An alpine gem
Chamois hunting in New Zealand is a challenge, and it pays to be in good physical condition to climb and hike after them. Helicopters can be used to elevate you high into the Chamois alpine territory, where we hunt them in open free-range mountainous terrain.
European Chamois first arrived in New Zealand in 1907 from Austria. They were presented to New Zealand by the Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, after whom both a small tourist town and a glacier on the West Soast of the South Island are named. They were released in the Mount Cook region and are now found throughout most of the Southern Alps.
Male and female chamois have similar markings and both have horns, making it difficult to distinguish one from the other in a group. Chamois can be inquisitive but when they run you will always remember the sight of them moving at great speed, bounding through rugged, almost vertical terrain with their heads held high!
Chamois have two charactic behaviors that are understood by experienced hunting guides. The 1st is that they are invariably active in the early morning and late afternoon and evening when they browse on alpine grasses. The 2nd is that chamois usually anticipate any danger to appear from a lower elevation. Therefore, the hunter who stalks chamois from a higher elevation enjoys a higher probabily of remaining unobserved and a better chance of hunting success.