"Glen Dene is located, 21km from Wanaka and 125km from Queenstown. The 20,000-acre property runs north and south between Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, and has access to another 25,000 acres between the lakes. This is a working ranch with cattle and flocks of sheep in fenced paddocks in the low country near Lake Hawea. As the ground climbs away from the valley, one last fence separates the paddocks from the slopes. Between that fence and the top of the snow-capped mountain range and the lakeshore on the other side, there are no other fences and but few dirt tracks. Red and fallow deer live in the canyons. Chamois, wild goats and sheep make a living on the high slopes. The combination of peaks, ridges and washes allow the hunter to get close, but there are few trees and little scrub.
Hunts are conducted on foot, spot-and-stalk. The guide may opt to use a vehicle till animals are spotted, but a high level of physical fitness pays off when a stag is glimpsed a quarter mile off and a 600-yard climb uphill. Shots may range from 100 to 300 yards.
The red stag hunt starts when the deer shed their velvet in February and continues into early July. The peak of the breeding season, the roar,' falls between mid-March and early April. I hunted in early July when most mature stags had separated from the hinds. On the first afternoon, we spotted seven hinds and a young spike. Early in the morning, high on the hill, we saw two mature stags. We found the one we wanted at mid-morning. During the stalk, we spotted more, both with groups of hinds. My lone stag had six points on one side and seven on the other and double drop tines, it was a........(continued)