NEW CALEDONIA RUSA DEER HUNTING
Experience incredible free-range trophy Rusa deer hunting at the peak roar on the beautiful South Pacific island of New Caledonia! Inspect as many as 40 trophy stags daily, and see a staggering total of 500 to 2000 Rusa deer each day while out hunting! Our experienced outfitter stands behind 100% success rates over the last 15 years with trophy stags ranging between 30-40+ inches. These are some of the largest on record. Situated near Fiji, this semi-tropical island offers a diverse landscape of agricultural land mixed with mountainous country, dotted with thick patches of timber, open fields, mangrove swamps, and steep river bottoms. New Caledonia is well known for producing top-quality stags and arguably the world’s finest free-range Rusa deer hunting experience. Hunt spot & stalk in a 2×1 guiding ratio in combination with vehicles, predominantly on private ranches where we have exclusive access. Trophy Rusa deer are this outfitters specialty but be sure to inquire about exciting combo opportunities for Sambar, Hog & Fallow deer in Australia, or Tahr and Chamois in New Zealand while already in the South Pacific. Fishing side-ventures are another exacting option. Target pristine flats for world-class Bonefish & Giant Trevallies on a fly, or consider a number of mixed species reef and offshore angling opportunities. Upon arrival at Tontouta, New Caledonia’s International airport in the capital city of Noumea, this is an all-inclusive hunt. Availability is quite limited, with the lodge accommodating only 4 hunters during the peak hunting weeks annually. Ample side ventures will entertain hunters and non-hunters alike, such as the fantastic beaches, diving, snorkeling, and dining!
RUSA DEER HUNTING
For over 25 years, our outfitter has in part pioneered trophy Rusa hunting in select regions of New Caledonia, boasting huge populations of deer. The expansive hunting areas offer a diverse variety of exotic wildlife and ever-changing landscapes. Highly prolific, it is not unusual to view 2000 or more deer per each day while hunting – something that must truly be witnessed firsthand to fully appreciate. These hunts are reserved for the peak of the rut when stags are vocal and roaring, twirling, and decorating their antlers with grass and brush. It is entertaining to watch males wallow in mud, court females, or fight off rival males while glassing and judging the deer! This season kicks off in July and can extend into September. Hunting is typically conducted safari-style, either departing on foot from a host property or by 4×4 to access a variety of more distant hunting areas. Walking along the open hilltops will allow excellent glassing of the valley floors and mangrove swamps in your quest for trophy stags. 10x Binoculars and 30x spotting scopes are recommended. Once a suitable animal is located, the distance is closed and an exciting stalk for roaring Rusa commences, either through timber or across Savannah type environments. It helps to be in good physical condition, but elderly hunters or those with disabilities have had pleasant experiences and been successful in the past.
Rusa antler configurations typically include 3 points per side, and these older stags carry excellent beam and tine length, as well heavy mass and extensive ‘beading’. There are no trophy fees according to antler size, and hunters are free to inspect dozens of mature deer each day looking for the biggest and best stags. The typical New Caledonia trophy Rusa range 33-34 inches, and many larger trophies are taken annually. In 2010, a 40 inch Rusa was harvested during an exploratory hunt in a newly acquired hunting area. Most hunters typically go home with 2 trophy stags after 5 days of hunting, expertly handled and prepared for shipment and taxidermy.
To bring your own firearms and ammunition, a “Hunter Detail Form” will be provided for your completion then processed by the outfitter. This form MUST be submitted no later than April 21st prior to your hunt the following July-Sept. Calibers ranging between .270-.300 are ideal, and Military calibers such as a .308 & .30-06 are not permitted. Typical shots are between 100-250 yards. Should you not wish to bring your personal firearm, new Ruger Hawkeye .270 rifles topped with 3-9×40 Zeiss Conquest riflescopes may be rented from the outfitter for the hunt.
RUSA HUNT COMBO OPTIONS
While in the South Pacific there would be opportunities to add additional species to the Rusa hunt with several exciting combo options. The same outfitter catering to trophy Rusa deer hunting clients in New Caledonia also offers some very nice Sambar, Fallow & Hog deer packages out of Melbourne/Victoria Australia. All these are estate hunts however, but still very challenging.
SAMBAR DEER HUNTS
Coinciding perfectly with the peak Rusa roar, August would be the prime time to add a big Sambar to your list, offering some of the years finest hunting. Our outfitter has some exceptional Sambar to offer, regularly taking stags in the 28-32-inch range. The price is all-inclusive at $5,500 with no size limit or additional trophy fees.
HOG DEER HUNTING
The outfitter also offers some excellent Hog Deer hunting but there are no guarantee bucks would still be carrying antlers in August when most of the Rusa hunts are conducted. Hunters would however have the opportunity at a nice buck should something suitable presented itself. This is especially true if the Rusa hunt was booked anytime in July. A good representative Hog deer is generally around the 13 – 14 inches and several excellent trophies upwards of 17+ inches are taken annually. A peak time slot specifically targeting big trophy Hog deer would occur from December to February. Like Sambar, prices are $5,500 with no size limit or trophy fees on quality.
FALLOW DEER HUNTING
As well, trophy Fallow deer bucks are available from the same location. Our Fallow deer regularly go 28-33+ inches with approx. 7-9 inch palms. These are superb high-quality bucks and an August hunt would be towards their season. The antlers will be fine however but capes maybe a little scruffy. Prices are again $5,500 with no size limit or trophy fee on quality.
