Tahr & Chamois
These two species make up the two main alpine trophies hunted by Doctari . They are located off-site so clients need to make their hunting intentions for them very clear in advance of their visit. The bull tahr is perhaps New Zealand' s second most popular trophy species hunted by clients. A trophy will carry horns from 11.5 to 13.5 inches in length, and have an attractive brown/black cape. The peak of the rut is mid May. Chamois are probably number six in client popularity behind the deer species and tahr. They live at lower altitude than tahr but are scarcer in number. A trophy chamois buck is between 9 to 10.5 inches. The peak of the rut is mid to late May, and bucks have a striking black cape and white neck and face at this time. Hunts are undertaken by foot using spot and stalk techniques. Fitness is a great asset when hunting alpine game.
The magnificent Red Stag is New Zealand’s premier big game trophy. Visiting hunters view the securing of ‘a big stag head’ as number one priority when booking a hunt. This country has long been renowned as having some of the heaviest, wide, even and multi-tined sets of antlers in the world. Red stag like to inhabit a diversity of New Zealand landscapes, ranging from valley floor, to scrubland to forest to open tussock tops. At Garrawaye, the hunting terrain is perfectly suited for bow-hunting and rifle, with skilled hunters having the terrain on their side when stalking in close.
Otago, where Doctari Safaris is based is recognised as the homeland of New Zealand’s first released stags and hinds. Some massive wild stags were shot in the early years and today Doctari Safaris replicates those bygone monsters by only stocking their challenging estate with quality, hardy trophy stags. The peak of the rut is early April, and stags are in hard antler from late February to late August.
A mature fallow buck with long, wide and thickly palmated antlers is rapidly becoming one of New Zealand’s most sought after trophies. There have long been established wild herds sprinkled across both the North and South Islands but the introduction of quality genetics from European stock is seeing trophy scores accelerate upwards, and at Garrawaye the original estate stock was carefully selected. The fruits of that decision have been a raft of big bucks taken by clients. In addition to large antlers Doctari Safaris can offer all of the colour variations (melanistic, common, white, and menil) and through rigorous culling and herd management virtually guarantee client success when seeking out a trophy buck. Herd size is abundant, the terrain hunter friendly and the undergrowth suited to stalking in close with bow or rifle. The peak of the rut is mid to late April and bucks are in hard antler from late February to mid-September.
Goats are plentiful at Garrawaye, the property owned by Doctari Safaris. Large herds roam the nearby bluffs and gorge behind the main hunting block and provide numerous hunting interactions for clients. Bow-hunters in particular enjoy being able to improve their stalking expertise on a species that is not as wary as deer and pig. Generous packages allow clients to take several goats on a trip. There is a wide range of colours plus the straight white from the Angora . Trophy goats are among the herds but the majority of billy goats are moderate in size because of their genetic background. Goats inhabit the same range as small game such as hares and rabbits, and merriam turkey so a hunt for goats may see a range of species taken over the day including those mentioned as well as non-trophy fallow deer and pig.
There is no hunting season for turkeys in New Zealand, and they may be hunted all year long. Birds on this property are abundant with each flock consisting of about fifteen to thirty birds. Toms are quite tolerant of each other, but in the months August to November, there is much gobbling as male birds sort out the mating hierarchy. They are big birds, and a mature tom will weigh from 18 to 25 pounds.
A typical hunt would see the hunter using shotgun or bow attempt to either follow a flock, or ambush the tom, or wait near a roosting site. Those who hunt in the wilder country, near the back of the farm, select a vantage spot, then using binoculars, find their quarry. A stalk is then carried out. New Zealand birds rely on their eyesight, and once spotting an enemy will flee uphill. A cunning hunter can conceal himself, and let the guide scare birds past him.
It is amazing country to hunt turkeys in. There are virtually no trees, and birds roost at night on top of rock stacks, or fences. Each morning and evening sees them back at their roosting spot, which makes it a desirable ambush location. As the morning brightens, they head out to feed in the open valleys, and gullies. Vegetation consists of briar bushes, spear-grass, tussock and farm paddocks. The scenery is magnificent with rolling hill country, steep gorges and huge plateaus. Reasonable fitness is a great advantage, as most turkeys would rather run than fly.
Wild boar are some of the most hunted animals in New Zealand, and those found on land hunted by are some of the biggest , It is not unusual for a butchered boar to top 200 pounds and display impressive tusks. Mobs of pigs roam across the tussock and scrub foothills behind the main hunting block, and are a ‘here today’, ‘gone tomorrow’ game species. Having said that, Steve Dougherty is a renowned pig hunter and can usually find out where they are hanging out during a hunter’s visit. Clients may either seek out a trophy using spot and stalk as a tactic or by using pig-dogs. Boars can be solitary animals, but if there are sows nearby then he will come a courting and this is his Achilles heel. Many a trophy boar has been harvested between his home range and a local sow in-season home range. Bow-hunters find them a challenging quarry, but the fact pigs have weak eyesight and the terrain is hunter friendly means that a stalk in close is very possible. The predominant colour of local pigs matches the natural colours of the landscape so brown, brown and black, red-brown, brown-black and grey-black are often encountered.