FREE RANGE – FAIR CHASE – PRIVATE PROPERTY
Hunting a trophy New Zealand Red Stag is a dream for many visitors and one of our specialty services. Add to that the Himalayan Tahr, Chamois and various small game and your New Zealand hunting trip with Gerald and Sue Telford will be a highlight of your hunting career.
As a field instructor for the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association and a passionate bow hunter, he takes a completely professional approach to safely manage the hunt using his tracking skills and local knowledge for the best possible outcome for his clients.
‘…The New Zealand red stag and tahr hunt went off without a hitch. Plenty of quality animals to hunt in such a wonderful environment. I will not forget the sight of my first red stag and tahr. Gerald’s ability to encourage this flatlander through the mountains was much appreciated. I would not hesitate to book Gerald and Sue for New Zealand Hunting in the future. Maybe chamois and trout fishing next time. If you ever make it to Houston please look up your new Texan friends.’
Matt and Sonya Osburn, April/May 2007
The New Zealand red stag rut commences in late March, peaking in the 2nd to 3rd week of April. Good red stag trophies are available to the end of July. Red Deer are hunted in the Wanaka region and the herd is part of the once famous Otago herd that established itself in the hinterland of Otago and spread into the South Westland region. Fairchase trophy animals are located on a 50,000 acre block. They are not easy to locate but are well worth the time looking. Private property, preserve red stag are also available. Read Gerald’s article on the introduction of New Zealand Red Stag and other magnificent game animals into New Zealand.
Fellow bucks rut in the later part of April and on into the middle of May. Trophies are hunted from mid March to the end of July. Fallow Deer are hunted on private property in the Central Otago and Tapanui area. These Fallow are part of the Blue Mountain and Greenstone herds and they are consistently producing good trophy heads. This prime Fallow habitat consists of open native grass ridges and scrub covered gullies. High animal numbers are present.
NZ Tahr are the kings of the alpine terrain. Bulls begin to move into the nanny groups at the end of May and will stay with these groups until the end of August. Tahr are hunted in the Westland and Mt Cook areas. Planning and a lot of time are required to obtain a trophy bull. The terrain, climate and the bull tahr’s habitat all add up to huge challenges that are often daunting on first appraisal of a trophy in more ways than one.
Chamois of both sexes produce good horns. Bucks are best hunted in the months of April through to the end of July. Summer hunting is available, that is from November to March. There are moderate numbers in all locations around the Wanaka Region. The opportunity to climb above the bush line and hunt the steep creeks is a challenge that benefits this alpine animal. The Chamois is a wonderful animal in a breathtaking environment.
For the above four animals are available from March to the end of August. These are our winter months and conditions can be harsh at times. (Read more on New Zealand Weather)
An accompaniment to your trophy hunting week.
Rabbits, Opossum – Spot lighting during the evening or day time hunts for the Rabbit population.
Wild Boar, Turkey, Ram, Goat – access to private property. Pigs can be hunted with dogs or rifle. The New Zealand Turkey are more placid than the wary American Turkey.
Wallaby – fast moving, quick shot in high country along the East Coast of the South Island. A different hunting experience.
Small game hunts are a great addition to your big game hunting itinerary, if time and weather are in our favour. They are also available as a separate specialised hunt. Species hunted include Arapawa Sheep, Feral goats, Wild Boar, Wallaby, Hare, Rabbit, Merriam Turkey and Bush Tail Possums.
Sheep, Goats and Boar are often encountered during Stag and Deer hunts. Often the opportunity to take a good sheep, goat or boar will be compromised by the Stag or Deer hunt so decisions have to be made very quickly. As with most hunting, ‘opportunities not taken may be an opportunity lost’. The other side of the coin is the very real chance of a specialised sheep or goat hunter coming face to face with the Stag or Deer of a lifetime. The fact that we hunt on private properties without having a licence or tag system for specific animals leads to some interesting outcomes.
Hares, rabbits and possums are usually hunted at night with artificial light, again legal in New Zealand. Shotguns and .22 are the favoured weapons.
Merriam turkey are abundant in our hunting region, it is not uncommon to see over a 100 birds in a days hunt. Again we hunt a little differently than the average State side turkey hunter with the preferred method being spot and stalk. 18 –20lb birds are not uncommon.
Duck and Canada Geese – Mallard and Quail are seasonal from the first weekend in May. Canada Geese are hunted 12 months of the year.
Duck hunting on our resident populations of Mallard and Paradise ducks is normally from blinds shooting over decoys. Paradise duck are grazing birds so we are not necessarily hunting over water. Mallard hunting might be paddock hunts, swamp hunts or jump shooting dams and willow choked creeks. We wing shoot as an accompaniment to a trophy hunt. An evening shoot can be arranged.
Got a hunter’s question for Gerald? He’ll get back to you as soon as possible with the information you need.