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NZDA North Canterbury Homepage

Hello and Welcome to our website

In July 1949, A public meeting was decided to form a branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association, based in North Canterbury.

Over the next 10 years that followed, membership and club assets increased quite significantly, and on the 17th July 1958, the branch became Incorporated under the Incorporated Societies Act.

Today, we are now a National Organisation of over 7,000 members, which is in being to promote and regulate the sport of big game hunting in New Zealand, There are over 50 branches spread from Northland to Southland, and our own branch is one of the four largest branches with about 300 members.

We have monthly meetings on the last Monday evening of each month, at our new clubrooms located at 599 McLean’s Island Road, starting at 7.30pm, In addition to our new clubrooms, we have our own Rifle Range, which has covered shooting stations and three ranges at 50, 100 and 200 metres respectively. We hold regular public open days, club days and shooting competitions.

We also have our own hunting Lodge in the Lewis Pass called “Palmer Lodge” which sleeps 21 and has an excellent Firebox for warmth as well as kitchen and dining room facilities. The Lodge is a good base for hunting all of the Lewis Pass area, including the Maruia / Rahu Saddle area.

During the year, there are numerous hunting trips organised for our members, who hunt for Deer, Tahr, Chamois, Goats, Wallaby’s, Rabbits & Hares .. and occasionally members are able to get themselves a pig or two on some of these trips. The hunting trips are an excellent way to get to know other members and maybe see some new country that you haven't been into before. Trips are graded depending on the season and difficulty of the country. So there are trips to suit, whether you're just starting out or you're an experienced hunter.

If you're into trophy hunting, we have an annual Antler, Horn and Tusk competition. You can also enter any of the categories of the National NZDA competitions through affiliation to the Branch.

As well as the hunting trips, the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association also has a Hunter National Training Programme called the “HUNTS Course”. This nine week course, allows trainees to learn and gain many new skills which they need to be responsible, safe successful hunters. It covers topics like: Ethics and Ecology, Equipment and Food, Travel and Navigation, Identifying game species, Firearm safety and Marksmanship, Hunting techniques, Survival, First Aid, River crossing and Photography, and on completion of the training, Trainees go to the Rangitata area to shoot their first Tahr.

At the end of each monthly meeting we usually have a guest speaker, or an instructional night, a DVD evening or a demonstration of some sort to show how to skin and dress an animal through to what sort of gear to carry on a hunting trip. It varies from month to month.. but is of immense interest and is always worthwhile to attend.

"What is it that the Branch can offer me as a prospective member?" The NZDA can help you get more out of your hunting and enhance your love of the outdoors. You will meet new friends and may even find a permanent hunting companion. Members receive a monthly newsletter and quarterly "New Zealand Hunting and Wildlife" magazine. Membership to NZDA also provides $10,000,000 public liability insurance cover, including $1,000,000 cover for the Rural Fires Act. In addition to all the benefits the local branch can offer, membership of the NZDA gives hunters a united voice to lobby regarding issues that challenge the future of our sport. .. such as firearms ownership, 1080 issues as well as the threat to our game herds and tranquillity from heli-hunting and commercial harvesting.

We also have an annual conference where all Branch Presidents, National Executive and other interested branch delegates attend to discuss matters relating to not only the NZDA .. but matters that pertain to other issues that directly relate to hunting or controversial matters like 1080 & heli-hunting etc. So there's a brief look at some of the benefits of being an NZDA North Canterbury Branch Member. I hope you enjoy browsing our website and encourage you to come along to one of our Branch meetings and introduce yourself.