Deer Management

Recreational Hunting and Management of Deer

Our key aim is to advocate for enhanced recreational hunting and the sustainable management of deer which meets both conservation and recreational hunting aspirations.

This page provides information about issues and other information about deer and hunting, particularly in the lower North Island and what the LNIRDF is doing to enhance recreational hunting.

The major issue that the foundation has worked to resolve is the removal by DOC of long standing exclusions for commercial helicopter deer recovery (WARO) in the major forest parks. This has led to a legal challenge in the High Court with the result that 2015 WAFRO concessions issue by DOC in the North Island were declared “Invalid”.

The foundation is also working to achieve the sustainable management of deer in the forest parks  and better recognition of recreational hunting in the management of deer populations

The position of the foundation is that recreational hunting in the lower North Island should have priority for managing deer populations and that commercial hunting should only be allowed where it is shown that hunters have been unable to meet department Conservation protection goals.

Click on a link below to read the full text of each item.

  • The five-yearly review by DOC of WARO concessions throughout the country was undertaken during 2014 -to 2015. The WARO concessions are the authorization for helicopter operators are authorised to undertake wild deer shooting and recovery from Conservation lands. DOC made changes to previous concessions that resulted in areas previously closed or restricted to helicopters were open for commercial deer recovery. What ensued was more than a year of battling by the LNIRDF to have those decisions reversed.
  • The Department of Conservation (DOC) programmes for conservation and recreation are decided during reviews of the Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) for the region. These strategies are a statutory documents and are required by the Conservation Act.
    A public notification process of draft strategies is mandatory and is the opportunity for the public to contribute to deciding what policies and programmes should occur.