Found! A Top-Flight Fallow Deer Outfitter


Published: December - 2002

Most visiting hunters don't know it, but one of New Zealand's most widespread deer is fallow deer. In fact, it's second only to red deer. These animals were first introduced to New Zealand in 1864, and today there are several well-established herds on both the North and South Islands of the country. The largest herd is on the North Island, but the best free-range trophies come from the South Island. So, if a big, fair-chase fallow trophy is on your wish list, your best chance to secure one is to hunt private land, close to a well-established South Island herd. To do this you need to use a guide, preferably one who has exclusive rights to hunt a trophy-producing property.

Enter Phil McCabe of Mackenzie Country Hunting Guides in Fairlie. McCabe has access to a superb fallow deer block - the best I have ever seen. What makes this free-range property special is the quality of the fallow bucks. Other properties may have more deer, but none has the trophy quality to match McCabe's block. His best animals are equal to any buck found behind wire. That may be hard for some to believe, but it's proven by the fact that to date no client has shot an animal on McCabe's property that scores less than 200 on what's called the Douglas scoring system. What's more, the best fallow taken with McCabe was a monster scoring 240 points.

It is a bit difficult trying to draw a parallel between an SCI score and a Douglas score, but they are roughly equivalent. The major difference is, the New Zealand Douglas system (like the Boone & Crockett system) rewards symmetry. A high-scoring trophy is an extremely even one, with each antler mirroring its opposite perfectly. Douglas emphasizes spread, length and width of palms. Suffice it to say, the trophies McCabe takes are wonderful to behold. They will please even the most demanding of hunters.

On a recent visit to McCabe's block I observed over 60 deer, 31 of them bucks, with three being great Douglas trophies, one........(continued)

 
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