NZ Horn & Antler Safaris | General information

The below document is a summary of the most important information that you need ahead of your big adventure. If you believe there is anything we have missed or you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to meeting you, and the adventure we are all about to set out on together.
Warm Regards
Craig & Jenny Dempster
Hunt Season

New Zealand’s hunting season starts in February and goes through to late August. Because the climate is the opposite to America, the warmest months are at the start of the season with it then getting colder from May – August. During the colder month’s daytime temperatures will sit around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit and fall to 14-32 degrees’ Fahrenheit overnight.
Travel to New Zealand

If traveling from America, there are direct flights daily from Los Angeles and San Francisco through to Auckland New Zealand, and if travelling from Canada there are direct flights from Vancouver to Auckland. No matter where you’re flying from, Auckland will be your first point of entry into New Zealand and also where you will clear customs. From Auckland you will then take a direct flight to Christchurch where you will be collected by Craig, Jenny or one of our guides. Please note that upon entering New Zealand, it is essential that your passport has a minimal of six months before expiry.
Upon leaving your home please ensure you have New Zealand cash available for any unexpected expenses at the beginning of your trip.
Planning your trip

We recommend that you book your hotel (if you to spent a night in Christchurch – recommended) and flights 6 months prior to your trip to ensure availability and best pricing.
When making travel bookings you will need to keep in mind that you will cross the international dateline, therefore loosing a day travelling here. For example, if you leave on the 1st you will get here on the 3rd.
You will gain this day back upon return, as if you leave New Zealand on the 1st you will return home on the 1st. We recommend arriving one or two days prior to your hunt starting date as it gives you time to recuperate and rest after your journey. Most clients for example arrive into New Zealand on the 3rd and we then pick them up from the hotel on the 4th, with their first day of their hunt being the 5th.

If you chose not to go through a travel agent, we recommend booking online through Air New Zealand, or Esplanade Travels in the USA.
Hotel Accommodation

Copthorne Commodore Hotel Christchurch
From USA: Direct dial 011 64 3357 9860
Once in New Zealand dial 03 357 9860 or use the courtesy phone at luggage pickup and someone will come and collect you and take you to your room.
Lodge Accommodation

During your stay you will be based at our family home, where you will find yourself provided with all you require for an enjoyable experience. We pride ourselves on our warm welcoming hospitality, doing all we can to ensure you’re relaxed and comfortable.
During your stay we do our best to create all meals with the client in mind and therefore ask if you can please notify Craig or Jenny ahead of the hunt, if you have any dietary requirements to ensure every area of your stay is pleasurable
We welcome you to bring any technical devices with you for your personal use and have unlimited complementary Wi-Fi available. We also provide all adaptors for your devices.

Prior to landing in New Zealand you will be given a New Zealand Customs Declaration Form. It is vital that you fill this out correctly, declaring boots, rifles and any other weapons such as knifes. Failure to declare any item such as boots (even if clean) can result in a fine of up to $200.  The form you are required to fill out will look like the following -
It is very important that you declare both your hunting boots and your rifle to ensure a smooth transfer through customs. When packing your bag at home please ensure your boots and all other footwear have been thoroughly cleaned to ensure the avoidance of any fines. You will also find that the process is made easier if you are able to pack your footwear at the top of your suitcase as Customs may request to view them.
  • Bringing in a Firearm/Restricted items:
At least one month before leaving your home country you are required to download the ‘Visitors Firearm License and Permit to Import Firearms’. This is a simple, self-explanatory form to fill out, but is very important to ensure that you are able to legally bring your rifle in New Zealand. The price of this license is $25NZD and needs to be paid with NZ cash upon picking up your rifle from the police desk in Auckland airport.
When deciding on your firearm to bring to New Zealand, please note that you cannot bring in
  • Hand guns
  • Military style semi-automatic or automatic rifles
  • Shot guns with barrels less than 20 inches
You can only bring Conventional sporting firearms into New Zealand, we recommended bringing a rifle, 270 – 300 caliber if you do chose to bring one.
When arriving into New Zealand, your firearm will be processed at the police desk opposite the baggage carousel in Auckland. They will check that you filled out the online form while in America, will check the serial number on your rifle, your passport, and your hunting license/permit that allows you to hunt in your own country.
Following this, the police will present you with a stamped permit for your stay, which is very important for the remainder of your trip, and for your return flight.
Please ensure that when you are packing your rifle that all parts are included in the case, cleaning kits etc. Putting your knife in their also will prevent customs from confiscating it.  If your rifle is a bolt action, it is important that the bolt is removed from the rifle, wrapped in cloth and then placed in the case. 
For your ammunition, most airlines have restrictions of about 40 rounds of ammunition in your checked in luggage. This is plenty for your hunts, and if not Craig will be able to help you secure extra. Please ensure that the ammunition you bring in is packed in factory boxes or containers that are specifically for ammunition and is packed all together incase customs wants to see it.
  • Returning home with a Firearm/Restricted items:
In order to have an easy transit through Customs on your way home, it’s important that you store all paper work gained during the process of bringing your firearm in to the country, in a safe place for your return. You also need to fill out a USA Customs Form – 4457 before you leave the USA for proof of ownership when returning with your rifle.
Trophy preparation/expediting

All preparation of your trophies is done personally by Craig as he was a taxidermist for many years. This ensures that your trophy capes are well taken care of and processed in a manner of the highest standard for your taxidermist back home so that they can deliver you a quality mount.
Gear list

New Zealand has unpredictable weather patterns as an outcome of the geographical location. Because of this its recommended that you stick to the below list, changing the number of each item to suit the duration of your stay.
Please remember that we will be able to wash and dry your clothes over night for the majority of your hunts, so you do not need to bring excess and risk going over you 23kg baggage allowance for your flight.

Casual clothing for travel
1-2 pairs of hunting trousers
2 shirts, one must be warm, one light to medium
2 jumpers/jerseys one must be warm
1 set of warm insulated underwear
1 hunting jacket must be warm and windproof
1 lightweight jacket
2-3 pairs of cotton socks
3-4 pairs of woolen socks
1 pair of warm gloves
1 set of waterproof rain gear
1 warm hat and a sun cap
1 pair of well broken in hunting boots with good grip sole
1 pair of light footwear for around home/lodge
1 small day bag for carrying personal gear on hunt
Binoculars at least 10 power
Headlamp & batteries
Camera and charger
Video camera - optional
Hunting knife
Personal items such as medication glasses etc
Rifle 270 - 300 wing mag/optional
Please note
You do not have to have full camouflage clothing when hunting big game, as long as it is of natural earth tone. Full camouflage is only expected when shooting water fowl, on this occasion a face mask is also needed.

If you choose to not bring your own rifle please give us notice so we can organize one for you.

Ensure any personal items are carried in hand luggage in case of the unfortunate event of your luggage arriving late.
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