NEW ZEALAND RED STAG HUNT & CONSERVATION
HISTORY – the beginning…
Away back in the early decades of last century the quality of trophy Red stag deer being successfully hunted in the Rakaia Valley and at Manuka Point Lodge, by pioneer New Zealand deer stalkers came to the attention of the deer stalking fraternity of the World. The ‘word’ was out that deer hunting for the Manuka Point trophy Red stag deer much surpassed the quality of Red stags being hunted in the U.K. and Europe. With each passing season more and more information about giant sets of trophy Red stag deer antlers filtered back to trophy hunters across USA, the UK and Europe.
NEW ZEALAND OUTFITTERS – the early days
Four month safari: Alerted by photos of those giant sets of Red stag antlers International gentry and lords were determined they would seek trophies deer hunting at Manuka Point. Not an easy task for their endeavours would occupy fully four months of their year. First a six week seas voyage by steamer, timed to arrive in New Zealand well in advance of the onset of the Red stag rut, beginning March. Most spent a month, with New Zealand’s legendary deerstalking guides, deer hunting before facing their return sea voyage home. Can you imagine the dedication of those old-time deerstalkers putting their lives on ‘hold’ for four months annually? Yes annually, for many hunters returned year after year, enticed, enthused and enchanted by their extraordinary success hunting in New Zealand for trophy Red stag at Manuka Point.
That was the era when the legend of deer hunting the Red stags of the Rakaia (Manuka Point) was born, enhanced and perpetuated, carrying forward to present day and into the future…
IMPORTANT NOTE – Today an American trophy hunter, living on the west coast, will arrive in New Zealand after a relaxed overnight flight. (So easy and free from stress)
World War Two followed by a period of New Zealand Government ‘culling’ of excess numbers of deer created somewhat of a hiatus in guided deer hunting until the early 1960’s. Don Patterson is one of the successful new-generation New Zealand trophy hunting outfitter/guides.
As a young hunter Don first set foot on Manuka Point in 1983 and with each subsequent hunting trip grew the desire to own Manuka Point and establish a world-class New Zealand guided trophy hunting operation. Manuka Point was not for sale way back then, so – like all hunters should be – Don displayed amazing patience as his love for that vast tract of alpine wilderness occupied more and more of his thoughts, his desire to be a professional hunting guide at Manuka Point grew. Somehow, known only to a few, he eventually persuaded the owners of the property to sell the 25,000 acres of prime alpine grandeur where roamed Red stag, Fallow deer, Chamois and Tahr.
The Patterson family – Don, Julie, Ben & Will – moved to Manuka Point in July 2002. Prior to purchasing the property Don had promised Julie that if she would move to this vast remote pristine wilderness he would build her a lovely new home. He kept his promise and their purpose built luxurious hunting lodge/home was finally officially opened in February 2009.