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When is the best time for Red Deer (Stag) Hunting?

Updated on February 21, 2013
Author with Gold Medal Class New Zealand Red Stag
Author with Gold Medal Class New Zealand Red Stag
500 Class Red Stag
500 Class Red Stag
Monster New Zealand Red Stag
Monster New Zealand Red Stag
Author with Nice Argentina Red Stag
Author with Nice Argentina Red Stag

When is the best time for Red Deer (Stag) Hunting?

This question is best answered by knowing where you want to hunt red deer (also known as red stag). For this article, I will concentrate the answer for the Southern Hemisphere. Whether you are red deer hunting in New Zealand, Australia or red deer hunting in Argentina, the answers will be pretty close to the same for both of these southern destinations.

February:
Red Deer normally start to come out of velvet into hard horn around the 3rd week in February. Temperatures are normally warmer at this time of year as it is late summer south of the equator. Very little red deer hunting is done at this time of year.

February Weather: Lows in the mid 50°F and highs in the mid 80°F to low 90°F.

March:
March 20th starts the first day of Autumn and is pretty close to the beginning of the red deer rut (also known as the red deer Roar). The rut can actually start +/- 10 days from the first day of Fall if the mornings are cold and the afternoon’s hot. Hunting red deer during the “Roar” is a pretty exciting time hunt. The red deer are starting to stake out territories and gather the red deer hinds (female red deer) at this time. The Red Stag will “Roar “most mornings and evenings. It is not uncommon of most red deer hunting rifle shots to be less than 100 yards. This is a great time for bowhunting red deer too. Spot and stalk bow hunting should produce results in the 30-40 yard range. The Red Deer will be in very good condition at this time of year.

March Weather: Lows in the mid 40°F and highs in the mid 70°F to low 80°F.

April:
The First 10 days in April are probably the “Best of the Rut” for hunting red deer. By this time, the stags are roaring 24/7 and are not paying attention to anything but the Hinds and the encroaching stag competition. This is the best time of the season for bow hunting red stag. This is also a great time to rifle hunt with almost all shots well under 100 yards for the spot and stalk red deer hunter.

The second 10 days in April (April 10-20) usually sees the most fighting between the red deer stags. These fights are often times to the death. Red Stag hunters will notice more stags with broken tines during this time of year. The Roar is usually over around the 20th of April.

April Weather: Lows in the low 40°F and highs in the mid to low 70°F. Expect early morning fog and possible light rain.

May:
This is post Rut (Roar) red deer hunting. Expect shot distances to increase to the 150 to 200 yard range as the red deer are wise to the hunters at this time. Red Deer hunting is more challenging now.

May Weather: Lows in the high 30°F and highs in the mid to low 60°F. Shorter hunting hours.

June:
Expect shot distances to stay in the 150 to 200 yard range as the red deer are wise to the hunters at this time. Red Deer hunting is more challenging now. June 20th marks the first day of Winter. Shorter hunting hours.

June Weather: Lows in the low 30°F and highs in the mid to low 50°F. Shorter hunting hours.
Expect snow at the higher elevations. First week of June it snows (historically) in New Zealand.

July:
Expect shot distances to stay in the 150 to 200 yard range as the red deer are wise to the hunters at this time. Red Deer hunting is more challenging now. Shorter hunting hours. Most destinations stop red deer hunting at the end of July.

July Weather: Lows in the low 30°F and highs in the mid to low 50°F. Shorter hunting hours. Expect snow in the higher elevations.

August:
Expect shot distances to stay in the 150 to 200 yard range as the red deer are wise to the hunters at this time. Red Deer hunting is more challenging now. Shorter hunting hours. Red deer will start dropping their antlers between during the 2nd half of August.

August Weather: Lows in the low 30°F and highs in the mid to low 50°F. Shorter hunting hours. Expect snow in the higher elevations.

Now you know the best time to go Red Deer Hunting in New Zealand, Australia or South America (Argentina). Look for future articles on traveling with firearms to these same destinations.

Global Sporting Safaris, Inc. is a full time Hunting Consultant Agency based in Casper, Wyoming.


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    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Man! That is a nice red deer! Great hub!

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