Four Seasons Safaris
Red Stag Antlers
Big Game Animals
Red Stag (Cervus elaphus) share many similarities to the Elk. They are a large-antlered species with trophy heads 6x6 (12-points) and more. Weighing in at around 400 pounds, after the Wapiti and Sambar, they are the third largest of the deer breeds found in New Zealand, although specimens of the Rusa deer can be almost as large. New Zealand produces the largest Red Stags in the world and the Red is the main species inhabiting many areas in the South Island. It is a very sought-after trophy. Red Stags can be hunted while ‘hard racked’ from February through until September.
Introduced to New Zealand from Europe in the 1850’s, to provide sport for the gentry, the Red Deer found the conditions here perfect and they thrived. In fact they thrived so well, that in the late 1950’s, through until the mid 1970’s, numbers were such that they were systematically slaughtered in huge numbers. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, helicopter gunships using ex-military, semi-automatic weaponry, were used extensively to bring the animal numbers down. Today, there is still some helicopter hunting for Red Deer but on a much lesser scale, given that the sheer deer numbers are no longer there. However, because of the pressure from helicopters, even today, it can be difficult for a hunter to bag a trophy Red Stag in the wild.
All of the Red Stag hunts we carry out are on private land where we can offer you ‘Free Range & Game Ranch’ hunts. There is an extremely high level of trophy quality throughout the herds we hunt and our careful management of these private areas means we can consistently produce record book Red Stags for our clients.
The ‘Rut’ or more commonly named the ‘Roar’ starts mid March and continues to the end of April, this is the prime period for hunting the Red Stag, as they aggressively issue their challenges to the other stags in the area. As you stalk a Big Red, you can return their vocal challenges, but be prepared to feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up when he bellows his response, while he is closing the distance on you.
Locating a stag by sound offers the hunter, whether using a rifle, bow, muzzeloader or camera, a real advantage.
- Feral Boar (sus scrofa)
- Rusa Javan Deer (cervus timorensis)
- Sika Deer (cervus nippon)
- Raindow/ Brown Trout, and Chinook Salmon
- Free Range Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor unicolor)
- Fallow Deer Hunting New Zealand (dama dama)
- Buffalo, Ox Hunting Australia (Bubalus bubalis) (genus bibos)
- Free Range Chamois New Zealand (rupicapra rupicapra)
- Elk Hunting New Zealand (cervus canadensis)
- Goat hunting New Zealand (capra hircus)