The red stags here are superior to those found in most other free-range herds in New Zealand, the chamois are world class and the feral sheep herd is numerous, of historical significance and trophy-producing. After a recent visit, even I, a native New Zealander, was amazed that such a place existed.
The guide, Jonathan Greensmith, was prepared to show me the location on the understanding that I only wrote about it in this publication. He feared poaching should locals learn of its whereabouts. It is that good. In partnership with the farm owner, he offers seven-day, free-range trophy hunts with an emphasis on red stags. The hunting range is 40,000 acres in size, and the deer are spread evenly across the region, with moderate numbers of chamois in the steeper mountains and a good wild sheep population. Wild goats and pigs also live within the area, and are complimentary. Rabbits and hares are also numerous.
Greensmith's company is called Inland Hunters. Clients arrive at Christchurch airport, in the province of Canterbury, which is on the larger South Island of the country. Greensmith will meet clients there and take them north for about a 2 1/2-hour drive along the main highway. He then turns inland, leaving the paved road behind and travels for 50 kilometers along a farm road into game country.
All this area is private property to which Greensmith has exclusive hunting rights. The road winds its way through dry, rolling hills and valleys, with the opening and closing of gates the only incumbrance. There are no people, other than the occasional farm worker, and you often encounter red deer crossing the road. Travel into the area will take most of the first day, and travel out most........(continued)