- Can I take the meat home?
Yes. Most countries will allow this due to our game animals having no foreign pests or diseases, certainly in the U.S.
We will prepare your meat as either chilled or frozen until your ready to leave. It is recommend bringing a small cooler with you that can fit inside your main bag, or you can take larger amounts up to 50 lbs.
- Can we use N.Z.S. Rifles/Shotguns?
Yes that is not a problem, we have both left and right handed available. As ammunition is very expensive here there is a charge of $50.00.
- Could I bring the family, Non-hunters?
- Do you guide in Australia?
Yes, Jim has been guiding on free range Deer and Buffalo there for many years now, towards the end of our season, which is when the main rut is in Australia (June-October).
Species include Water Buffalo, Ox, Boar, Banteng, Rusa Deer, Sambar Deer, Axis Deer, and Black Buck Antelope. On your request we can personally guide you or arrange the owners.
Keep in mind Australia is only 3 hrs from Christchurch International Airport.
- Do you hunt Free Range only?
We do specialise in hunting most animals Free Range on Private land in New Zealand because of the quality, accessibility, and numbers on our exclusive properties to New Zealand Safaris. But for those clients wanting to go after the truly huge antlered animals like Red Stag and Fallow Buck we have our own 3500 acre hunting estate.
- Do you take Bow hunters?
Yes we take a number of bow hunters every year. This is the ultimate challenge for a die-hard hunter that wants to take hunting in New Zealand at its purist form. As we don’t use tree stands or hunt over feeders shots will vary from 15-60 yards, all spot and stalk on foot shooting up or down hill predominately.
- Driving in New Zealand
If you have a drivers licence in your home country then you can drive in New Zealand. We drive on the left hand side of the road, and with the low traffic numbers most of our roads are only 2 lane with limited turn offs, just remember round about`s give way to your right. Hiring a vehicle is recommended for non-hunters if you would like to tour around during the hunt or after, we can recommend local companies should you need help.
- How easy is it to bring firearms into New Zealand?
Very easy unlike many other countries, as well as ammunition. You can fill out the permit online before your arrival. Bring NZ $25 and once you clear customs you will be bought to the Police counter and done. Pistols and Military weapons are not allowed. We advise to bring at least 2 packs of Ammunition per hunter/rifle.
- Non Hunting Activities
- Using electrical appliances in New Zealand
We are on 240v, with a 2-3 pin plug. Most modern electronics now will handle both 110-240v and will say on your plug, all you need is a plug converter which you can get from most stores or airports. We also do have a couple of spares for use.
- What is the process for taxidermy or shipping?
We chill or freeze your trophies until the hunt is finished. From there we will take them to our local Taxidermist where you can decide weather you want them mounted here or salted and shipped to your preferred company. Shipping costs vary according to crate size.
Our Taxidermist can give you an estimate based on how you would like it done, upon request.
From New Zealand it goes to your country where it is recommended you use a customs broker to clear your trophies and forward onto your designated destination. Again our local taxidermist can assist you with this.
- What is the temperature like when I come?
New Zealand is an Island we can have very changeable weather within a day or the week. We carry wet weather gear throughout most of the season and in winter good warm clothing as much like hunting in many parts of the central U.S, Alaska and Canada, but we will send you out a full list of clothing and equipment before you come down with us.
- February-March: This is still in our summer, temps 38f (3c) - 80f (26c)
- April-May: We are now going to fall, temps 32f (0c) - 65f (18c)
- June-September: Our main winter months, temps 28f (-2c) - 55f (12c)
- What level of fitness will I need?
Exercising and working out before the hunt certainly pays off, especially taking on our mountain animals. Because of our well-tracked properties we are able to drive around most places from the valley floors which has proved over the years all ages and abilities of hunters the opportunity to harvest their magnificent trophies. Different properties will provide hunters with different levels of hunting to suit their requirements.
- What's the distance of a typical shot?
Shots vary depending on game being hunted and more importantly what the hunter is comfortable out to. On Deer and most game 100-250 yards, on Tahr and Chamois 200-350 yards.
- When is the Hunting Season in New Zealand?
Our main Hunting season is from late February-August. Most of the Deer Species Rut late March-end April. Tahr and Chamois winter coats start late April, Rut Late May- end of July but they will have their winter coats right through to September. The main bird season is May-July but there are variations, like Pheasant April-August. The North Island Deer are hunted later in the season generally from May-September.
- Where are we located?
New Zealand Safaris is located 2 hours South of Christchurch in the central South Island, 2.5 hrs north of Queenstown. Both lodges are with 15-40 mins of all hunting properties in the South Island which means its time spent hunting each day not travelling.
See our contact / inquiries page for a map showing our location and contact information.
If you have any questions that haven't been answered here, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hunting with you for the experience of a lifetime with New Zealand Safaris!
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What our clients are saying...
My wife and I have talked about visiting New Zealand for years. After talking with many booking agents, outfitters, and references via phone calls, emails, and sport shows, I decided to book with Jim Gibson and New Zealand Safaris. I am so glad that I did! Jim and his wife Rhonda treated us like we were part of their family from the time we arrived until the time we left. The daily home cooked meals and fresh desserts, local wine and beer, and overall hospitality were bar none!
In my initial conversations with Jim, I expressed my desire for a total free range hunt for a wild red stag and a tahr without the use of a helicopter. Jim was more than accommodating to my request and we agreed upon a custom hunting package and dates. From our conversation in the truck between the airport and the lodge, I knew we were going to be in good hands for the type of hunting I was looking for. Jim's knowledge of the land and animals were evident during our conversations, and he backed up that knowledge while on the mountains. Never in our wildest dreams did my wife or I imagine that she would be able to accompany me on a successful tahr hunt, but due to the private land access Jim has, he was able to provide us with a hunting memory we'll both cherish forever when I took my tahr with my wife by my side. A couple of days later, I was successful at taking a mature Royal Red Stag that we had been chasing up and down the mountains as well.
With both of my trophies down and a day left in our trip, Jim asked us what we wanted to do or see. After discussing the options, we opted for a day of sightseeing. Not only did Jim take us to the usual spots that all visitors need to see while in the area, he also took us to some of the sights off of the beaten path that only a local would know about or have access to. This gave use priceless moments that added to the overall experience of the entire trip for us both.
Whether it's on your short list or your bucket list, if you want to experience a truly fair chase hunt for wild animals as well as take in the local culture, you need to contact New Zealand Safaris. Our time with New Zealand Safaris, Jim and his family exceeded our expectations. I know it sounds cliché when I say you'll arrive as clients but leave as friends, but it's true. So much so we're already discussing going back again and can't wait until we do!
Jared & Kristin Mertes