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The Famous NZ Hunting Ground – One Tree Ridge

The Poronui hunting estate is a huge expanse of quality big game habitat. It encompasses 3,000 acres clothed in a diversity of low and high native and exotic vegetation. The terrain is moderately steep with interlocking ridges connecting individual basins. Using the ridges to access game, makes great sense and one famous hunting ridge is known as One Tree Ridge.

One Tree Ridge Deer Hunting Blog.

A Mighty Warrior

At some point every hunter who enters the estate will pass by a fenced off iconic tree that grows in solitary isolation on a prominent hunting lookout ridge. It sits at the heart of some of the best hunting I have ever experienced. This wind battered tree survivor is a remnant beech tree from the logging era of decades ago and its shrunken condition reflects its age Mostly trunk now it survives at the intersection point of two important access tracks. Turn right at the base of the tree and you are heading for the famous Sika Stag Gully and the sweeping flats at the back of the property while turning left will see you access the tops of several basins and ultimately the game rich area I call The Grove. The country out past the Grove is where the main red deer and rusa herds are located.

Single Tree on Grey Background in Poronui One Tree Ridge

Bush Basin

Hunters heading to One Tree Ridge will access the estate through a gate only ten minutes from the Lodge. As soon as the gate shuts you will be in hunting mode as an amazing rutting spot is only fifteen minutes away. Out to the right is a large native forest area that is one of the three main locations where fallow buck form harems. It is called Bush Basin. Three creeks create drainages of their own under the forest canopy and within each territory dominant bucks will be croaking their hearts out and agitated does will be plentiful. Some great trophies have been taken here. The other deer species that like this hotspot are red stag and sika. Game numbers here are high.

Majestic Deer on top of NZ land.

The Boxing Ring

If your guide has to leave Bush Basin because the wind is wrong then another nearby basin is just behind the famous solitary beech tree at the crest of the ridge. The bottom of this second basin is quite open and grassy, and the edges of the big clearing are bush fringed. Like a boxing ring. Because it is an intersection point, aggressive males often encounter each other on this clearing and if evenly matched a turf battle follows. I have watched both red stags and fallow bucks fight here while I sat above them on the ridge. It is a great spot to encounter wandering trophies as they travel from one basin to another looking for females.
The tree itself has a 360 degree view of the estate so also makes a great location to use the spotting scope to locate faraway stags or bucks and plan a hunting strategy.

Hunted Deer in Grass

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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