Tahr and Chamois hunting

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Tahr and Chamois hunting

Tahr and chamois hunting options with Lake Hawea Hunting Safaris: Outfitter Chris McCarthy.

Your ultimate New Zealand mountain hunting experience.

Is mountain hunting your thing? It is most certainly ours!

Hunt our 86,000-acre, private, free-range area, where we have a game management program and limit the number of trophy males taken each season to ensure tahr bulls and buck chamois reach their maturity and maximum trophy potential. Or if you’re keen to take on the wilderness, let’s get right back into the Southern Alps and hunt from a remote tent camp with helicopter access.

Tahr and Chamois Hunting, private, free range, area

Trophy Bull tahr

Big, mature, 13-inch trophy bull tahr within our private land hunting area.

Chamois Hunting - Lake Hawea Hunting Safaris

Beautiful chamois buck, around 10 inches in horn length in late summer cape.

Our exclusive, mountainous, free-ranging area holds populations of Himalayan Tahr and Alpine Chamois. We shoot no more than 7 tahr bulls and 4 buck chamois from this area each season, to ensure we’re not over harvesting. Tahr bulls with trophy horns of around 13-inches are considered top trophies, 14-inch giants are possible. Chamois bucks over 10 inches are taken each season, the hunt being based around a 9-inch buck or better. Hunts are run from our lodge or comfortable, onsite, cabin accommodation within the hunting area.

tahr and chamois hunting ‘the double’ within our exclusive, free-range, private hunting area.

We also have further private land hunting areas we can access.

Access is by 4×4 or side by side buggy, we drive up the mountain to glassing points, taking out a lot of the ‘grunt work’, hunting is on foot from there. We take the time to evaluate trophy males, ‘spot then stalk’ is the main method employed when tahr and chamois hunting.

Generally, we are able to age tahr through the spotting scope by counting the annuli rings on the bulls’ horns, aging chamois is a little more difficult with their horns being a lot smaller in diameter and shorter in length, but our guides have a few tricks for assessing horn length and age to make sure good trophies are targeted.

Trophies taken within our private hunting areas, 4×4 access to glassing points.

This hunt is not as physically demanding as a wilderness hunt, although terrain is still challenging. Tahr and chamois hunting within our exclusive, private area, still requires a degree of fitness, and offers the opportunity to hunt from comfortable accommodation and glass over a number of trophy males. Observe and hunt tahr and chamois in an unpressured environment.

Wilderness Tahr and Chamois Hunting

Tahr and chamois hunting in the New Zealand wilderness with Lake Hawea Hunting Safaris is New Zealand’s ultimate alpine hunting adventure.

Chris and his guides have been hunting these wilderness area’s for over 20 years. Being successful on public land requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. The helicopter is our ‘pack horse’ and saves days of travel through tough terrain. We’re usually landed up high, on the upper bush line or alpine tussock grass, we make our tent camp right where the helicopter lands us. It is legal to fly and hunt in the same day in New Zealand.

Basic tent camp, landed up high by helicopter, pristine wilderness the ultimate alpine adventure.

Outfitter, Chris McCarthy at home, wilderness tahr and chamois hunting in the Southern Alps.

Wilderness tent camps are basic, ‘everything you need and nothing you don’t’, air mattresses, simple meals, quality alpine tents and tarpaulin covered cooking / eating area. Expect breath taking views, pristine alpine hunting terrain, bush clad river valley’s rising up to snow capped mountain peaks. This is true wilderness hunting.

A reasonably good level of fitness is the minimum requirement needed for wilderness tahr and chamois hunting.

Wilderness tahr and chamois trophies, tahr and chamois hunts are easily combined.


Wilderness hunts are more susceptible to adverse weather, if the weather over the dates you have booked looks to be nasty, we may need to pass time at the lodge or other accommodation before conditions are suitable to fly in. Generally, this does not hinder the hunt too much, as soon as the weather comes right the animals are out and about moving and feeding.

Tahr and Chamois with heli support

For those with limited time and wanting to stay at the lodge we can offer a tahr and chamois hunt with helicopter support. Animals are spotted from the helicopter, we then set down in close proximity and close in. This may mean a drive to the helicopter base, or we can be picked up from the lodge.

Best Dates

Tahr bulls and chamois bucks start to join with the nannies in late April and rut right through May / June and into July. Both species are best hunted over these months to experience the rut. Rut dates are not essential, tahr capes are in good condition until mid-October, chamois capes are good until September.


Wilderness hunting is our most physically demanding option, heli support is the least physically demanding, our private land area is a nice balance of wild animals in accessible terrain.

Success rates

Success rates are extremely high on both private land and wilderness tahr and chamois hunting options. It is fair to say that our private land area offers the opportunity to look over a greater number of trophy animals which receive less hunting pressure than animals in the public land. In saying that we have a long-standing relationship with our helicopter operator that we use for our wilderness and heli support options (public land) and he really looks after us.

Further info at our tahr and chamois hunting pages on our website:



Full price list at this link: https://www.hawea-hunting.co.nz/new-zealand-hunting-packages/new-zealand-hunting-packages-prices/

# References available upon request. For further information contact: Chris McCarthy Lake Hawea Hunting Safaris +64 27 3490 393 Lodge +64 3 443 7282 chris@hawea-hunting.co.nz www.hawea-hunting.co.nz

Guide Casey with hunters Nicole and Rob.

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