Welcome to the North Auckland Deerstalkers.
Become part of New Zealand’s largest hunting organisation.
The NZDA was founded in 1937 to promote recreational hunting and shooting sports. It is a national body with branches throughout New Zealand. The North Auckland Branch was established in 1958, on its current property at Riverhead.
The NZDA is involved in the following activities on members’ behalf.
- Youth activity programmes
- Hunting and bush craft training
- Public access for recreational activities
- Game animal protection and management
- Firearms safety training
- National shooting competitions
- The building and maintenance of huts
- Participation in the conservation debate
- Communication with members through magazines and newsletters
The North Auckland Branch offers the following:
- Hunting trips around New Zealand
- HUNTS training courses
- A 25m zeroing range
- 100m and 200m range casual shooting and competitions for rimfire and centrefire
- Monthly members meetings
- Monthly newsletter
- Social activities
Code of Ethics
A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his act they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of the fact. — Aldo Leopold. The Sand County Almanac.
The Code of Ethics of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association Incorporated shall be, and any member expected to:
- Approach recreational hunting from the highest possible level of ethics, having due regard to the welfare of the animals hunted, and prevention of cruelty to the same.
- Not hunt or carry a firearm on property without the proper approval of the owner, occupier of controlling authority and shall strictly observe any conditions imposed upon him.
- Be a responsible firearms owner and abide by current Firearms Laws.
- Avoid unnecessary or deliberate damage to the environment, respect property, and other users of the outdoors.
- Advocate sensible conservation practices at all times and promote New Zealand’s biodiversity ‘in situ’.
- Practice the Field Guidelines when out hunting.
- Be exemplary members of NZDA by promoting and abiding by its Rules, Field Guidelines and this Code of Ethics.
Definition of fair chase
- Animal must not have been taken in an enclosed area ie, behind deer wire or any such fence or fixture that impedes the animal’s unrestricted chance of escape
- Animal must not have been restrained ie, in a snare, trap, fence etc
- Animal must not have been taken with the aid of a spotlight or use of night vision equipment
- Animal must not have been taken from an aircraft, powered vehicle or vessel
- Animal must not have been coursed by dogs (with the exception of wild pigs)
- Animal must not have been taken in a manner where animal behaviour has been intentionally influenced by the use of a powered craft
NZDA Field Guidelines
The Field Guidelines policy of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association Incorporated shall be:
- To approach the sport of recreational hunting from the highest possible level of ethics, with due regard to the welfare of the animals and the prevention of cruelty to same.
- To encourage the use by hunters, of sporting arms of calibre and/or power adequate to ensure quick clean kills of the particular game species being hunted.
- To encourage the fullest possible use of the game killed by hunters and to avoid always, unnecessary wastage of the game resource.
- To promote safe practices by ensuring oneself and others are suitably trained to minimise risks in the outdoors.
- Respect the property of others and respect the natural environment.
- To assist in the gathering of research information from the animal secured for association (and related) research programmes.
News & Upcoming Events
You can view the full calendar here
Our Rifle Ranges
The Branch opens the range complex 22 Sundays per year.
There are two ranges:
- A covered 25m sighting in range.
- A 200/100/50m range for general practice and competitions.
Registration begins at 9:00am, the safety briefing is at 9:15 am, and shooting begins at 9:30 am.
Most morning sessions are general practice at the stated range, most often 100m. Afternoon sessions usually involve a competition of 1-2 hours duration, followed by more general practice until 4:30pm. During competitions members are welcome to continue general practice that fits in with the competition range and format.
You may arrive and leave whenever you want, but people arriving after 9:30 may have to wait to be allocated a shooting lane.
Safety is our paramount concern.
All members and their guests are required to handle and operate firearms in accordance with all New Zealand Acts, Regulations and the firearms code. The range complex is operated under strict range standing orders, with qualified and experienced range officers in attendance. All people using firearms at the range are required to have either a current firearms licence for the appropriate category of firearm, or are to be supervised by someone so licenced.
If you are new to firearms you will find plenty of members willing to advise you on your selection and use of a rifle that best suits your requirements.
Please note that the range programme is subject to periodic change. The dates usually do not change, but the daily programme may.
Range Standing Orders are published on notice boards at each range. A copy is attached to this page. Members are required to abide by all standing orders and Range Officer instruction.
Visitor Shooting Policy
A visitor is deemed to be a non-member who is not sponsored and accompanied by a financial member of the Branch.
A visitor with a firearms licence is welcome to register and shoot on our ranges.
A visitor may not sponsor or supervise any other unlicensed shooter.
Guest Shooting Policy
A guest is deemed to be a non-member who is sponsored and accompanied by a financial member of the branch (the host).
A guest with a firearms licence is welcome to register and shoot on our ranges.
A guest without a firearms licence is welcome to register and shoot on our ranges provided the guest is supervised at all times by their host, who must be a member of the North Auckland Deerstalkers. The host is to ensure that a guest adheres to our range standing orders and the requirements of the Arms Act 1983.
