In contrast to North America, New Zealand does not have government-imposed hunting seasons for big game. Hunting is available year-round. Our season is based around rutting periods and runs from mid-February through to early-August. All species can be hunted during these months. As a general guide, antlered species are in hard antler from early-February through to mid-September. The table below is indicative of rutting periods and the recommended months to hunt each species. Rutting periods may vary slightly due to several factors such as testosterone levels, moon phases and other environmental factors.
Waterfowl and upland game bird hunting season is open from May through to August each year. Certain species such as Canadian geese and turkeys can be hunted year-round. The fishing season for rainbow trout, brown trout and sea run salmon is open from October through to April each year. However, there are opportunities available to fish year-round.
Please see our Species page for additional information on all big game, fishing, waterfowl and upland game bird hunting.