Elk or Wapiti are among the biggest of all deer species. Native to North America, elk initially thrived in Fiordland in the South Island of New Zealand. Subsequently, however, interbreeding with red deer means there is little opportunity to hunt free range pure-bred elk in New Zealand.
Poronui is able to provide elk hunting within the large game estate. Exceptional trophies in excess of 400 SCI have been taken by hunters. Elk can be hunted from mid February to August, with the prime time mid March to mid April when the bugle or rut is under way.
Wapiti or Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), the largest round-antlered deer in the world, are related closely to red deer. The main New Zealand population is in Fiordland, all descended from a single release of 18 animals at the head of George Sound in 1905.
All elk have small and clearly defined rump patches with short tails. They have different coloration based on the seasons and types of habitats, with grey or lighter coloration prevalent in the winter and a more reddish, darker coat in the summer. Male elk have large antlers that are shed each year.
Males engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling, and bugling - a loud series of screams which establishes dominance over other males and attracts females. The bugle call is one of the most distinctive calls in nature and can be heard for miles! The hunting season is March 1st to August 15th with the peak of the rut being the first week of April.