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Next Course Date - Autumn/Winter 2024 Dates to be confirmed

The HUNTS (Hunter National Training Schemes) are always popular and run by volunteers so it’s hard to run them more than once a year as it takes up a lot of the instructors time.

However there are also other ways to get into hunting – remember the shot is literally just 1 second of a hunting trip so learning about the outdoors and where to spot the animals, navigation, safety, getting fit and what to wear, carry with you etc is also part of the skills needed

Start with these steps :-

1. Apply for your firearms licence now – as it can take a while

2. Sign up for the online Better Hunting Course  which has been developed by the Game Animal Council or the Mountain Safety Skills Site 

3. Join as a member  and start to make connections with others, quite often you can go hunting with another member as they can supervise you with a rifle and you get to learn how to spot them

4. Sign up for our club trips – not just the hunting ones but they ones where we do work on huts or raise money as it’s often a great way to meet other members and the talk is always about hunting so you get to learn a lot that way too

5. Research the area on the DOC Website, find out where the local hunting spots are  

6. Start going out for walks and shoot deer with your camera . These are great opportunities to practice being quiet and getting as close as possible 

Range training 

Butchery Skills

Hunting Trip

Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS)

The Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS) course is delivered by The Southern Lakes New Zealand Deerstalkers Association instructors and is designed to introduce new hunters to the skills needed to hunt below the snowline.

Experienced hunters may find value in some sections of the course. A Firearms licence is not necessary. This is ideal for anyone wishing to learn about hunting.

Course Contents:

  • Essential bush skills
  • River safety
  • Firearm safety in a hunting context
  • Practical shooting and hunting ballistics
  • Hunting techniques
  • Species knowledge
  • Game utilization (skinning, butchering, etc)

Participants must have a reasonable level of physical fitness and access to personal tramping equipment.

Cost per person $450.00 (Incl GST) includes membership if not already a member


  • HUNTS Manual
  • Ammunition
  • Hunting trip travel & accommodation (food not included)


Saturday & Sunday (all day)

Start time generally 8am

One full day in the classroom plus one full day doing butchery demonstration

Course outline and objectives:

  • Fill in applications etc
  • Module 1 - Ethics, Ecology & Regulations
  • Module 4 - Game animal species in NZ
  • Module 7 - Meat, skins & trophies
  • Module 6 - Hunting techniques
  • Module 5 - Firearms selection, safety & marksmanship


Saturday & Sunday (all day)

Start time generally 8am

One full day in the classroom plus one full day on the shooting range

Course outline and objectives:

  • Module 2 - Equipment & food
  • Module 3 - Travel & navigation
  • Module 8 - When things go wrong



Meet at the pre arranged accommodation 7pm (about 1 hour from Queenstown)

Meet with all your gear—we will let you know what you will need to bring.


Hunt all day ,some bushcraft/ navigation.


River safety/ River crossing exercise, You WILL get wet!

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Page Updated Jan 2024 - Southern Lakes NZDA

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