about us


frequently asked questions

Hard Yards Hunting is a family owned outfit that specializes in ethical free range mountain hunting and pride ourselves on delivering quality hunts of a life time. Hard Yards Hunting is owned and operated by Joseph Peter who took over from his Uncle Bernard Mason in 2013. Joseph guides most hunts himself, with some help from his brother Jimmy and guide Tim.

We differ greatly from the bulk of outfitters and guides in New Zealand in that we ONLY hunt free ranging and wild animals. We focus on the real hunters hunt, no high fences, no pen raised deer, no ”Heli Hunting”, just good honest hunting that provides not only a trophy but a real adventure and an experience of a life time. We are hunters first and fore most, and enjoy sharing our wilderness with you. If you are ready for a real hunt get in touch now and we will help you plan a trip of a lifetime.

Meet the Team

Life Hunters
Passionate outdoors people Professional Hunting Guides

Joseph Peter
Owner Operator

I grew up on a my parents sheep and beef farm in Marlborough and began hunting at an early age. My brothers and I hunted Red deer,Goats and pigs throughout the Marlborough high country until in 2008 I went on my first Tahr hunt with my uncle Bernie. I soon found my true passion, hunting the Southern Alps for Tahr and Chamois. I assisted Bernard with his guiding from 2008 and then in 2013 he gave me the opportunity to take over the business. During 2014 and 2015 I worked as a glacier guide on Fox glacier on the west coast and traveled to BC Canada to work as an wrangler/assistant guide. During this time I gained a huge amount of knowledge and skills that have helped me shape ‘Hard Yards Hunting’ into what it is today. I now spend my summers working as bee keeper in Twizel. I believe New Zealand has some of the best mountain hunting in the world and I work hard to ensure every hunt is safe and successful. The New Zealand hunting industry has become dominated by ‘Game Park’ high fenced hunting operations and AATH or heli hunting, we believe New Zealand has alot more to offer for the real hunter and this is the focus of ‘Hard Yards Hunting’. I look forward to showing you what real New Zealand hunting is all about!

Tim Butcher

I grew up in rural Southland (bottom of the South Island) where hunting and fishing is just a part of life. From a young age I was chasing small game and catching brown trout. As I got older the game grew larger and I began to fly fish. As a hunter the Southern Alps hold a certain allure and it wasn’t long before I found myself immersed in mountain hunting. For me pursuing game in these areas, free range and fair chase, is the pinnacle of New Zealand hunting and I always look forward to showing new friends around our “back yard”. I now live in a little town called Fox Glacier of the West Coast of the South Island with my wife, daughter and dog, working as a Conservation Ranger in the off season. Now the mountains are right on our doorstep and every opportunity is taken to be out there either scouting or hunting for myself. Hopefully you’ll come on over and we’ll show you the real deal New Zealand hunting!

Jimmy Peter

Jimmy is Joseph’s younger brother and brings a great sense of humor and energy to the team. A good knowledge of our Red Stag areas and great shooting skills make Jimmy a competent guide. He also has some great cooking skills which are welcome in any camp! .

How hard will it be? How fit do I need to be?

You will need to have a good base-level of fitness to hunt. We hunt primarily by spot and stalk in the mountains. The better shape you are in physically and mentally the more you will enjoy your hunt. Wilderness hunts are best suited to those with mountain hunting experience, good health, positive mental attitude and a moderate to high level of fitness. If you are concerned about your fitness please talk to us when you book and we will do our best to take you to our ‘easier’ private areas.

What happens if the weather is bad?

Weather plays and important factor in any mountain hunt. We plan our hunts with enough time to work with the weather. We also have hunting areas on both the west and eastern sides of the Southern Alps. This allows us to work around major weather problems as best we can. We do have ‘weather days’ and you need to have good rain gear and be prepared to use it if needed.

Will we hunt a fenced area?

No. ALL of our hunts are fully free range on wild born animals. We do not believe ‘high fenced’ hunting to be in the best interests of the hunting industry. Helicopters are used for access only. All animals are hunted on foot.

What happens if I shoot my animal on the first day?

If you are lucky enough to take your trophy early, your hunt does not finish. We will continue to hunt for a better trophy, another species, or arrange some other tourist activities for you during your stay. Most hunters we have choose their ‘number one’ species to hunt and another secondary species we can hunt if time allows. Extra costs may incur depending on the type of hunt you are on.

How far are the shots?

We generally try to get within 300 yards/metres to ensure good shot placement and recovery. But you should be confident shooting out to 350-400 yards/metres. I have kept an average over the last 3 seasons and around 200 yards/meters is the average shot. All our guides carry rangefinders.

What is the success rate?

For our rifles hunts we are very proud to have a 95-100% success every year. Some outfitters in NZ run “100% success guarantee”, normally they sacrifice trophy quality (young animals) or hunting methods (Fenced areas and AATH/Heli Hunting) in order to achieve this. We pride ourselves on talking quality mature trophies by foot hunting methods.

Do you have small game to hunt?

Yes. Most of our private areas have some form of ‘small game’ to hunt. These can be taken free of charge on an opportunity basis. We have areas with high numbers of goats and wallabies. If this is something you are interested in adding to your hunt it can be easily arranged.

Can I borrow a rifle?

Yes, you can. We have several quality rifles set up with good quality scopes and suppressors for our hunters to use. We currently have Tikka .243, Tikka .300WSM, Tikka .270win for our big game and two .223s set up for small game shooting. We do ask $150 per trip to use our rifles, this covers cost of ammunition and wear and tear.

Can I bring my firearm with me?

