Hunting in New Zealand
If you have ever considered hunting abroad, you should really consider New Zealand. It’s beautiful! For me, it looks like the central Colorado high country and west slope, but with more lakes and Fjords. I hunted the south island for NZ’s “Grand Slam”.
Historically, NZ was settled primarily by Brits, Scots and Austrians. Like our ancestors, they wanted to see things from their “mother land”. The Maury natives, in order to eat and survive, ate most of the native animals in NZ and consequently eradicated entire species. Today of course, that would drive the environmental whackos right up the wall. The European immigrates brought in animals they saw and hunted back home. They were the old European Red Deer, the Fallow deer and the Chamois. I only non European animal brought in was the Himalayan Tahr from Nepal. The story goes that an Austrian Duke gave 10 of them to his neighbor – a Scottish Nobleman, who proceeded to turn them loose. This makes up the NZ “Grand Slam”.
On the south island alone, there are over 40 million sheep (their principal industry), so their “mind set” is totally different than ours. This means there are no mammalian predators of any kind; i.e. – no mountain lions, bears, wolves, foxes or coyotes. Consequently, there are no natural predators to keep the exploding populations is check. That is also why the largest specimens of these animals to be found any where in the world are now in NZ. The New Zealanders are very friendly and love for you to come to their country and hunt.
The flight from the US to the South island is long however. From L.A. or San Francisco to Queenstown, south island is over 14 hours. Additionally, you cross the International Date Line which means you loose a day. On my hunt, I remember we left Denver at 4:30 PM on a Monday and arrived in Queenstown 10:30 AM on Wednesday. That really messes up your body clock. (LOL)
Hunting-wise, your favorite deer/elk rifle will work just fine. The shots can be long, so you need to be prepared. For example, my Tahr shot was 300 yards, my stag was 100 yards, my fallow only 50 yards and 30 yards for my Chamois. You want a good performing bullet and a good scope. For me, I took my trusty .270 with 130 grain Barnes Triple shock bullets (3,120 fps) and my Leupold VX-