Venator - Home of the Red Giants

February 16, 2023

Venator’s New Zealand location is an internationally renowned hunting destination for red stags

Located in the heart of the beautiful Cardrona Valley in the South Island of New Zealand it's no secret that the hunting opportunities of this region are some of the best in the world.

Venator Cardrona Safaris Cardrona Valley New Zealand hunting guide
A Venator guide

Home to numerous Safari Club International (SCI) World Records, Venator's red stags are renowned for frequently measuring over 700+ SCI points to well over 950+. Safari Club International, the the organization that records and recognizes big game animals taken by hunters around the world scores animals on the size, symmetry and overall quality of the stag's antlers.

At Venator, hunters have the opportunity to pursue one of the most prized big game animals in the world - the red stag which is also referred to as ‘The King’s Animal’ due to originating in the United Kingdom.

Cervus elaphus (Red Deer) game animal Venator New Zealand
These majestic creatures are known for their impressive size and strength, they were first introduced to New Zealand in 1851

Introduced to New Zealand by early English settlers along with other game species, these majestic creatures are known for their size and strength. The first red deer (Cervus elaphus) to reach New Zealand were a pair sent by Lord Petre in 1851 from his herd at Thorndon Park, Essex, to the South Island. The hind was shot before they had the chance to breed. Another stag and two hinds were introduced in 1861 near Nelson. From there, red deer quickly spread throughout New Zealand.

What sets Venator Cardrona Safaris apart from other outfitters is the consistently high quality of the red stags that are harvested. It's not uncommon for hunters to take red stags scoring in excess of 700 SCI points, which is considered a world-class trophy. To put this in perspective, the average red stag harvested in New Zealand scores around 350-400 SCI points.

Red Stag Trophy 600+ SCI Venator New Zealand
Trophies of a lifetime await

A stag that scores over 600 SCI points is considered a true trophy animal, while a stag that scores over 700 SCI points is in a league of its own. The 2023 New Zealand hunting season has already produced four pending world SCI records ranging from 800 SCI points to well over 950 SCI points in what is becoming known as “The Kings’ Slam”. 

So how does Venator Cardrona Safaris consistently produce such high-quality trophy animals? It all comes down to careful management and conservation practices. The team at Venator Cardrona Safaris work tirelessly to maintain a healthy population of red stags across their exclusive hunting areas spanning over 15,000 acres while carefully managing the herd size and monitoring the health and well-being of the animals.

Red Stag Trophy 700 SCI Venator New Zealand
Venator - home of the Red Giants

In addition to their commitment to conservation, the team at Venator Cardrona Safaris is also dedicated to providing an exceptional hunting experience for their guests. They offer a range of hunting packages with the opportunity to hunt not only Red Stag but also world class Elk, fallow deer, Himalayan Tahr, European Chamois, Arapaho Ram, goat, waterfowl as well as fly fishing.

Whatever your level of experience or hunting goals, Venator Cardrona Safaris is the ultimate New Zealand outfitter and hunting destination for those looking to pursue a world-class trophy red stag. 

“This has been a hunt of a lifetime. You guys are the best outfitter I’ve hunted with, and I’ll come back anytime you’ll have me.”