Southland is a strong hunting area with two well-established hunts in the region – the Birchwood Hunt and Eastern Southland Hunt.
THE BIRCHWOOD HUNT has the distinction of being one of the oldest hunts in the country, celebrating 130 years in 2016. It’s renowned for its large, open rolling green hills covering a vast area from the south coast to the edge of the one of New Zealand’s largest national parks, hunting from Lake Wakitipu south and across as far as Hedgehope, as well as good old-fashioned southern hospitality. With such a large area to cover it has great footing and varied terrain, normally over well-sparred wire fences, with its season running from March through to the first week in July. Caps are $30 for visiting adults and $15 for juniors. The annual fundraising three-day trek in November is also an event not be missed with more than 100 riders taking part. Contact the Master, Frank van Miltenburg, on 027 2219621.
THE EASTERN SOUTHLAND HUNT is a small, family-orientated hunt which welcomes visitors and new members, with caps set at $20. It hunts from the legendary Glenary Station to the most southern point of the mainland. It’s been going for more than 80 years, and has a very popular hunt trek in January. Contact the Master, Derek Brown on (03) 415 7778 or 021 727 82656 or check out its Facebook page.