Yes! Currently it is quite simple to bring a hunting firearm with you into NZ. If you are bringing a firearm make sure you have the correct paper work and $25 NZD cash. See the NZ Police website for details. You will need to complete the visitors firearms licence form before you arrive.

We suggest bringing 40 rounds of ammunition and recommend a 200yard/meter zero. A .243 would be considered a minimum calibre for our game animals. A .270, 7mm rem Mag or other flat shooting calibre is an excellent choice.

You will need to check with any countries you may be transferring through on what their current laws are. Most hunters from North America and Australia bring their own rifles to hunt with us while a number of European hunters use our rifles as transfers through Asian countries can be difficult.

Can I bow hunt?

Yes you can! Our hunting areas are generally very open and spot-and-stalk is our main hunting method. We can, and do, host bow hunters most seasons. If you wish to take on the challenge of a bow hunt please let us know and we will arrange a hunt accordingly. If you intend to bow hunt you will need a high level of fitness as stalks can be physically demanding.

How do I get there?

We are based in the center of the South Island and will pick you up from either Christchurch International Airport (preferred) or Queenstown international airport. If you are traveling from North America or Europe we recommend arriving one day before your hunt and spending a day at a motel/hotel. This helps greatly with jet lag and if there are any flight delays etc. We have about a 3-5 hour drive from the airport to our hunting areas depending on the type of hunt you are on. Because of this we prefer an early AM pick up (before 10am). We recommend booking your flights and any accommodation as soon as possible as NZ is a very busy tourist destination and it can be hard to find the right flights on short notice. If you are already in NZ we are happy to arrange to meet you near our hunting areas.

How do I get my trophy home?

We work with a local and experienced taxidermist based in Christchurch. We will prepare animals in the field (skinning/salting where needed) and drop them to the taxidermist to either expedite your tanned/salted trophies home or mount them here and then ship them to you.

What's included in the hunt?

Our package hunts are all inclusive trips. We will meet you at the airport/accomodation and take you for the entire duration of your hunt. All fees, food, accomodation, transport, trophy fees, helicopter time (where stated), trophy prep and delivery to taxidermy are included. Price do not include gratuities/tips, taxidermy fees, extra trophies or alcoholic beverages.

What is a Private Land Hunt?

Free range private land hunting offers exclusive access, comfortable accommodation, good animal numbers and better trophy potential for the free range hunter. We have a number of private land properties where we hunt tahr, chamois, red stag, wild sheep, fallow deer, goats, pigs and small game.

All of our private land blocks have 4WD access to comfortable accommodation in the form of farm houses or mountain huts. You will have good bedding and NZ style home cooking. Our private land hunting takes place on foot but most areas have good 4WD tracks which can be used to shorten walking where possible.

Good to moderate fitness is helpful for free range hunting as we are hunting in the mountains, the terrain is quite steep in places but we use 4wd tracks and trails to our best advantage. We usually spot animals from the vehicle before commencing a stalk.

Private land hunting offers an awesome experience in secluded high country with high success rates.

What does a Private Land Hunt include?


Private land hunts include

All meals, snacks, drinks
Guide fees
Trophy care, skinning, delivery to taxidermist
One trophy per species (best available), other trophies may be taken for additional cost
Transfers to/from Christchurch (CHCH) International airport
Small game may be taken free of charge after trophy has been taken

Additional costs

Taxidermy/expediting fees
Rifle hire $150 per trip
Alcoholic drinks

Payment Terms
50% deposit to hold booking date. Final payment due prior hunt commencing. No refund on your deposit if you decide to cancel. You can transfer your booking to another date.

What is a Wilderness Hunt?

Wilderness hunting takes place in the most spectacular and remote parts of the Southern Alps, this is a real hunting experience. No roads, no civilisation, just mountains, rivers and fresh air. This is the real New Zealand experience. Wilderness hunting takes place on public land where we hold a large concession covering both the Eastern and Western sides of the Southern Alps.

Tahr and chamois can be found in good to moderate numbers depending on the area and can often be found in close proximity to each other. Red deer and other species are best hunted on private land.

We access these hunts with a short but scenic helicopter trip, flying through some of the most pristine and beautiful scenery in the world. The helicopter will land at a basic campsite where tents are used as accommodation. We then day hunt the surrounding area on foot. We also have the options of ‘spike’ camping out depending on weather and fitness levels etc.

A good level of fitness is needed on a wilderness hunt as the terrain is usually steep and broken. This is the most challenging and therefore most rewarding form of hunting in New Zealand. This is comparable to sheep or goat hunts of North America and Asia. The terrain and weather can make these hunts a challenge but the respect for the terrain and animals that inhabit it, is truly earned and the trophy means that much more. Our Wilderness hunts are all inclusive packages that INCLUDE helicopter time, most other outfitters charge this on top of your hunt (extra $1500++)

We do also offer full back pack style hunts which are priced on an individual basis depending on the species and time of year.

What does a Wilderness Hunt include?


Package includes
Helicopter access
7 day - One trophy bull tahr Or chamois buck
12 day - One trophy buck chamois AND one trophy bull tahr
Accommodation (tents or small cabin)
Camping equipment
All meals, snacks and drinksTrophy care, skinning, delivery to taxidermist
Transfers to/from Christchurch (CHCH) International Airport

Additional costs
Taxidermy/expediting feesAirfares
Rifle hire $150 per tripTips/GratuitiesAlcoholic drinks
Extra helicopter time approx. $1500 per hour
Extra trophies

Payment Terms
50% deposit to hold booking date. Final payment due prior hunt commencing. No refund on your deposit if you decide to cancel. You can transfer your booking to another date.


Send us your enquiries and we'll
get back to you as soon as we can.

Contact us