View Full Version : Headed to New Zealand for Stag

04-05-2012, 09:02 PM
Well Gentlemen and Jen:) 18 long months after booking the hunt, I officially head out in 11 hours. Fingers crossed and I'll be sure to give you guys some updates and pics when I return, April 16th. Hopefully I won't embarrass myself:)


04-05-2012, 09:12 PM
Thats awesome!!!! best of luck and safe trip

Kevin Root
04-05-2012, 09:14 PM
Awesome! Hope you have a fun and successful hunt Montana.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-05-2012, 09:22 PM
Good luck Montana,

I can't wait to see those trophy photos!

Jon Boy
04-05-2012, 11:30 PM
Good luck man! Hope you have a good time!

04-06-2012, 01:07 AM
New Zealand is a great place, my Aussie hunting buddies drew a good block and are hunting Tahr and Chamois in the Southern Alps the end of May.

It's totally legal to hunt there on your own, you just have to draw the blocks.

04-06-2012, 05:46 AM
Good luck Montana,

I can't wait to see those trophy photos!

lol.... :) So i actually printed out 10 pics of other "perfect photo's" so I can study positioning :)

Thanks everyone!!

04-06-2012, 06:03 AM
Shoot them where you would shoot an elk. They are also cervus elaphus.

04-06-2012, 07:20 AM
Nice, I'm jealous. Have a good time and be safe. Can't wait to see pictures and hear the story.

Umpqua Hunter
04-06-2012, 10:39 AM
Hope you have an awesome time. Looking forward to seeing the pics. That has been my dream hunt for many years.

04-06-2012, 04:20 PM
Good Luck Montana!!

04-06-2012, 04:55 PM
Good Luck Montana. Can't wait to see the pics of the amazing trophies and amazing scenery

04-16-2012, 06:57 AM
Well here we go... I'll get my buddies out of the way because it pretty much makes mine look like a forked horn. I'll write a full review tonight. It was amazing and I would HIGHLY recommend this outfitter. Boy does he know his stuff. Enjoy a monster stag:


04-16-2012, 07:36 AM
thats awesome beautiful animal congrats!!!

04-16-2012, 08:13 AM
what a beautiful animal montana! Even if yours is a forked horn, most of us spent the early part of April at work! Congrats

Kevin Root
04-16-2012, 08:21 AM
Sounds like an awesome adventure Montana. Looks awesome so far too from those pictures.

04-16-2012, 09:09 AM
Jealous! Good luck get a huge one and take lots of pics for us to see

04-16-2012, 11:30 AM
We were just the for our honeymoon and dreamt about doing some stag hunting. Post lots of pics!

04-16-2012, 07:44 PM
It was the 3rd morning of the hunt and as you saw earlier my buddy had already put one down. The numbers of deer are nothing like what we have here in the states. It is a completely different system there, the outfitters don't lease land, they buy animals. Which is actually pretty nice because they have landowners constantly "scouting" for them. They contact the outfitter, the outfitter goes out to the property and basically bids on the animal and then if harvested the outfitter pays the land owner. Of course the financial details were never shared.
So back to my hunt... The fog and rain had pretty much consumed the entire 2nd day, only hearing some red deer roar but never laying eyes on one, always just seemed right out of reach. The 3rd morning we placed ourselves on what I called the middle ridge, in hopes the fog would lift and we would see the roaring stags. At about 8am our hopes were taking place. We were glassing 2 sets of red deer. Each stag had 8-10 hinds with him. After about 10 minutes of sizing them up in the spotter we headed after the one I wanted. With the rain cleaning up his antlers and the ivory tips gleaming it was everything I had dreamed of.
We dropped off the middle ridge and got below the line of sight. The country is unbelievably steep. i conditioned for 2 1/2 months and still the guide was waiting for me on more than a few occasions. The fog rolled back in and made it a bit tough. He slowly pushed his hinds to the higher country but his continual roaring kept us slowly on tract. At about 11:45 another stag above him started roaring as well... I knew this was going to be out opportunity. We were on a small hill opposite of him and we could tell he stopped pushing his hinds to higher ground to avoid a confrontation. He seemed so close but still couldn't see him due to the fog. The entire time the wind was in our face and slowly it started to shift uphill, I couldn't believe we were about to lose it after all this time. The breeze settled across my face and I was content enough. There was a rock pile 80 yards in front of us and I knew if we could get to it I would be in perfect shooting position if the fog lifted. After the belly crawl we were set up and I could slowly start to make out shapes in the fog. I had been laying on the rock pile for 20 minutes when the wind picked up and with the rain I started to get very cold. But I also knew that this would eventually lift the fog as well and sure enough his rack began to materialize.
I waited for the hinds to clear and squeezed my first shot. He hunched up and the hinds bolted into the brush. Not wanting him to join them in a straight down hill dash, I took the high shoulder shot and dropped him in his tracks.
the shot ended up only being 135 yards but with the fog and the rain it just took that much time for it to come together. As far as stags go I know he is not the biggest but he is mine and a memory that will last a lifetime:)
Sorry for the ridiculous length of story:)

