Photo albums


Sambar were introduced to New Zealand in 1875 from India and are closely related to Rusa deer. They were liberated in the Manawatu and Bay of Plenty regions in the North Island. The South Pacific is the only region in the world Sambar can be hunted.

Hunting and Habitat

Only obtainable in the North Island of New Zealand sambar are very shy, elusive animals and live in thick scrub and gorse coming out to feed in small clearings or bigger areas at night. Being a tropical deer (like the Rusa) they prefer the warm weather so often ease out of the thick scrub to sun themselves in the mid-morning sun. The main hunting method is spot and stalk spending a lot of time sitting and glassing waiting for the deer to come out. If you happen to spook a sambar they will let everyone know by belting out a loud 'fog horn' type sound! Sambar can be hunted from late May through December with the rut being in July/August.


Sambar are the second biggest deer in New Zealand and mature stags can weigh up to 700lbs. Their antlers are very dense and heavy which is why the sheds are so sought after by knife makers. Trophies are typically 3x3 and 26"-30" long.