"Sika deer were introduced into New Zealand in 1904 from Eng- land's Woburn Estate. Deer quickly flourished here, and today are present in good numbers through both the Kaimanawa and Kaweka mountain ranges of the North Island. Trophy potential is excellent, and heads of world standard have been taken. The largest free-range sika stag ever shot in New Zealand scored 229 on the South Pacific Douglas score (a system similar to Boone and Crocket scoring, rewarding symmetry). It was shot in 1941, had 10 tines, a five-inch beam, 33-inch spread and a 31-inch length.
"The majority of sika deer hunting in this country is free-range, occurring within public forestlands. The problem is that they are heavily hunted. The quality property I am about to describe is right in the middle of premier sika deer habitat. It is called Hill Station. A private cattle and sheep ranch, it sits on the edge of the Kaweka Forest Park and is home to a large, relatively untouched population of trophy-producing sika. The property just finished its second hunting season, and initial results are excellent.
"Only a couple of outfitters are allowed to guide clients at Hill Station. The largest is Brendon Matt- hews, well known amongst overseas hunting clients. His very first client here shot a magnificent stag that may be the new SCI No. 1 trophy. The antlers were over 33 inches in length. Another client this year took a sika over 30 inches that will probably rank in the top 10 SCI.
"I personally visited the property recently, and during my three days there I saw over 80 deer, at least 15 of which were representative or better eight-point stags. On one memorable day I saw nine trophy stags in one mob.
"Hill Station consists of hundreds of acres,........(continued)