Tip #1: Do Your Research
First things first – prior knowledge is the greatest tool you can bring to the table. Knowing the game’s behavior, the terrain, and assessing safety measures are all important aspects that. If you have a great guide on your New Zealand red stag hunt, you will have all the information you need – but it doesn’t hurt to have extra! Most hunters will have their own guide during the entire hunt. On the other hand, some hunters prefer to share the experience with another hunter. Since Kaweka red stag hunts are all on our private ranch, it’s uncrowded and relaxed, so opportunities are easier to come by.
Tip #2: Quality Gear
Regardless of what type of hunt you are going on, quality gear is always a must. This not only makes the hunt safer, but also more enjoyable! There are two very important items to wear on a New Zealand red stag hunt. The first is a pair of boots that are both high in quality and broken-in, with excellent ankle support. Entry into New Zealand is strict with regards to bringing in your hunting boots (that may contain dirt/blood/soil from the US), so be sure to break your boots in, inside your home and not outside. The worst thing that you can do is begin your hunt with brand new boots that aren’t broken in! It’s likely that they will give you blisters and put a damper on your hunt. The second item is a good-quality pair of binoculars. Without these, it’s like you’re hunting blind! You will spend a fair amount of time glassing, so it’s beneficial to bring a pair with the highest quality of glass available to you.
Tip #3: Get To Know Your Guide
Before you begin your New Zealand red stag hunt, don’t be afraid to get to know your outfitter or the guide you will be joining on the hunt! Discussing information about your hunt can make it a safer and more enjoyable experience for all parties involved. It is good to share things with them such as what distance you are comfortable shooting from, your hiking capabilities, etc. so that everyone is on the same page!
Tip #4: Patience Is Key
Our New Zealand red stag hunts take place on our large private ranch, so the hunting pressure is typically light. This means that you will come across several shooting opportunities throughout the day. It’s extremely important to let your guide properly judge the trophies and to pay attention. You will see several nice-looking red stags, but it’s possible that they might not be old enough for you to harvest. With herd management in place, only mature stags are harvested. So, don’t get too frustrated if your guide is telling you that a large stag isn’t one to shoot!
Tip #5: Say “Cheese”!
Hurray, your trophy is on the ground – so, now what? It’s time to take some pictures! Don’t forget to bring your phone or camera along with you, as this is a photo opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Allow your guide to position the red stag in a way that you can get all the good angles. You can never have too many photos, so try multiple shots and angles!