A permit is required by anyone using a rifle, bow or dog to hunt on land managed by the Department of Conservation.

You need to take a valid hunting permit with you at all times to legally hunt on land managed by DOC.

All blocks in the Greenstone/Caples Recreational Hunting Area (RHA) require a restricted permit. These are issued in two ballot draws, one for April/May each year (the roar) and the other for June to September. From 1 October to 31 March the Greenstone/Caples RHA is closed to hunting.

A restricted permit means:

  • The permit is issued for a specific hunting block only
  • You need to request the permit from your local DOC office

Restricted permits are also issued for gamebird, rabbit, hare and possum hunting with rimfire rifles, shotguns and .22s, and for animal fur trapping.

Information regarding the ballot process

Applications for the April/May ballot are accepted on the DOC website from 1 November to 1 December each year. Applications for the June to September ballot are accepted from 1 February to 1 March each year.

  • Applications must include the full name, address, phone number and firearms licence number of each party member (party leaders must also include an email address).
  • Only one form per party is permitted.  
  • Individual hunters should not apply on more than one ballot form. Any hunter found on more than one form will have all applications removed from the ballot. 
  • A maximum of four hunters are permitted per block. Any parties with fewer than four members will have the remaining places allocated to another party.

The ballots are drawn under Police supervision and party leaders notified in writing of their success or failure in the ballot draw. If successful applicants are not going to hunt their block they must contact the Department as soon as possible to allow others the hunting opportunity.

Name changes are discouraged but may be granted at the Department's discretion.

Successful hunters must advise the farm manager before entering either valley. Contact Routeburn Station, Stuart Percy, ph +64 3 442 9901.

Kill Returns must be lodged with the Queenstown Office within 30 days of permit expiry. Nil Returns must also be lodged. Successful hunters must also return a colour photo of the head and a Douglas Score (or the length, width and number of points). This information is used by the local New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association branch as part of their annual reporting.

Update on the 2016 ballots

The April/May 2016 ballot has closed and all blocks and dates have been allocated.

The June to September 2016 ballot has closed and all applicants have been notified of their success or failure in the ballot draw. There are limited blocks and dates still available. To book contact the Queenstown Office.

Whakatipu-wai-Māori / Queenstown Office
Phone:   +64 3 442 7933
Address:   Cavells Building
1 Arthurs Point Road
Full office details

Your responsibilities

It is your responsibility to:

  • Find out about pesticide use in the area you are hunting in before your trip
  • Comply in full with the conditions under which the hunting permit is issued
  • Comply with each area’s special conditions for hunting and the use of dogs
  • Get permission from any private land owners before you cross their land
  • Ensure you do not hunt on restricted hunting areas unless you have received separate consent from the relevant DOC issuing office
  • Carry a hunting permit with you whenever you go hunting on land managed by DOC

View the permit conditions.

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