Special Feature: Red, fallow and chamois trophies in National Parks
This top destination for travellers has wonderful sunshine, golden sand beaches and the most popular national parks in the country.
Nelson’s Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi parks, along with the superb Mt Arthur Tablelands and Cobb Valley, are nirvana for lovers of the outdoors who are also hunters. The parks offer amazingly diverse landscapes from towering granite domes, marble mountains, honeycomb caves and high plateaux of red tussock – perfect red deer habitat.
Red deer are present in all high forested areas in moderate numbers. Good hunting is to be had anywhere in the region and trophy heads can be obtained by trekking into the relatively undisturbed backcountry such as the Wangapeka River and other catchments in the Murchison and Inangahua areas.
Fallow deer exist in a small colony on the Bryant Range and headwaters of the Pelorus River. The Mt Arthur/Cobb Valley herd has become well established and produces good trophies from time to time.
Chamois are found in low numbers on the high alpine slopes, right across the vast northern end of the Southern Alps. There are many well-defined tracks and good huts in the Nelson ranges, which makes hunting more effective and enjoyable.
Wild pigs are present in the Abel Tasman, Mt Arthur and Richmond Ranges in low to moderate numbers. They inhabit the thickest parts of the bush so finding and bailing dogs are usually needed to help ‘bring home the bacon’. Goats are scattered in small groups in the coastal Wakamarama Range and the Richmond Range.
Good populations of mallard, grey and shoveler ducks exist in the coastal estuaries and farm ponds throughout the Nelson region. Paradise shelduck can be found in moderate numbers. Pheasant, quail and partridge are present on forest margins, recently felled forest areas and in thick scrubland. Golden Bay mallard numbers are increasing and black swan are plentiful on Farewell Spit.
Fly-in hunting safaris for red deer, chamois and wild pig are available in Nelson and Upper Moutere. The full range of red, fallow and wapiti trophies plus thar, chamois, Arapawa Island ram, goat and wild boar is offered by professional guides in Murchison.