AUSTRALIAN WATER BUFFALO & NEW ZEALAND TAHR AND CHAMOIS
Two final options are free-ranging Asiatic Water Buffalo in northern Australia and Tahr & Chamois on the South Island of New Depending on where you make your connection to New Caledonia, these combo options can be made available but would be through a different outfitter. Prime seasons for each however overlap perfectly. August is peak winter and is regarded by many as the best time to take a Bull Tahr due to their dense, prime coats. This is also true for Chamois. August is also our Australian outfitters favorite months to target big Water Buffalo, Scrub bulls & Barramundi. Either makes for exciting combo options to the Rusa Deer hunt in New Caledonia! Australian combo hunts are priced at $8500 and inquire for details regarding any New Zealand combo options.
FISHING IN NEW CALEDONIA
Truly a fishermen’s paradise and a perfect way to better experience New Caledonia, we are pleased to offer exceptional fishing packages in combination with Rusa hunt at your request. Perhaps home to some of the world’s best flats for Bonefish and Giant Trevallies on a fly. Target the largest subspecies of Bonefish (Albula glossondota) with average weights between 7-8 lbs. In these pristine flats, 10-lb Bonefish are certainly not rare. For something different spend a day jigging multi-species game fish from some of Northern New Caledonia’s many reefs, drop off’s, passes, or inshore lagoons. Enjoy light tackle, fly-fishing, or trolling for species such as; Groupers, Dog-tooth, Skipjack and Mackerel Tuna, Barracuda, Milkfish, Spanish Mackerel, Jobfish, Snapper, Giant Trevallies, Wahoo and mixed Shark species. The following day experience offshore big game fishing or pelagic giants such as Black, Blue & Striped Marlin, Yellow Fin Tuna, Sailfish, Wahoo, and Dorado. Transfers from Rusa hunting areas, exotic seafood meals, complimentary champagne & beachside bungalows, or thatch lodgings with expert guiding, equipment, and a friendly staff completes another exciting New Caledonian experience.
CONDITIONS AND SETTING
Situated off the northeast coast of Australia, New Caledonia is a French colony near Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean. The climate is semi-tropical hosting interesting flora and fauna and a truly unique ecosystem, perfect for the avid photographer’s nature lovers. Rolling hills dominate the south and western portions of the Island, while mountainous terrain is found further to the northeast. Surrounded on three sides by coral reef boasting sandy beaches and coconut groves, this is a hunt with many pleasant side venture opportunities for non-hunting companions to enjoy. A popular vacation destination, the island has a population of nearly a quarter-million people consisting equally of French Colonials and indigenous ‘Kanakis’. Cattle ranching, rich nickel deposits, and Eco-tourism are the primary economic drivers.
Regarding equipment, temperatures tend to hover around 20C (75F). Khaki, grass or desert camouflage patterns are all good choices along with a hat. A light jacket or sweater is often used in the cool of early mornings. Good foot wear such as light hiking boots can be vital and should provide both comfort and good traction on gravelly or slippery inclines. Blaze orange is not required.
NEW CALEDONIA ACCOMMODATIONS
Small, comfortable bungalow-style huts will accommodate hunters while on host properties, with full en-suite and modern amenities. Meals as well as post-hunt lounging areas are all provided by your hosts, and hunters will have opportunities to experience wonderful local hospitality and delectable French New Caledonian cuisine. Dinners are served in the host properties gardens within traditional grass and bamboo styled huts referred to as a ‘Kaz’, constructed by local native craftsmen. Truly this is a unique hunting experience! Any remote hunts are typically operated from motel-style accommodations or even bush camps if the properties are isolated and difficult to access. Should you choose to add several days fishing to your stay in New Caledonia, accommodations are also usually beach bungalows, but premier yacht based packages are also available upon request.
Connections to Tontouta, New Caledonia’s International Airport in the capital city of Noumea are made from several south pacific destinations across Australia or New Zealand. Sydney might offer some of the best connections. Hunters must book their flights to arrive on the Saturday of the hunt commencement date, upon which you will be met at the airport by the outfitter or his staff, and taxied directly to the lodge and hunting area. This 7-day package should allow for 6 – 6.5 days of hunting, and departing flights should be booked for the following Saturday unless the intention is to stay in New Caledonia for additional days should you add an exciting fishing combo (typically 3 days) or choose to sightsee, snorkel, scuba dive or conduct other ecotourism.
The outfitter also recommends obtaining all the appropriate documentation to import your animal, and will personally arrange for the required ‘New Caledonian Government Veterinarian Certificate’. Hunters will also typically leave with their Rusa Trophies. It is suggested to bring some kind of bag to transport capes, as well as 2+ feet of garden hose (for cutting and placing over antler points) and a roll of tape.
Hog, fallow, and Sambar deer hunts are conducted out of Melbourne Australia. The fishing packages are launched off the northern point of New Caledonia, approximately a 5-hour drive from Noumea.
5 days 2×1 hunting – x1 Trophy Rusa Stag – July-Aug 2016/17 -$5400 (Includes trophy fee)
Additional Trophy Rusa Stag – $1700
Estate 2×1 Trophy Sambar, Hog & Fallow Deer hunts – Melbourne Australia – $5500 each
6 day 1×1 Free-range – Trophy Australian Water Buffalo – Darwin Australia – $8500
Free-range –Tahr & Chamois Hunts – Queenstown New Zealand – Inquire for details
Word Class Flats/Reef/Offshore Fishing combo – New Caledonia – 4nights/3 days – $3300 each
4 anglers – 6 nights/5 days fishing – SPECIAL all-inclusive beach bungalow package – $3300 each
4 anglers – 7 nights/6 days fishing – SPECIAL all-inclusive yacht based packages – $5500 each