The Hossack Provides True Wild Park Hunting In New Zealand


Published: May - 2010

The Hossack is a 24,000-acre New Zealand sheep, cattle and hunting station (ranch) that extends from near the central South Island tourist town of Hanmer Springs through a low saddle to the Clarence River in the north. Being long rather than wide in shape, the dominant terrain features are wide valleys, bush-covered slopes, numerous streams and creeks, and open grasslands. The history of the ranch dates back to 1852, when hardy pioneers first tried to tame the land. Luckily for hunters, they were conservation-minded individuals who did not cut and clear all the vegetation.

In more recent times, the ranch was purchased by a partnership of four, whose aim was to run the farming side of the property in conjunction with a hunting operation. This region was always known for the quality of its free-range chamois and red stag herds, so the issue facing the new consortium was how to tap into this quality genetic base and produce even better trophies. In the early years of the partnership, the surrounding public land suffered intense aerial venison and chamois meat recovery, so it was crucial to quickly protect a big game base for The Hossack.

The solution was to leave most of the ranch free-range but also create a "wild park" sanctuary. A high-fence was constructed around 2,000 acres of the best big game range, incorporating bluff and cliff areas for chamois and bush and open scrubland for the red stag. Many wild animals were trapped inside when the work was done. Additional local chamois from the property were caught and introduced, and in 2004 quality red deer hinds with the "Hossack look" in their genes were added to the wild stock already trapped inside. These introduced animals consisted of 90 hinds with calves, or in calf, from the property of John Barber, a deer breeder whose sire stags have long been renowned for producing antlers of mass and spread, a trait shared by many of the Hossack wild stags. Vigorous culling of inferior and surplus stock since has given the herds every chance of producing excellent trophies. Also, no........(continued)

 
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