Found! An Affordable North Island Stag Hunt


Published: June - 2007

In April of this year I visited what I believe is the best free-range red deer stag property on the North Island of New Zealand. I am talking about a place with no high wire, no releases, and a historic red deer herd that has existed here since the late 19th century. The property is called Te Awaiti, and it is located on the East Coast in the provincial area known as Southern Waiarapa.

Free-range hunters who visit here for a five- or six-day hunt can expect to shoot a red deer stag bearing 10 to 14 points. The animals are derived from English stock and have never suffered interbreeding. Furthermore, there are no trophy fees, so clients fortunate enough to find a monster stag may shoot it at no additional cost, which is as low as $3,350, inclusive of airfare from Los Angeles. I'll tell you more about the pricing in a minute.

Right now, lets talk about the hunting area, which is huge. The property itself is a sheep and cattle ranch that is 18,000 acres in size and consists of open and riverbed grasslands; forest; fringe farmland; scrubland; and coastal faces. It has been in the hands of the same family since 1860. The ranch sits right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, with seven kilometers of coastal frontage providing amazing scenery. This same coastline provides fresh abalone and crayfish.

The hunting outfitter is Chris Jolly, and for the last 15 years he has maintained exclusive hunting rights to all game on the ranch. Jolly and his wife, Sue, run one of New Zealand's largest outdoor operations and are based in the tourist town of Taupo. Their company owns five large charter boats and a helicopter company. They are involved in fly fishing, guided walks/tours and turkey hunting, as well as big game hunting. Jolly's company does all the outdoors work for New Zea- land's most famous lodge, Huka Falls. Big game hunting is probably the smallest part of the Jolly operation, but because it is his passion,........(continued)

 
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