Red deer is the main species to hunt in the Ruahine ranges. Some sika deer are also present. Hunting areas include a combination of bush, slips and open tussock tops.


  • Deer - Red
  • Deer - Sika
  • Pigs

Permit requirements

A permit is required to hunt on public conservation land.

This hunting area is covered by an 'open area permit' – get it online or from a DOC office.

Dog access

Dogs with a current kiwi aversion certificate only.

About this hunting block

The main species to hunt in the Ruahine Forest Park is red deer, which is common throughout. Some sika  and pigs are present in low numbers. Hunting areas include a combination of bush, slips and open tussock tops.

Possums and hares are present but use of .22 and shot guns are prohibited, as is hunting during the hours of darkness. Permits to use traps are available from the local DOC office. Parts of the area may be treated with 1080; check the pesticide summary.

General information

The Ruahine Forest Park covers an area of 94,000 ha which consists of tussock tops, craggy peaks, bush covered ranges and picturesque rivers. It stretches almost 100 km from the Taruarau River in the north to the Manawatu Gorge in the south. 

This page covers the north eastern area end of the Forest Park, down as far as  the Makaroro River. 


Public roads

  • Wakarara Road provides access to the Makaroro River. Follow State Highway 50 then turn towards the ranges onto Wakarara Road.
  • Mangleton Road is reached via Big Hill Road. Follow State Highway 50 to Maraekakaho and turn into Kereru Road. On reaching Kereru, turn right into Big Hill Road. The turnoff to Mangleton Road is on the left. 10 km along Mangleton Road, a sign marks the start of a public right of way to Masters Shelter. A 1.5 km drive across paddocks leads to a carpark and the park boundary. Masters Shelter is 100 m from the carpark. 


NZTopo50 BK36 and BK37


If you are using dogs to hunt in the Ruahine Forest Park, they must be avian-aversion certified. There are regenerating populations of kiwi and whio in the area, so it is important that dogs are well controlled. You are responsible for and must be in control of your dogs at all times. Only one dog per visitor is allowed, unless a special permit is obtained for specific activities.   


Ruahine Deer Working Group

A working group has been established to provide a forum for hunters (both recreational and commercial) and DOC to discuss issues relating to hunting and inform decisions for management of deer in the Ruahine Forest Park.

The group is working towards a common goal of a sustainable hunting resource/game animal population existing in harmony with a resilient ecosystem in the Ruahine Forest Park. If you would like to find out more about the group, email manawatu@doc.govt.nz.


Te Papaioea / Palmerston North Office
Phone:   0800 275 362
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   manawatu@doc.govt.nz
Address:   28 North Street
Palmerston North 4410
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11010
Manawatu Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442
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