The North Auckland Branch clubrooms and range complex is situated approximately 1.5km east of Riverhead, on the Riverhead-Coatesville Highway. The entrance is signposted from the main road. The road is a shared access way. Please drive slowly.
When a red flag is flying shooting is in progress. Obey the warning signs and introduce yourself to either the Range Officer, or the person taking registration details.
HUNTS – The NZDA Hunter National Training Scheme
The NZDA Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS) is designed to allow novice and partially experienced hunters to gain competence in basic hunting and bushcraft skills, to enable them to successfully complete 1 to 2 day deerstalking trips, into areas below the bush line. These skills include, but are not limited to,
- Behaving in an ethical and environmentally friendly manner.
- Trip preparation and planning in order to reduce potential risks.
- Selecting the correct equipment and food to carry.
- Applying sound bushcraft, navigation and river crossing methods.
- Understanding and applying rifle safety & maintenance, ballistics and marksmanship.
- Identifying and understanding the behaviour of New Zealand’s deer species.
- Applying reliable hunting and shooting techniques.
- Skinning and butchering a deer, plus preparing trophies.
- Basic first aid and survival techniques.
The HUNTS Course is aimed at newcomers to the sport of hunting or older hunters who want to improve their bushcraft and hunting skills. Trainees must be at least 16 years old and preferably have a current firearms licence, their own centrefire rifle, suitable clothing and equipment as well as a reasonable level of fitness. All applicants must be NZDA North Auckland members for safety reasons and to take advantage of their $10 million public liability insurance. The North Auckland Branch has three centrefire rifles available for training purposes.
The North Auckland NZDA HUNTS Course is run by a qualified HUNTS Instructor (assessed and warranted by the NZ Mountain Safety Council and NZDA) with support from experienced NZDA hunters and Mountain Safety Instructors. There is a strong emphasis on firearms safety and adherence to risk management plans at all times.
The current fee is $250.00 (to be confirmed at the start of each course) and this includes a HUNTS Manual, course notes, range fees and field trip transport expenses.
The course runs for 10 weeks from September to November each year and early applications are essential. There are 9 training modules, with training sessions on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings at our rifle range at Riverhead, 2 range days, a practical navigation exercise and 2 hunting trips (goats & deer).
A Course Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to trainees who successfully complete the course.
Attendance is competitive – there are always more nominations than there are places on the course, so early application is essential.
Apply by downloading this form (HUNTS Application and Data Form), complete it and email the completed form to:
Alternatively, post the form to:NZDA North Auckland Branch Inc. 848 Coatsville-Riverhead Highway RD 3, Albany 0793
Membership and Fees
Membership is available for anyone aged 14 or over.
Categories of membership:
- Senior – any member aged 18 years or older at the beginning of the financial year
- Junior – any member aged 14 to 17 years at the beginning of the financial year
- Family – a partner, child or grandchild of a senior member. No membership fee, but does not receive newsletters. Child or grandchild must be under 18 years of age at the beginning of the financial year (1 Mar).
- Superannuant – a senior member entitled to National Superannuation.
- Student – 18 years or older full time tertiary student. Must carry Student Identity Card valid for the whole year
- Associate – A person who wishes to maintain an association with the Branch, but does not participate fully in Branch activities.
The fee structure is explained in the table below:
|Full Year & Renewal – March-February||½ Year – September – February|
|Senior 18+ yrs||$115||$58|
|Junior 14-17 yrs||$69||$35|
|Family||No annual fees. No joining fee|
For 2017 a facilities fee has been introduced which replaces all Range Card/Range Fees for Branch members.
|New Members Fee||$10|
|FACILITIES FEE – Senior, Student and Superannuant members are subject to a $40 facilities fee.||$40|
Existing members must renew their membership annually at the full rate. Existing members will be mailed a reminder notice.
So just what do you get for your money? (apart from a rifle range, a clubhouse and a bunch of new mates)
- Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS) courses
- A national body to lobby government organisations to help protect your sport
- National photography, hunting, and shooting competitions
- New Zealand Hunting and Wildlife magazine and The Bugle national newsletter quarterly
- Monthly branch newsletters
- Branch party hunts
- Regular centrefire and rimfire shooting competitions at the local rifle range
- Escape from the suburban life into the New Zealand outdoors
- ‘The Bugle’ – a quarterly in-house national newsletter.
- $10 million liability insurance with a $1 million extension under the Rural Fires Act and including exemplary and punitive damages
NZDA North Auckland Branch
NZDA North Auckland Branch Inc.
848 Coatsville-Riverhead Highway
RD 3, Albany 0793
Guests (who do not contribute to upkeep via membership fees) pay a daily fee.
As at March 2013 the range fees are set as:
- Guest of a member daily range fee $20.
- Visitor (not a guest of a member) range fee of $50
All range fees are paid at the range. Please do not put range card fees in with membership payments.