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Red Stags in New Zealand
– About

From their first introduction in 1880, the account of the Red Stag in New Zealand is a fascinating wildlife story.

The advocates of releasing deer to the wild in NZ did not anticipate how quickly the deer population would increase and how devastating they would become to the natural environment. In response, the Government introduced a deer culling regime which was the early beginnings of New Zealand’s unique hunting culture.

At first Red Deer were protected so as to create hunting conditions in similar alignment with hunting enjoyed by the English gentry. However in the absence of natural predators the deer population flourished in the NZ wilderness, and so commercial deer hunting was born.

Over the past 130 odd years the commercial value of deer has gone through a number of phases. Initially venison was supplied to the Black Forest German meat market and this was followed by the highly exciting and infamous period of live helicopter recovery of deer – for venison and to develop deer farming. At this point feral herds became decimated and the introduction of top genetics to kick start commercial deer farming was the eventual demise of live deer capture by helicopter.

Some time ago Poronui Hunting was fortunate to acquire the best Red Deer genetics available in New Zealand and through our herd management we are now producing the best of the trophy quality animals in New Zealand. We are very pleased with the prospects for next year, it is an exciting time in the industry with the SCI record for Red Stags being eclipsed year on year.

In recent years there has been significant growth in the commercial hunting arena where hunters from other countries visit NZ to hunt big antlered red stags that have been raised on farm and released into hunting parks. The feral herd has to be managed in this way as our hunting culture does not allow the red stags to reach maturity to gracefully display their magnificent antler in the feral situation. We do have an improved quality of antler emerging from the feral herd also and some very nice free range stags are being taken. The gold plus along with the full range of stags are hunted in privately owned parks which comply with agreed regulations set out by the outfitters who are members of the Association of Game Estates.

Although Red Stags are generally the main target, Poronui provide all the hunting options available in New Zealand through our prestigious lodges and private properties in both Islands.

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