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The North Island Grand Slam
– Hunting Experiences

There is more than Red Stags to New Zealand hunting. Challenge yourself to hunt the North Island Grand Slam – that is five trophy deer species out of the seven that occupy various areas of the country, red stag, sika stag, fallow buck, rusa stag and sambar stag. The bulk of these species are concentrated in the central part of the island, coming in handy for adventure seekers wanting to take up the challenge and add all five of them to their bucket list.

Poronui is excited to offer the opportunity to hunt the grand slam of North Island deer species. The trip is timed for July 2024, as rusa and sambar will be rutting and all five North Island species will have hard antler – Rusa and sambar are in velvet during the fall rut period for red stag. The other species will be in bachelor groups at this time occupying the fringes of open country as they feed up after the rut. It is a great time to look over numbers of stags side by side, an opportunity not to be missed.

A couple of red stag in a field

The Poronui 5 North Island Grand Slam Trophy Package

The Poronui grand slam hunting package has been created to enable hunters to take all five species in one hunt. The key points of the package are as follows. The Poronui 5 North Island Grand Slam Trophy Package will apply only during the months June, July and August.  The hunt is a seven-night duration though it can be extended, and species can be added or upgraded. One trophy of each grand slam species is the goal – how many will you get?

beautiful trophy hunted in poronui

A Prime Hunting Time

Based on what I have experienced on past Poronui visits at this time of year, it is a prime hunting opportunity. My viewpoint is based on two key factors. Firstly, the red stags, sika stags and fallow bucks are mobbed up in species-specific bachelor groups replenishing weight lost over the rut and this makes them visible and vulnerable, making trophy comparison easy. Secondly, it is the rut time for rusa and sambar which means these wary species will be making noise, wandering in the open and appearing around family groups areas seeking females. The days are shorter, but the Lodge is right on site, so travel is minimal and the atmosphere makes the experience, one of a kind.

Poronui is an iconic property seeped in big game hunting and trout fishing history. Four of the five North Island deer species live on the property itself. The hunting area is a mix of forest, grass clearings, regenerating scrub, and valleys and it is well-tracked. The terrain is a series of rolling creases and folds and makes spot and stalk hunts exciting and challenging. Shooting range is usually between 100 to 250 metres.

prime trophy hunting

The Grand Slam Deer Species

Sika are the most numerous species and are abundant throughout the property. The quality is excellent. Animals shot here are as big as they get in New Zealand, some monsters have been taken these past few weeks! Red stag quality is extremely good with the best stags reaching over 700 SCI in size. Fallow deer are plentiful, mostly of the common and black phases and trophy quality is strong – their incredible palmation, is hard to resist. Fallow love feeding on new grass appearing on cutover slopes and this is reflected in the size of antlers being grown.

Rusa are usually found at the northern end of the property living on north-orientated sunny faces, which include thick cover, open ridges and scattered clearings. This native Asian deer species does not like the cold, and as the rut intensifies, the sunny gaps and clearings in the bush are where the alert hunter is likely to find his trophy. One of the best photographs I have ever taken of a rusa stag at Poronui was taken during a heavy snowstorm. Sambar is the only species hunted off site and that nearby property has good numbers of high trophy quality animals. Evening and early morning hunts are best for this wary quarry.

I encourage you to enquire now, as limited opportunities are available for this incredible adventure. Make the trip of a lifetime and hunt all 5 North Island species.

red stag walking around a field

Greg Morton: A New Zealand correspondent for the USA based publications The Hunting Report; The Bird Hunting Report and The Angling Report for many years. He presently writes a monthly article named Fair Chase for the New Zealand Fishing News and a hunting blog for Poronui Hunting.
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