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What to look for in a New Zealand hunting destination
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Hunting clients coming to New Zealand from overseas are often discerning and select their hunting operator of choice with care. They tend to be successful people, with extensive prior international hunting experience in places such as Alaska and Africa, who are now visiting this destination because of the quality of South Pacific trophies on offer and its rating as a very safe country. Often because it is a more laid back trip than harsher environments they are accompanied by friends or family. They are very keen for the location to be a great experience for all concerned. It should also be noted that the specific booking choice has primarily been motivated by what the operator offers that is special and references from people they trust.

For more than a decade I was the New Zealand correspondent for the Florida-based The Hunting Report and The Bird Hunting Report, plus occasional articles for The Angling Report. Don Causey, in the early years, then Barbara Crown and Tim Jones were the main people I dealt with.

While researching hunting operations during my Hunting Report tenure, clients on-site often confided in me what they wanted most from their New Zealand hunting trip. The following are points I noted down:

  • Excellent communication between hunting operation and prospective client
  • Quality trophy animals, particularly red stag
  • Wild game abundance which make for an interesting day and provided numerous trophy possibilities
  • Professional hunting guides
  • The estate to be large, offer terrain diversity, several game species, and provides a challenging hunt
  • Hunting locations to be close to the base. Clients hate spending large tracts of time driving to and back from distant hunting areas in the dark
  • No unforeseen add-ons to the budgeted hunt or packages selected
  • The option to hunt an abundance of free-range species of high quality
  • Excellent accommodation, cuisine, and hospitality
  • Confidence any non-hunting companions will be well cared for, with a range of on-site activities and attractions nearby
  • Testimonials and references from past clients, organizations, and friends
  • Fair prices. Value for money

The top operators will see their clients again as most of the points mentioned above have been met.

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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