Free Range, Fair Chase New Zealand Hunt #OI-HYH1

Russ glassing in New Zealand


Free Range, Fair Chase Hunts in New Zealand

This is one of the very few New Zealand outfitters who hunts free range only. And one of the few who offers real backcountry wilderness hunts. They also have access to multiple private land properties which gives us a lot of options when helping you book your hunt.

“What sets us apart from all other outfits in NZ is we’re hunting free range only. Nearly all outfitters here are behind wire, and there are lots of ‘grey’ hunts, especially with stags. We are dedicated to a real hunting experience and enjoy working with genuine hunters.”

  • This outfitter is fully focused on free range and wilderness hunts only.
  • They specialize in Tahr and Chamois, also offering some great Red Stag and Fallow deer hunts with some small game on the side.
  • With tahr especially, they focus on targeting old bulls. Generally, our hunters take above average trophy quality for the alpine species
  • There is no “formal” hunting season in New Zealand, however most hunting takes place in March through June/July generally.
  • Stag hunting is best March through April.
  • Fallow deer is best in April.
  • Tahr/Chamois are best May through June.

Resources to Learn More About this New Zealand Outfitter:

Russ Meyer with his MONSTER free range red stag in New Zealand
Russ Meyer, one of the owners of Outdoors International with a very good free range stag in the 300″ Douglas Score(DS) class. Taken with one of our outdoors in New Zealand.

Free Range Stag Hunts

These Stags are proper free range wild deer. This is not a high fence hunt, nor are these released deer.

These free range red stag hunts take place on private properties (low fence) throughout the South Island of New Zealand. These properties range in size from 10,000 to 60,000 acres, and are generally open hill country, with some more mountainous country. The main hunting area is 20,000 acres and around four hours drive from Christchurch city. This property also has good numbers of tahr, and some fallow deer, and they can easily be added onto your stag hunt.

All of the hunting areas have good 4×4 road access, and hunting is spot and stalk style. You will leave the camp every day in the vehicle and locate and stalk stags on foot. Hunts are generally 5 days, but can be extended for those wishing to hunt multiple specie, combo hunts. Best dates are from 20th March through to Around 20th April. The peak of the rut is normally the first two weeks of April.

  • These are true free range red stags, born and bred in the wild. They range from 8-16 points (4×4 to 8×8) and average mid to high 200″ class.
  • Hunting Season in New Zealand is March-June.
  • Prime ‘Roar’/Rut takes place between late March through to mid April.
  • High Success rate, with nearly 100% opportunity on rifle hunts.
  • Red stags can easily be combined with Tahr and Fallow deer.
  • A good to moderate level of fitness is helpful on this hunt.

Tahr hunting on New Zealand South Island with Hard Yards Hunting

Tahr Hunts

New Zealand Wilderness Himalayan Tahr Hunts (with the option to add chamois).

Wilderness tahr hunting takes place in the most spectacular and remote parts of the Southern Alps, this is a real hunting experience. No roads, no civilization, just mountains, rivers and fresh air. This is the real New Zealand experience. Wilderness hunting takes place on public land where we hold a large concession covering both the Eastern and Western sides of the Southern Alps.

They access these hunts with a short but scenic helicopter trip, flying through some of the most pristine and beautiful scenery in the world.

This is the most challenging and therefore most rewarding form of hunting in New Zealand. This is comparable to sheep or mountain goat hunts of North America and Asia. The terrain and weather can make these hunts a challenge but the respect for the terrain and animals that inhabit it, is truly earned and the trophy means that much more.

This outfitter also offers full backpack style hunts.

The backpack hunts are priced on an individual basis depending on the species and time of year.

  • The best hunting is during the tahr rut in May and June.
  • High Trophy Quality. You’ll focus on finding a mature bull tahr in the 8-10 year age class. These bulls have big capes and horns in the 11-14″ class.
  • High Success rate. Rifle hunts run 100% opportunity.
  • You can make it a combo (and most do) by adding a chamois to your hunt.
  • The helicopter will land at a basic campsite where tents are used as accommodation. You’ll then day hunt the surrounding area on foot with your guide.
  • They also have the options of ‘spike’ camping out depending on weather and fitness levels.
  • Tahr and chamois can be found in good to moderate numbers depending on the area and can often be found in close proximity to each other. Red deer and other species are best hunted on private land.
  • A good level of fitness is needed on a wilderness hunt as the terrain is usually steep and broken.
  • Guides are experienced in helping our hunters select a good quality mature animal, and will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time in the mountains.
  • Our wilderness hunts are all inclusive packages that INCLUDE helicopter time.

