With keen senses and a cautious approach to life, the Rusa is seldom seen far from cover, particularly outside of early morning or late evening. A native of the Islands of Java the Rusa has thrived on the mosaic of forest, brush and grasslands found at Poronui. The distinctive trophy head with long even points is incredibly eye catching.
Rutting late in July and August, the Rusa provides a great option for the hunter arriving late in the winter. They retain hard antler until the end of the year extending Poronui’s trophy season for almost 12 months.
One of the most difficult trophies to achieve, our Rusa are demanding increased attention as hunters become aware of the quality of the Poronui herd. Allow a bit of extra time to hunt Rusa, as they rarely come easy.
Rusa (Cervus timorensis) deer were first introduced to New Zealand from New Caledonia (using stock that probably originated from Java) in 1907. This semi-nocturnal and extremely wary deer is highly ranked as a big game trophy. Being tropical deer, rusa retain hard antlers longer and therefore offer great hunting well into the Southern Hemisphere summer.
Rusa Deer are recognised by their large ears, the light tufts of hair above the eyebrows, the typical antlers seeming overly large for their body size. In addition, the length of the tines make Rusa antlers an impressive sight, with a mature stag usually having 6 points. This comprises of one main beam rising vertically and two smaller sturdy points protruding. The Rusa roar (rut) runs from mid July to end of August.
Rusa Deer are predominantly active around the early morning and late afternoon, rarely being seen in the open and very difficult to approach due to their keen senses and naturally cautious instincts. If you get get close to a free ranging Rusa stag and spook him, he will let out an extremely loud honk. This form of alarm is designed to alert any other deer in the vicinity of the unrecognised danger.
Rusa Deer are very sociable and you will rarely find one on its own; it may seem to be alone but these animals are masters of camouflage. Preferring to live amongst dense brush and vegetation, Rusa Deer are so adept at hiding themselves that they may sometimes let you walk right past! However, the most productive hunting of Rusa is in the winter during the rut when on cold days animals are drawn to sunny clearings in the bush.
If your're interested in hunting rusa at Poronui in New Zealand, please contact Steve by email or call on +64 21 888 669.