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HUNTS was first launched in 1987 and has seen thousands of hunters gain the skills needed to hunt safely and responsibly in New Zealand.

Learn about hunting and the outdoors with an instructor who has a proven level of competence through a national training and assessment package. Your instructor will pass on their experience and knowledge in hunting following the hunting guidelines of NZDA and Fish and Game NZ. For more information see the syllabus.

The New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association (NZDA) promotes hunting as a lifetime outdoor activity through the Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS). The HUNTS training programme is conducted at branch level under the guidance of a national coordinator and is proudly sponsored by Stoney Creek.


Course Content

The HUNTS programme syllabus covers the knowledge and skills to operate safely as a hunter in the New Zealand outdoors and teaches the ethics of fair chase and the principles of managing a sustainable game resource.

The course is delivered over 16 hours of theory and 4 field days including at least 1 overnight camping trip.

Core Modules:

  • Equipment and clothing
  • Bush travel and navigation
  • River safety
  • Game animal species and hunting techniques
  • Firearms safety in a hunting context
  • Care for meat and trophy
  • Preparing for when ‘things go wrong’
  • Range shooting and setting up a hunting firearm

HUNTS is designed for new hunters who are aged 18 plus, but younger hunters are welcome with guardian approval. HUNTS requires a level of fitness to carry a pack across country. A firearms licence is preferred but not mandatory.

Find the HUNTS Closest to you - 

North Island

NZDA provides a HUNTS programme across 14 different branches in the North Island of New Zealand

South Island

NZDA provides a HUNTS programme across 10 different branches in the South Island of New Zealand

NZDA is committed to ‘Best Practice’ in ethical hunting and safe outdoor practices.

HUNTS Inquiry


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Wellington, New Zealand