Popular for red deer, wapiti, possum and wild pig hunting, Fiordland is a desired destination for many avid hunters with beautiful scenery and untouched nature up its sleeve. To truly experience Fiordland’s extensive hunting offering, a hunting helicopter trip gives you the best opportunity to.
Get prepared and set up
The best base for your Fiordland hunting adventure is Te Anau. Known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park and home to our helicopter services. With a wide variety of accommodation businesses and good restaurants close by, you can fuel and rest up before the big quest. Your helicopter will leave Te Anau from the lake front, presenting you with incredible views across the surrounding landscape for a spectacular start.
What to bring and consider
To be allowed to go hunting in the national park, all hunters must carry a valid hunting permit. Those can be applied for by DOC online and must be carried at all times. The hunting permit map is large, and you have many areas to choose from. The Department of Conservation have set up a map and brochure to help guide new hunters in the area to the best spots. If you are not too sure which area would be the best for your skills and preferred hunt, please contact us for tailored recommendations.
What to hunt
Red Deer – are generally found throughout the national park in low to moderate numbers. Our pilots know of a couple of higher quality habitat where larger numbers can be found and are happy to share their knowledge. If you are hunting for trophies, the roar is a good time to locate and stalk a male deer as they become preoccupied with finding hinds and become less cautious. Also, there is no seasonal restrictions on hunting red deer.
Wapiti deer – the Fiordland herd is the only free-range herd in the Southern Hemisphere. The area is subject to a ballot for hunting during the rut (bugle) 1 March – 30 April each year. The core blocks of the Wapiti Area are closed to hunting prior to the ballot period from 1 February, with the remainder of the Wapiti Area closed from 15 February. Hunting is permitted throughout the rest of the year in the Wapiti Area and requires a specific permit (different from the open hunting permit for Fiordland). A permit can be obtained in person from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau.
Possums – having colonised almost all of Fiordland National Park, they can be found in high densities in coastal areas north of Milford Sound. If you are interested in harvesting the fur and skins of possums after using traps and toxins, a special permit is required.
If you’d want to take it a little slower and more relaxed, Fiordland National Park has many great river spots available with some of the best brown and rainbow trout fishing experiences in the world! Experience wilderness fishing like you have imagined it in your wildest dreams, with our helicopter taking you to the most beautiful and secluded spots in the park.
Stewart Island hunting opportunity
For an even more exclusive hunting opportunity, Rakiura/Stewart Island offers hunters the only readily accessible herd of Virginian White-tail deer in the Southern Hemisphere. For more information on how to book hunting blocks and apply for permits visit Department of Conservation.
We are happy to help you with any booking queries or questions you might have with your dream hunting trip to Fiordland. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time, or, when you are ready, filling out the booking form.