Media Release: National Goat Hunting Competition Launched

National Wild Goat Hunting Competition launched to promote hunting wild goats

Media release

24 July 2023

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) have partnered to run a new National Wild Goat Hunting competition.

The competition is also supported by Federated Farmers of NZ and leading retailer Hunting and Fishing NZ.

Hunters across Aotearoa New Zealand will be able to participate with permission from the landowner or local authority from 1 August to 26 November 2023.

DOC and NZDA are partnering to encourage hunters to target wild goats in a win-win for hunters and conservation.

DOC National Programmes Director Ben Reddiex says increased hunter efforts will reduce the damage wild goats can cause to native plants, and alpine and forest ecosystems.

“High densities of wild goats cause significant damage to New Zealand’s native plants and habitats. They are becoming widespread, with significant numbers in some places.”

NZDA National Vice President Callum Sheridan says, “NZDA is excited to partner with DOC on this competition because many hunters start out their hunting career by shooting wild goats, but often move to deer and then overlook wild goats.”

“This is something we think recreational hunters will enjoy supporting because hunters spend a lot of time in New Zealand’s remote areas and are passionate about conservation. Many contribute to maintaining trap lines to protect our native species like whio and kea.”

DOC’s Ben Reddiex says the issue is wider than just on conservation land. Wild goats are also a problem for many private landowners, damaging and destroying fences, pasture, new trees, and native plantings. 

Federated Farmers National Board spokesperson Richard McIntyre says the competition is a fantastic idea, especially for landowners struggling to control wild goats.

He says potential hunters need to recognise they need to seek permission of farmers to access their land.

“I encourage farmers to have a positive conversation with those seeking to hunt on their land. Let’s welcome hunters on to our farms and foster ongoing relationships that could reap benefits to hunters and farmers alike for years to come. I’m a keen hunter myself – as are many farmers.”    

NZDA’s Callum Sheridan says while goats are not classed as game animals like wild deer, pigs, tahr, and chamois they are still a valuable resource for food and developing hunting skills.

The competition has the support of the wild food specialist restaurant Cazador in Auckland. Dariush Lolaiy, chef and co-owner says, “I really enjoy cooking wild goat, it's a versatile protein well suited to the coal grill, slow braises, and even charcuterie. There's so much more to this meat than the classic curry! I especially appreciate the sustainability factor, and the variety of dishes it offers to work through the seasons.”

“There’s no question that managing wild goat numbers is essential for restoring and maintaining the health of our whenua and ngahere,” says Chris Sharland, from Hunting and Fishing NZ Ltd – competition supporter and founding sponsor.

“If we can symbiotically put food on the table, enjoy the outdoors, and promote hunter-led conservation, then everyone wins.”

The competition is free to enter, and hunters will have the opportunity to win some great prizes, kindly donated by the hunting and outdoor sector. NZDA will be running ‘Goat Competition Hubs’ throughout the country where local competitors can attend venue open days to lodge their tails and score their horns. More information on how to enter the competition can be found at

The national wild goat hunting competition is one tool to encourage more wild goat removal, build relationships across sectors, and raise awareness about the impact of wild goats on farmlands, and native plants and habitats.  

The competition promotes safe firearms use, keeping safe in the back country, and ethical and humane hunting. The promotion organisers remind all potential hunters to make sure they seek and obtain permission to enter private and public land before heading out on a hunt.



Key Contact:

Callum Sheridan
NZDA Vice-President
Ph: 021 0818 2014


  • Competitors can enter at a New Zealand Deerstalkers Association branch open day or at an official recording point.
  • Be in to win large national spot prizes or enter your local competition to win prizes for biggest head, or most tails. There will also be spot prizes up for grabs at local NZDA ‘Goat Competition Hub’ open days.
  • Prizes include hunting clothing and apparel and vouchers from Hunting & Fishing Ltd. and Huntech, a Traeger Ironwood Series Grill & Accessories, Backcountry Cuisine vouchers, Lowa Boots, Personal Locator Beacons and more.
  • Every entry at a local competition will count towards the national competition.
  • National competition categories include:
    • NZ Hunter Goat Pursuit: Win an unforgettable filmed wild goat hunting expedition with NZ Hunter. Enter a wild goat head or tail and tell us in two sentences or less why you should win.  
    • Got Your Goat: Enter a wild goat tail or head and go in the draw to win one of nine epic spot prize packs. One chance to win per competitor.
    • The Great Goat Roundup: The more wild goat tails you enter the more entries you get and the greater your chance of winning one of nine prize packs.
    • NZDA’s G.O.A.T Hunter: Highest scoring goat head nationwide - based on the Douglas score of goat head entries received at NZDA branches only.
  • In Budget 2022 the Government invested an additional $30 million to increase deer management and goat control.
  • This year DOC delivered an additional $1.7 million in goat control, with more planned for next year.
  • DOC aims to protect native plants and habitats. DOC’s priorities for goat control work are:
    • Maintaining or achieving wild goat free areas in areas of high biodiversity value.
    • Preventing the spread of wild goats into new areas.
    • Enhancing and expanding existing wild goat control.


Are you interested in participating? Enter Now