The Himalayan tahr, which is resembles a large goat, is hunted in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, where populations have adapted to the rugged alpine conditions. Their dense, woolly coats range from reddish brown to dark brown, and they have thick undercoats in winter that help insulate them against the harsh mountain weather. Their special hooves make it easy for them to navigate the rough terrain of the alpine grasslands, where they spend their time grazing on snow tussocks, herbs, and shrubs. Both males and females have horns, though the females’ horns are smaller. Males are also distinguished by a pronounced ruff and mane. Tahrs are social animals that group themselves according to age and sex: nannies, kids, and young males up to two years old form the first group, while young bulls between two and four years of age form the second group, and mature bulls form the third group. The groups converge in advance of the rut, but after breeding season, the males retreat, often traveling long distances away from the nannies and younger bulls.
Hunting in New Zealand’s high country, with its rough terrain and unpredictable weather, makes for a challenging and exhilarating experience. You’ll want to be in top physical condition and prepared to exert yourself in harsh, high-altitude conditions. Tough footwear (with ice crampons in winter) is crucial. We recommend a rifle caliber of .270 or higher.
Due to their threat to native vegetation, tahr, like chamois, are considered a nuisance animal, and they can be hunted year-round. The winter weather will produce the thicker coats these animals are known for, but will also greatly increase the hunting challenge. If you’re not in the best shape, the milder weather will make it easier to take a tahr as they descend to lower altitudes (meaning you’ll hike/climb less to reach them) and shed their darker coats, which makes them easier to spot. Tahr hunts are often combined with chamois hunts.
Contact us to start planning your tahr hunt today!