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Established 1937


National Goat Hunting Competition.

The Southern Lake Branch of the NZDA is part of the National Competition which runs from 1 August – 26 November 2023

How do you get involved?

As a club, we are both organising club hunts for members and also we are an official registration place for all hunters to get their tails registered

Club Hunts

We are working with DOC and private land owners to gain access to provide branch members a number of opportunities to get involved. There are also Public Conservation Land areas on this link.
Check out the events page to register for any of these - more may come on line as areas become available

How to enter

The competition is free to enter and competitors do not need to preregister. 

Where to enter

  • NZDA branch Meeting night – enter heads and/or tails. (You do NOT have to be a member to attend)

Entries will be part of the club meeting nights on the last Thursday of the month, and the prize giving will be at the usual Xmas BBQ in Herries Lane, Lake Hayes Estate on the 10th December

Tails entered and recorded will be kept at the meeting and then disposed of by a NZDA member or approved verifier. Goat heads may be kept and disposed of by NZDA volunteers unless the hunter wishes to keep their entry. 

  • Official recording points (DOC and Hunting  & Fishing) – enter tails only. 

Competition categories and prizes

There is over $50,000 worth of prizes kindly donated by the hunting and outdoor sector.

Rules and further information

See the DOC website for full details if you are not in the Queenstown Area

National Prizes up for grabs

National Categories

 Entry Details

 Prize and Value

NZ Hunter - Goat Pursuit
  • Every individual has one chance to win. 
  • Enter a wild goat head or tail and tell us in two sentences or less why you should win.  
  • Selected finalists will submit a video to NZ Hunter.
  • Entries close midnight 31 October.

Win an unforgettable filmed wild goat hunting expedition with NZ Hunter. Flights and accommodation included.

When: Summer 23/24

Location: Likely to be a rural South Island location

Duration: 2-3 nights

Got Your Goat

Every individual has one chance to win.

Enter a wild goat tail or head and go in the draw to win one of a number of epic spot prize packs.

Win 1 of 9 spot prize packs. Each pack is worth over $1400 each.
The Great Goat Roundup

Every tail is a chance to win.

The more tails you enter, the more entries you get.

Win 1 of 9 spot prize packs. Each pack is worth approximately $1200 each.
NZDA's Greatest of All Time Hunter - The G.O.A.THighest scoring goat head nationwide. (Based on the Douglas Score (external site) of goat head entries received at NZDA branches only.)Win a prize pack worth over $1,300.

National prizegiving: Friday 15 December 2023

Local Club Prizes up for grabs

We are one of 15 NZDA branches running registration and local events throughout the competition.
Prizes for the local categories will be given out on the 10th Dec at the annual Family BBQ event in Herries Lane, Lake Hayes Estate.

Local spot prizes will be given out at branch meeting which double up as entry events. All entrants must be on site to receive spot prizes.

Each NZDA branch (including ours) will have the following categories and prizes: 

Local categories


Highest scoring goat head*Hunting & Fishing Camo Rifle Bag 48" and Gerber Gator folding knife.
Highest scoring goat head by a NZDA member*Hunting & Fishing Universal Gun Cleaning Kit and NZ Hunter annual subscription.
Highest scoring goat head by a Junior (under 18)*Hunting & Fishing 126pc First Aid Kit and $100 Hunting & Fishing voucher.
Most goat tails $300 Huntech clothing voucher.
Most goat tails by a NZDA member Lansky Quick Fix Pocket Sharpener from Hunting & Fishing
and $100 Backcountry Cuisine voucher.
Most goat tails by a Junior (under 18)Traverse Headlamp from Hunting & Fishing and $100 Hunting & Fishing voucher.

*Heads need to be clean to be able to be scored - Smelly dirty Goat heads will not be scored

Read the disclaimer for both national and local prize winners in the competition rules.

Our Branch Open Days 

These are registration dates to enter your tails and heads - you do NOT have to be a member to attend

(Open days - must attend to win spot prizes)


  • Thu 31 August 7pm-9pm
  • Thu 28 September 7pm-9pm
  • Thu 26 October 7pm-9pm
NZDA Meeting - Arrowtown Bowling Club,
6 Hertford Street, Otago
Sun 26 November 6pm-8pm 24 Herries Lane, Lake Hayes, Queenstown 

In addition to entering at the club meeting nights - below are local registration points for tails only 

 Recording point


 Timing for drop off

 Contact details

Hunting & Fishing Store - QueenstownBuilding 7, Remarkables Park Town
Centre, Frankton
 During opening hours  
DOC - Queenstown Visitor Centre50 Stanley Street, Queenstown

By appointment only

+64 3 442 7935

DOC - Tititea/Mt Aspiring
National Park Visitor Centre
1 Ballantyne Road, WānakaBy appointment only

+64 27 269 6871

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the conditions of entry? Do I need to pay an entry fee?

The competition is free to enter, and pre-registration is not required. To find the competition rules please see below 

Do I need to be a member of the New Zealand Deer stalkers Association?

No, the competition is open to everyone. Talk to your local NZDA branch if you would like to know more about membership.

Do I need a hunting permit?

Yes, depending on where you hunt you will need a permit. If you plan to hunt on public land, you will require authority or a permit from the relevant organisation. The competition can also occur on private land. In this case you will need permission through landowner or land manager consent.

