NEW ZEALAND RED DEER AND RED STAG (CERVUS ELAPHUS)
Hunting Red deer were introduced into New Zealand in 1850 from Europe. They have established themselves so well that New Zealand red stags are renowned for being the largest in the world! Deer culling has reduced their numbers dramatically, but free ranging red deer are still considered a pest to our natural flora and fauna.
The red stag is a large antlered species similar to the elk. Standing 1.5m (5 ft) tall at the shoulders the red deer can have a trophy head of 6x6 (12 points) and more, with a body weight of around 181kg (400 lb). The South Island of New Zealand has continued for some time to provide world records in red stag trophy sizes.
Seasons for Hunting
Stags are hunted generally from February to September. The rut, or "roar" is from late March to late April when red stag trophies are mostly sought. Antlers drop around August-September. It is also the time when the stags are most vocal as they issue challenges to rival stags, and thus allowing the hunter to know where they are.
Areas for Hunting
The main concentrations of red deer are in the headwaters of the Hurunui and Waiau rivers particularly on the St. James Station.
Further Hunting Information