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

The course allows new hunters to 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.

  • You need to be a member of NZDA. One year membership is part of the course fee.
  • Age: Participants are all ages, from teens to parents and older hunters. 16 yo require a parent/guardian to attend. 16-18 Parental consent.
  • No bush or hunting experience needed – we start from scratch; fitness can be built up later.
  • You do not need a firearm or licence to do the course. The instructors can lend and supervise.
  • Cost: Course fee $300+ Waikato Branch membership $180 for adults = $480 for most people.

Course Content

The 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

Next Course Date: 31January 2024

To register your interest for the 2024 Waikato NZDA HUNTS Course, please contact the club.