The 2009 season was a particularly good one for Aotearoa, and during my week's visit in early April three great red stags were shot. The best two were near the 300 Douglas score national ranking mark and carried 13 and 14 points respectively. The Douglas System used by the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association for trophy wild heads rewards evenness and symmetry. A nationally ranked red stag trophy in New Zealand scores over 300 Douglas and a national fallow deer over 200. Photographs of these free-range trophies are available on my blog on The Hunting Report's homepage (www.huntingreport.com, scroll down to Blogs.) Before my visit, free-range hunters had already harvested over a dozen good stags, and this trend continued after I left. A good head here traditionally has 12 to 14 points, with an occasional bigger head ending up in the bag. Heads are very even, have white tips and good antler weight. They score between 270 and 310 Douglas score.
During my visit I learned Aotearoa had acquired hunting rights on a new fallow deer block too. I had the opportunity to investigate this new hunting block and will venture to........(continued)