s ideal.
  • A spotting scope is ideal for judging trophies from a distance.

We work with some of the leading taxidermists in New Zealand, and can easily arrange to have your trophy mounted and sent to you back home. Taxidermy of a big stag usually costs around US$1,000. Subsequent animals are less.


If you prefer to expedite your trophy to your preferred taxidermist at home, we can help arrange this for you for an additional fee. The expediter will do the paperwork, pack the animal into the crate, and send it. Please note that meat can’t be exported to the United States.

Firearms & licensing

We recommend flat shooting calibres, such as .300 Winchester magnum, which will cope with the range of species and terrain found in New Zealand. Visitors to New Zealand bringing firearms or ammunition must obtain a visitors firearms licence.

Licences can be obtained online. We recommend applying well in advance of your trip to ensure there are no issues. Note that if you intend to use a firearm and ammunition supplied by our lodges you will not require a visitor’s licence. In this instance you are under the active supervision of your guide and do not need an individual licence.

New travel rules for New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has introduced a new travel requirement for some visitors and transit passengers. It’s called the NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority), and travelers need to request theirs via the official mobile app or website. Approval can take up to 72 hours, so get yours before you go.

The NZeTA is required for travel from 1 October 2019.

Visit to find out if you need one.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are typical gratuities on a New Zealand hunting trip?
On average, our hunting clients tip the guides around $100 per day.
When are the New Zealand seasons?
The New Zealand seasons are opposite to the USA / northern hemisphere. Summer runs from December to February, fall from March to May, winter from June to August, and spring from September to November.
Get In Touch

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