HARD YARDS NZ FAQ
Can I bring my firearm with me?
Yes! Currently it is quite simple to bring a hunting firearm with you into NZ. Make sure you have the correct paperwork and $25 NZD in cash. See the NZ Police website for details:
You will need to complete the Firearms Visitor Application before you arrive:
We suggest bringing 40 rounds of ammunition and recommend a 200-yard zero. A .243 can be considered a minimum calibre for our game animals; something like a .270 or 7mm Rem Mag is an excellent choice.
You will need to check with any countries you may be passing through on what their current laws are. Most hunters from North America and Australia bring their own rifles to hunt with us, while most European hunters use our rifles as transfers through Asian countries can be more difficult.
Can I bowhunt?
Yes, you can! Our hunting areas are generally very open and spot-and-stalk is our main hunting method, but we can and do successfully host bowhunters. If you wish to take on the challenge of a bowhunt, please let us know and we will arrange a hunt that is better orientated for the task. If you wish to bowhunt you will need a high level of fitness, as stalks can be physically demanding. Joseph has personally taken tahr and chamois trophies with the bow.
How difficult will it be?
You will need to have some level of fitness to hunt. We hunt primarily by spot-and-stalk in the mountains. The better shape you are in physically and mentally, the more you will enjoy your hunt. Wilderness hunts are best suited to those with mountain hunting experience, good health, a positive mental attitude, and a high level of fitness. If you are concerned about your fitness please talk to us when you book your hunt.
Will we hunt a fenced area?
- All our hunts are fully free-range on wild animals. We do not believe high-fenced hunts are in the best interests of hunting. Helicopters are used, but for access only. All animals are hunted on foot.
What happens if I shoot my animal on the first day?
If you are lucky enough to take your trophy early, your hunt does not finish. We will continue to hunt for a better trophy, another species, or arrange other tourist activities for you during your stay. Most hunters we have choose their primary species to hunt as well as another secondary species if time allows. Extra costs may be incurred, depending on the type of hunt.
How do I get my trophy home?
We work with Andrew Holt at Big Game Taxidermy for all our mounting and expediting needs. The Big Game Taxidermy team is one of the best in NZ and will help you either expedite your trophies home or ship the mounted trophies. They are conveniently based next to the Christchurch International Airport, and we will see them at the beginning and again at the end of your hunt. http://www.biggametaxidermy.com/
What happens when the weather is bad?
Weather plays an important part in any mountain hunt. We plan our hunts to have enough time to work with the weather. We also have hunting areas on both the west and east sides of the Southern Alps. This allows us to work around major weather problems with various options.
What’s included in the hunt?
Our package hunts are all-inclusive trips. We will meet you at the airport/motel and take care of you for the entire hunt period. Included are all guide fees, food, accommodation, transport, trophy fees, helicopter time (where stated), trophy prep, and delivery to taxidermy. Prices do not include gratuities, taxidermy fees, or alcoholic beverages.
How do I get there?
We are based in the centre of the South Island and will pick you up from either Christchurch International Airport (preferred) or Queenstown International Airport. If you are traveling from North America or Europe we recommend arriving one day before your hunt and spending a day at a motel/hotel. This helps greatly with jet lag and any flight delays. We drive 3-5 hours from the airport to our hunting areas depending on the type of hunt. Because of this we prefer an early-morning pick up (before 10 am). We recommend booking your flights and any accommodation as soon as possible, as NZ is a very busy tourist destination and it can be hard to find the right flights on short notice.
How far are the shots?
We generally try to get within 300 yards to ensure good shot placement and recovery, but you should be confident shooting out to 350-400 yards.
What is the success rate?
For our rifle hunts, we normally have 95-100% success every year. Some outfitters in NZ advertise a 100% guarantee; normally they sacrifice trophy quality (young animals) or hunting methods (helicopter hunting) in order to achieve this. We pride ourselves on taking quality trophies by foot hunting.
Can I borrow a rifle?
Yes, you can. We have several quality rifles set up with good quality scopes and suppressors for our hunters to use. We currently have Tikka and Browning rifles in .243, .300 WSM, .270, and .223 (for small game). We charge $150 per trip to use our rifles; this covers the cost of ammunition and wear and tear.
Do you have small game to hunt?Yes, most of our private areas have some form of small game which can be taken free-of-charge on an opportunistic basis. We have areas with high numbers of goats and wallabies, and if this is something you are interested in adding onto your hunt, we can easily arrange