If you plan to hunt wild goats on public conservation land you need a current hunting permit from the Department of Conservation. Find out what you need here:  If you want to hunt on council land, please visit your local council website for information on permit requirements.

Where can I hunt, and where can I find wild goats?

You may hunt anywhere on private and public land if you have the appropriate permissions and permits. Hunters are expected to follow the law and abide by their permit conditions. Wild goats are often seen in places where you are not allowed to hunt like on road edges, train tracks, river, and road reserves. For entry requirements please visit the competition webpage.

Wild goats are found throughout New Zealand in both the North and South Islands. Concentrations of goats can be found in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, and Otago. For more information on hunting wild goats please visit DOC’s website or NZDA’s website.

Respect the wishes of private landowners when it comes to access arrangements. There is usually a reason why access is denied, such as having arrangements with other hunters, or seasonal farming activities taking place. If you do gain access to private land, ask if it is necessary to notify neighbouring properties so they are not concerned if they hear rifle shots or see hunters.

Where do I take my goat heads and tails?

Places to enter your wild goat heads and tails are detailed on the competition webpage. (See above)

How do I support people to hunt on my land?

Get in contact with your local New Zealand Deerstalkers Association branch. 

Why do we need to reduce populations of wild goats?

Wild goats eat New Zealand’s native plants - stripping bark from trees, devouring any new seedlings as well as trampling and hardening soils. This contributes to erosion, takes vital food and shelter from native animals, and can prevent forest regeneration. On private land wild goats destroy young trees, native plantings, riparian margins, pasture, and damage fences. New Zealand’s native plants are unique because a huge proportion are found nowhere else in the world; so, if they’re gone from here, they’re gone from everywhere. Wild goats breed quickly and can reproduce at a rate of up to 45% per year in the absence of hunting pressure. Large numbers cause serious damage to farmlands and the natural environment.

What if somebody trespasses on my land?

Please report the incident to the Police immediately.

What if there is a backcountry or firearms injury or incident?

Please report the incident to the Police immediately.

What if I see an animal welfare incident?

If there is an animal welfare incident or concern to report, call MPI animal welfare hotline (0800 00 83 83). This hotline number can be rung at any time. Alternatively, you can complete this form on their website

Further Notes

  • This competition is brought to you by the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association, supported by Federated Farmers of NZ (Inc), and Hunting& Fishing Ltd.
  • Always follow the 7 rules of firearms safety, the New Zealand Deerstalkers AssociationCode of Ethics, DOC’s hunter safety information, and the Outdoor Access Code.
  • Hunters have responsibilities under Sections 30A and 30B of the Animal Welfare Act1999.
  • Be aware of livestock at the boundaries of hunting areas, be careful in steep terrain -especially if retrieving a goat, tell someone before you go, be visible, and check the weather.
  • Know the area you are hunting in. Be aware of seasonal farming activity, be firesafe, take home any rubbish, consider others in the backcountry, and respect the wishes of landowners and facilities provided.
  • Get permission to hunt each time you visit. The competition offers a way to build win-win relationships with your local landowners. Make sure you have permission to hunt, and you have a clear understanding when and where you will be hunting with the landowner or land manager.
  • Wild goat meat makes great eating and would be a delicious addition to your family’s table, and controlling numbers reduces pressure on farmland and native plants and habitats. 

Rules of Competition

1. The competition is open to all hunters.

2. All goat tails and goat heads entered must be wild and taken legally, recreationally, and humanely within 1 August to 26 November. If using firearms hunters must have a current firearms license or be supervised by a current and appropriate firearms license holder. Hunters must comply with sections 30A and 30B of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

3. The competition may occur anywhere you have permission to hunt either through landowner consent or the local authority of the land, by permit for public conservation land, forestry, farms or regional council land.

4. All land access conditions must be followed, whether under permit or through landowner consent.

5. Wild goat heads can only be taken to an approved New Zealand Deerstalker Association entry point.

6. All wild goat tails and heads must be presented fresh or frozen in a clean manner. Tails need to be secured in a bag and if frozen, tails need to be in a free flow state, so they can be easily counted.

7. All wild goat tails will be counted by an approved verifier.

8. All wild goat tails and goat heads entered at an official recording point will be eligible for the national prize draw. Noting all tails and heads are only eligible to be entered once in the competition.

9. In the event that a wild goat is killed, but cannot be retrieved by a competitor, the competitor may take a time and date stamped photo with the dead wild goat in view to an official recording point for review. It is at the Judge’s discretion whether to accept the photo as proof of a tail entry.

10. All wild goat head measurements will be based on the Douglas Scoring System and will be carried out by an approved New Zealand Deerstalker Association judge. Judge’s decision is final.

11. Any goat tail and/or head taken in a paid or commercial capacity is not eligible as an entry into the national or any local competition.

12. No responsibility can be accepted for any entries lost, delayed or corrupted as a result of computer error.

13. The organisers reserve the right to refuse any wild goat tail or head, should they doubt its eligibility. Honesty that the wild goat tail or head are taken in accordance with all the competition rules is appreciated.

14. By entering into the competition, you agree to the collection and use of any personal information and data supplied for the purposes of contacting and publicly announcing prize winners, and to measure the success of the competition.


Address: PO Box 1648, Queenstown, 9348

+64  021 942 328,

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