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  • 2 Post By Mathias
  • 3 Post By akaroa1

Thread: Advice for red deer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Big Island, Hawaii, Kona

    Advice for red deer

    Hello everyone,

    I'm the American, new on your site.
    I appreciate the non-commercial emphasis of your site. I am very opposed to commercialization of wildlife. The wild animals should be a resource for everyone.
    I've been doing a lot of reading and watching YouTube videos to try to decide on a good location for red deer hunting on public land, self-guided.
    It seems that Central/North Canterbury has good trophy potential and better weather than the West Coast so I would like to get your advice on the following areas. Maybe you could rank them #1, 2, 3.

    I will be happy with an 8 point or larger stag.

    Planning to pack out all the meat so I am still looking for someone who would like to trade meat for use of a freezer in Canterbury.

    Arthurs Pass Nat. Park, Poulter river

    Lake Sumner RHA, Hurunui River

    Rakaia/Wilberforce/Matthias area.

    My friend and I are planning to use mountain bikes to access the hunting area. I'm not sure if the land owners allow mountain bike access to the Rakaia. The other 2 are bike friendly.

    Thanks for the advice

  2. #2
    Member Mathias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Canterbury, home of the big Rakaia Red Stag
    You can ride your bike up the Rakaia ok, but the river crossing itself can be an issue. During April the river runs around 300 cumecs at the gorge and up further it's less, however a good Nor'west storm can bring it up to 1500 in no time. Same applies for the Mathias as you will have to access it by crossing the Rakaia at Manuka Point first. Wilberforce is a little different, the track up the true left is usually clear and only has small crossings until you get to the Unknown junction.

    You look to have done a good bit of research, well done. Don't underestimate our back country as our narrow little country has some very diverse weather changes.
    veitnamcam and Moa Hunter like this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    All those locations are equally good in their own ways.

    Your success and enjoyment really depend more on the planning you put in, the connections you make, the gear you have and your expectations !
    Good gear, a little bit of local knowledge ( like you have done, connecting with this forum ) and realistic expectations equal great trip .... and if you do shoot something decent that's a bonus !

    Do not underestimate the Southern Alps of NZ.
    Yes we don't have poisonous snakes or spiders. But we do have a very volatile weather as @Mathias stated.
    We also have a lot of gravity down here and it can cause a lot of issues in the sort of country you will need to get into to be successful.

    There is the added bonus of probably bumping in a Chamois in any of those locations.
    Even if they aren't high on your list of targets you will be pretty keen once you have seen one in the wild.
    Matt2308, Dublin and Micky Duck like this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Keep an eye on the doc website for 1080 poisoning. I believe a large area in the rakia catchment (Wilberforce and Mathias) is due to get poisoned next month. I have also heard rumors of culling in the RHA sometime in the not too distant future. Nothing is for sure untill it happens though... these event are often canceled or delayed.

  5. #5
    Member Nathan F's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Deep South
    The upper Waimakiriri valley in APNP from the bridge up is worth a look too . If you dont mind walking there is some great hunting to be had.
    Id concentrate on the sunny faces on the true right up from turkey flat. Be prepared to climb and glass.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    What sort of hunting have you done before ? Post a few pics and people can give advice based on your level of experience.

    For your first trip, I'd suggest staying in a valley floor hut like the Carrington in Arthurs Pass or the else in Rakaia or Lewis Pass/Lake Sumner area. That area Nathan F suggested is fairly friendly in good weather. The Hurunui and Lewis Pass is more relaxing country and you might try an overnight trip to a higher hut or bivvy there (Lake Man or Brass Monkey). Try not to commit yourself to any off track packing through the bush and be conservative in how far you plan to travel each day with a pack. Typically people move 2km per hour on bush tracks here, meaning 10km is a long day with a full pack. Out on a bouldery riverbed like the Rakaia with crossings 1km/hr is more average.
    The main hazard you face will be the river crossings. It's "The New Zealand Death". Most days you will cruise up and down and across no problems.

    What time of year are you coming ? Stags are in hard antler from early March but best weather in in late January to March, maybe April in a good year. Rivers will be lowest then too.

    I think it's quite hard work riding a bike with more than a day pack so don't count on that too much. You can get public transport (nice scenic train or else a bus) intp Arthurs Pass NP. Do some research on transport anyway.

    Be prepared for wasps, which can be a worry at Lewis Pass. Look for any info you can get on current local numbers.

    Be considerate and helpful to trampers you meet as there will be quite a few around in the huts and on the tracks.



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