Fallow Deer in New Zealand

Fallow Deer (or Dama dama) were one of the first deer species to be successfully introduced into New Zealand.

The Fallow is also the smallest of the deer species in NZ, and many would agree the best eating.

At Balnagown we have all four colour phases present - Solid Brown/Black, Red/Brown with white spots, lighter brown with spots and the Leucistic, or White Deer.

The mating season (known as the Rut or the Roar) normally starts mid-March and can continue for a month. As this time, the Bucks fight for territory and mating rights. This is an exciting time to be up at Balnagown, as the natural geography acts as an amphitheatre - it's not uncommon to be surrounded by the bull-frog like croak of the male 'roar'.

Trophy hunting generally starts at the end of February - that's if you want an animal in full hard antler. Doe hunting is mainly May to August.

When to hunt

We have hunting available all year round - however, if you are looking for a trophy - there are some better times.

The Fallow Buck starts to stip its velvet late February and will remain in antler until around October. Mid-March to April is the roar and is certainly an exciting time to be around the animals.