Bowhunting Red Deer (Stag)
Originally from Europe, these majestic deer were eventually transplanted into New Zealand. Somewhat similar to our North American Elk, Red deer a slightly smaller and have a unique “crown” on top of their main beams. They are very vocal during the rut, which is in March/April in Southern Hemisphere. They roar rather than bugle and it is a sound a bowhunter will not soon forget.
This animal is what brings bowhunters to New Zealand. The trophy quality of NZ Red Stags is only exceeded in Bulgaria/Hungary, where these upper scoring trophies would cost substantially more. Bowhunting these stags is best accomplished during the rut, Mar.15-May 1. The stags are very vocal, much more than N. Am. Elk. They can be called, but since they are so vocal, it is not recommended. It not uncommon to find 4-6 bulls challenging each other in one area.
A bowhunter can expect 1 or 2 shot opportunities per day with the right outfitter and most stag hunts are completed in 5 days. It is a very high success rate; truly a bowhunting bonanza.