The Game Animal Council has developed this simple guide to provide hunters with information on how to judge the age of red deer stags in the field and positively contribute to their management. Click on the cover image to open and download:

Red deer are the most abundant and widespread deer species in New Zealand and can be found in most regions of both the North and South Islands. Red deer are also the game animal species that Kiwis hunt most often.

Good red deer management in New Zealand is about hunters targeting old mature stags as well as harvesting their fair share of breeding-age hinds (to help achieve a high-quality, low-density population and hunting resource). Harvesting younger stags does nothing for herd management and means those animals never get the chance to mature and realise their full potential.

Thanks to Chris McCarthy and Willie Duley for their input into this guide.

For more on why good game animal management is important, go to Looking After Our Game Animals.