Recreational hunter
Image: George Ledgard | DOC


DOC and the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association have partnered to run a new National Wild Goat Hunting competition.

Date:  24 July 2023 Source:  Department of Conservation and New Zealand Deerstalkers Association

The competition is also supported by Federated Farmers of NZ and leading retailer Hunting and Fishing NZ.

Hunters across Aotearoa New Zealand will be able to participate with permission from the landowner or local authority from 1 August to 26 November 2023.

DOC and New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) are partnering to encourage hunters to target wild goats in a win-win for hunters and conservation.

DOC National Programmes Director Ben Reddiex says increased hunter efforts will reduce the damage wild goats can cause to native plants, and alpine and forest ecosystems.

“High densities of wild goats cause significant damage to New Zealand’s native plants and habitats. They are becoming widespread, with significant numbers in some places.”

NZDA National Vice President Callum Sheridan says, “NZDA is excited to partner with DOC on this competition because many hunters start out their hunting career by shooting wild goats, but often move to deer and then overlook wild goats.”

“This is something we think recreational hunters will enjoy supporting because hunters spend a lot of time in New Zealand’s remote areas and are passionate about conservation. Many contribute to maintaining trap lines to protect our native species like whio and kea.”

DOC’s Ben Reddiex says the issue is wider than just on conservation land. Wild goats are also a problem for many private landowners, damaging and destroying fences, pasture, new trees, and native plantings. 

Federated Farmers National Board spokesperson Richard McIntyre says the competition is a fantastic idea, especially for landowners struggling to control wild goats.

He says potential hunters need to recognise they need to seek permission of farmers to access their land. “I encourage farmers to have a positive conversation with those seeking to hunt on their land. Let’s welcome hunters on to our farms and foster ongoing relationships that could reap benefits to hunters and farmers alike for years to come. I’m a keen hunter myself – as are many farmers.”    

NZDA’s Callum Sheridan says while goats are not classed as game animals like wild deer, pigs, tahr, and chamois they are still a valuable resource for food and developing hunting skills.

The competition has the support of the wild food specialist restaurant Cazador in Auckland. Dariush Lolaiy, chef and co-owner says, “I really enjoy cooking wild goat, it's a versatile protein well suited to the coal grill, slow braises, and even charcuterie. There's so much more to this meat than the classic curry! I especially appreciate the sustainability factor, and the variety of dishes it offers to work through the seasons.”

“There’s no question that managing wild goat numbers is essential for restoring and maintaining the health of our whenua and ngahere,” says Chris Sharland, from Hunting and Fishing NZ Ltd – competition supporter and founding sponsor.

“If we can symbiotically put food on the table, enjoy the outdoors, and promote hunter-led conservation, then everyone wins.”

The competition is free to enter, and hunters will have the opportunity to win some great prizes, kindly donated by the hunting and outdoor sector. NZDA will be running ‘Goat Competition Hubs’ throughout the country where local competitors can attend venue open days to lodge their tails and score their horns. More information on how to enter the competition can be found at

The national wild goat hunting competition is one tool to encourage more wild goat removal, build relationships across sectors, and raise awareness about the impact of wild goats on farmlands, and native plants and habitats.

The competition promotes safe firearms use, keeping safe in the back country, and ethical and humane hunting. The promotion organisers remind all potential hunters to make sure they seek and obtain permission to enter private and public land before heading out on a hunt.


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