04-16-2012, 07:53 PM
A couple of supporting photo's :)


Jon Boy
04-16-2012, 08:07 PM
Are you kidding me?! Thats an awesome stag!!! Looks like such a fun hunt. Can you compare it to elk hunting in the states or is it an entirely different hunt?

Bitterroot Bulls
04-16-2012, 08:11 PM
Sweet. Just incredible stuff, Montana.

Kevin Root
04-16-2012, 08:21 PM
Nice pictures Montana. I enjoied reading the story. That surely was and is an awesome memory for you.

Umpqua Hunter
04-16-2012, 08:25 PM
Those are two awesome stags Montana! What a great time. Thanks for the story.

Years ago, I told my dad if I had a work opportunity there, I would move to New Zealand sight unseen. :)

04-16-2012, 08:33 PM
Wow, those photos are amazing. Sounds like an awesome time. I may have just added this to my list of things to do before I die.

04-16-2012, 08:53 PM
Congrats Montana, what an adventure of a Lifetime.

04-17-2012, 06:43 AM
Thanks Everyone..

JB.. Pretty much exactly the same as elk except next to zero hope of harvesting on public land, at least of high quality. But just like any public land hunt here... I'm sure there must be some good ones that come off. The hinds look A LOT like our cow elk.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-17-2012, 07:30 AM
I just read somewhere that a DNA study was completed and while people thought for decades elk (wapiti) and red deer were the same species, they found out elk were genetically closer to sika deer than red deer.

Sorry about the vague "read somwhere" reference. I will see if I can dig it up.

I have heard a decent 5 point is a good public land stag in NZ.

04-17-2012, 08:29 AM
I just read somewhere that a DNA study was completed and while people thought for decades elk (wapiti) and red deer were the same species, they found out elk were genetically closer to sika deer than red deer.

Sorry about the vague "read somwhere" reference. I will see if I can dig it up.

I have heard a decent 5 point is a good public land stag in NZ.

It has always bugged me that they are declared the same species. Sure, they look a bit similar, but ..

1.) Different colors
2.) Make different sounds
3.) Have different antlers
4.) Have different habits

04-17-2012, 08:48 AM
The current CITES naming convention for red deer, elk and sika puts them in the same genus. Which means they are closely related, can interbreed and produce sound fertile offspring.

The last time I looked into this was in 1998, and Sambar and Rusa were also in the Cervus genus. So they have updated things a bit.

Even among elk in North America we have/had the 5 different sub-species/races Tule, Roosevelt, Rocky Mountain, Manitoba and Eastern.

Tule and Roosevelt elk are as far away from Rocky and Manitoba elk as they can be in habits, coloration and horn configuration. Tule elk have crown points like red deer do, and their breeding season is during the heat of their central California summer.

Genus Cervus
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
Corsican Red Deer (Cervus corsicanus)
Yarkand Deer (Cervus yarkandensis)
Bactrian Deer (Cervus bactrianus)
Kashmir Stag (Cervus hanglu)
Maral Deer (Cervus maral)
Tibetan Wapiti (Cervus wallichi)
Sichuan Wapiti (Cervus macneilli)
Manchurian Wapiti (Cervus xanthopygus)
American Wapiti (Cervus canadensis)
Sika Deer (Cervus nippon)
Thorold's Deer (Cervus albirostris)

04-17-2012, 08:52 AM

This is off of Wikipedia showing the areas inhabited by elk/maral/wapiti.

04-18-2012, 08:01 AM
Curious, I could swear they were classified as the same species. Glad to know I am wrong!