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Poronui Venison Hunt
– Hunting Experiences

Mid to late spring is a great time to harvest venison. Winter is over and new grass is beginning to appear in clearings, on open flats, and under vegetation. In New Zealand, spring incorporates the months of September, October, and November and during these months deer start popping out wherever green tinges begin to appear. At Poronui, spring venison hunts are popular with New Zealand hunters.

Picture of venison to hunt in Poronui


On the hunting day the guests will be picked up from their on-site accommodation by an experienced Poronui hunting guide. The guides know the property well and will take hunters to the current deer-feeding hotspot. Safari Camp guests have the best location in the house as they are literally staying amongst the local sika down by the trout-rich Mohaka River. This is a great base for father/child, and friends’ meat hunts. Over a shared breakfast, the day’s hunting plan is presented, and the care of weapons guidelines and general hunting safety rules are also clearly explained. At this point, the guide is now responsible for the clients’ personal safety on the hill.  Food and drinks are provided by the lodge and the guide carries a radio. Harvested animals will be butchered, and then taken to the chiller. Clothing worn needs to be warm, and quiet, and good boots are an asset.

Common Fallow Buck Deer in Poronui

The Quarry

Sika and fallow venison are amongst the best venison types in New Zealand so harvesting an animal of either species is a good decision. On a meat hunt, hunters are mainly looking for a non-trophy young male animal or a fat yearling female. The hunting guide will make the final call. Photographs of deer accompanying this blog show good meat animals. Free range sika are a cunning and wary deer species, but in spring they crave food and this makes them more vulnerable to ambush and spot and stalk hunting techniques. They become more predictable in their feeding patterns at this time of the year and there are more yearlings on the wander as new fawns are replacing them in the family unit. Good optics are invaluable both for finding deer and then selecting the right deer to harvest.

Quarry Poronui Venison Hunt

A Typical Venison Hunt

Dark was only an hour or so away when my guide parked his truck in cover. Our goal on this night was a meat animal, in this case a fat fallow yearling doe we had observed from a far ridge. The brisk wind was in our face so we trusted the guide’s vizsla dog to tell us when we were getting close. Twenty minutes later and with darkness nearly upon us the dog slowed and stared downhill intently. The doe was there gazing up at us from some light scrub. An offhand shot brought success, a quick photo was taken and then once butchered the deer was taken back to the Poronui chiller. It was left to hang and a couple of days later the venison was off home with me*.


Greg Morton
Previously New Zealand correspondent for USA based publications The Hunting Report; The Bird Hunting Report and The Angling Report, Presently writes a monthly article named Fair Chase for New Zealand Fishing News and a hunting blog for Poronui.
*Please note that it may be difficult to expedite the meat from your hunt. It depends on customs regulations in your home country. We do not recommend trying to expedite large quantities of meat.
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