Wilderness hunting takes place on public land in the most spectacular and remote parts of the Eastern and Western sides of the Southern Alps, this is a real New Zealand hunting experience.

Chamois Hunts

This is a real New Zealand hunting experience. No roads, no civilization, just mountains, rivers and fresh air.

  • Hunting season is February through July, but the best chamois hunting is during the rut in May and June.
  • For summer skins the best hunting is Mid Jan thought to March.
  • High trophy quality. The focus is on mature chamois buck.
  • High success rate. Rifle hunts run 100% opportunity.
  • You can make it a combo by adding a Tahr to your hunt.
  • A good level of fitness and ability is necessary to enjoy this mountain hunt.
  • This is a wilderness, New Zealand chamois hunt based form a tent camp.

Tahr hunting in New Zealand is a real mountain hunting experience.

Lodging and Accommodations

There are a number of small cabins and huts that you will probably be hunting from. Most have power, showers and bunk beds for our hunters. Some are more basic. Sometimes, depending on the hunt or the hunter, you might be spiking out in tents. Please let us know if you any special accommodation requirements.

Typical Meals

*On the tahr and chamois hunts, they try to take “normal” meals in for the first few days. After that you’ll probably be eating dehydrated meals.

  • Breakfast- cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs
  • Lunch- Salami/cheese sandwiches, and snacks
  • Dinner- Meat, potatoes, veggies etc. or a pasta type meal. We also have snack bars, fruit and nut mixes and electrolyte drinks for during the day,
  • If you have any special meal requirements/allergies make sure you talk to us about this when you book your hunt


  • Guiding is either 1×1 or 2×1, groups larger than two can be accommodated.
  • Three to four hunters is normally the maximum we will take. Bigger groups can distract from the hunt experience we feel.
  • The guide will be with the hunter the whole time, and help select animal and ensure client is safe throughout the hunt.
  • Camp set up and meals will be done by the guide, but we welcome hunters to help out if they can.
  • In New Zealand there are no laws around meat harvest, but we do our best to harvest what we can from every animal. It is great if hunters can help the guides during this process. Meat is used by guides/camps and donated to families.*Hunters CAN take meat home with them BUT it is their responsibility to organize this.

Typical Daily Schedule

  • Day 1 – Pick up and Travel. We pick up hunters from Christchurch (CHCH), either the airport or a motel/hotel and travel around 4 hours to the hunt area. Early morning pick ups are preferred so we can get the hunting area by lunch time. We then shoot rifles and check gear and go for an evening hunt.
  • Day 2-4 – Hunting, we use 4 wheel drives to cover the hunting area and climb ridges to look over as many stags as we can.
  • Day 5 – pack up camp and head back to Christchurch and visit the Taxidermist on the way to arrange mounting/shipping of animals.


Travel Information

  • The main city and airport in the South Island is Christchurch, this is about 4 hours drive to our hunt areas.
  • The outfitter will pick up and drop off hunters from here throughout the season, and are also happy to meet hunters elsewhere in the South Island if they have pre organized it.
  • We recommend hunters arrive one day before their hunt starts and spend a nigh in hotel/motel. This helps with acclimatization and jet lag.

Booking Information

Interested in booking this trip? If you have not yet received pricing please request it here, and be sure to reference the trip number at the top of this page. Please note that reservations are not considered finalized until agreed upon deposit is received. This ensures agreed upon dates and current pricing. Quality outfitters are in high demand so let us know right away, as some trips do book years in advance.


  • Guide Fees.
  • Helicopter access for tahr and chamois hunts.
  • Accommodation (tent or hunting shack depending you your hunt).
  • All food-3 meals per day + snacks.
  • Transfers to/from Christchurch (CHCH) International Airport.
  • Transport during the hunt.
  • Trophy care, skinning and delivery to taxidermist.

Not Included:

  • Trip Insurance
  • Taxidermy/expediting fees
  • Airfares
  • Rifle hire is available.
  • Extra helicopter time if needed.
  • Tips/Gratuities
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Extra trophies
  • Meat processing/shipping

Photos from this hunt:

When you’re ready to book, if you haven’t already, ask your Outdoors International Consultant for updated pricing. If it looks good, your consultant will write up a booking agreement for you.