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In 1907 Emperor Franz Josef of Austria gave a few chamois for release in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. They were released at the Hooker River near Mt Cook, but with its only predator being man, they quickly spread into the Southern Alps above Hanmer. The South Island has the only feral population of chamois outside of Europe and Asia Minor. 

Chamois live at high altitudes above the bush line. Their average weight is 14-62 kg (31-136 lb). Its coat is dark, long and dense during winter, and becomes short and a golden tan colour in summer. Both buck and doe produce excellent trophy horns. The slender horns rise vertically from the forehead, and sharply curved back like hooks can reach a length of 32 cm (12.8 inches). 

These alpine antelope are quick, agile and elusive with very sharp eyesight, making them one of the most sort-after game animals because of the challenge their abilities bring. When its keen senses are alarmed, the chamois will dash with speeds of up to 50 kmph/30mph over difficult terrain and making leaps as high as 2 metres (6.6 ft) and as far as 6 meters (19.8 ft) long to a place that is inaccessible! 

One thing is for sure, chamois provide hunters with an exhilarating and rewarding experience—especially during the rut season! The buck’s antics during this time is both entertaining and exciting, not being afraid of anything—even you! If disturbed, it will make a dash, even across incredibly difficult terrain with speed and agility that is unbelievable, not away from you, but towards you! 

All Seasons Hunting 
Chamois are available to hunt all the year round, but the rut season is most preferred, around May to June. At this time they sport their dark winter coats which turn to a golden tan in the summer months. Chamois are excellent game animals providing very exciting hunting. The regions that these animals inhabit require hunters to be fit and skillful. Helicopter access ensures ease of access, and a guide is helpful in reducing the demand on hunters inexperienced in such terrain and knowledge of this wily creature. 

Chamois Hunting Blocks Available 
Blocks where Chamois are known to frequent are available on request with some of the best being available on the St James Station.

Further Hunting Information