Find out about the animals you can hunt in Fiordland

Red deer

Red deer are found throughout Fiordland National Park, generally in low to moderate numbers although higher numbers can be found in places of higher quality habitat. Commercial helicopter recovery is permitted in the open access hunting areas throughout the year.

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Wapiti deer are found in the area between Charles and Sutherland Sounds on the western coast, and the Doon and Worsley Valleys on the shores of Lake Te Anau. The Fiordland herd is the only free range wapiti herd in the Southern Hemisphere.

The area of Fiordland National Park that contains Wapiti is known as the Wapiti Area and 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.

The Wapiti Area is subject to strategic and restricted commercial helicopter recovery managed in partnership with the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation in recognition of the value of the wapiti herd for recreational hunting nationally.

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Chamois are found throughout Fiordland National Park but are at very low densities in the southern half of Fiordland. Moderate numbers can be found in parts of northern Fiordland National Park. Chamois are controlled annually over all of Fiordland National Park except for areas east and north of the Te Anau to Milford Sound highway SH94 i.e Darran Mountains and Livingstone Mountains.


Wild pigs can be found in small numbers within the Fiordland National Park (e.g Waitutu Forest) and in some of western Southland's conservation areas.

Dog access is controlled, for more information see: Fiordland controlled dog access.

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Possums have colonised almost all of Fiordland National Park. They can be found in high densities in coastal areas north of Milford Sound and moderate around Lakes Te Anau, Manapouri, Hauroko and Monowai. A permit is required to harvest possum fur and skins using traps or toxins.

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