Hunting Tahr in New Zealand

Typically found on the alpine grasslands, Himalayan tahr resemble large goats and big bull tahr hunting is the ultimate alpine hunting experience. Adult males (bulls) measure as much as 40 inches at shoulder height, weigh up to 300 lbs and have wooly, dense, reddish brown coats in summer. During winter, males grow long, shaggy manes around the shoulder, neck and front legs. Female tahr (nannies) are lighter in color in summer and both bulls and nannies are darker brown in winter.

Tahr have horns, with the bulls' horns measuring up to 14 inches. Horns are triangular in cross section, and curve upward, back and then again inwards. For trophy purposes, the horns are measured along the outside curve from the base to the tip. Every year, another ring is added to the horns.

Social animals, tahr nannies tend to form herds with their kids and yearlings, while mature males join bachelor groups.

Tahr can only be hunted in the Southern Alps, central South Island of New Zealand. It offers a very high quality meat, and highly sought-after trophy.

New Zealand introduced the Himalayan Tahr for sport and they are still being hunted for sport in the Southern Alps


Tahr Fact Sheet

Scientific Name: Hemitragus jemlahicus
Male Weight: 73 kg
Female Weight: 36 kg
Gestation period: 180 - 242 days
Height: 65 - 100 cm
Length: 90 - 140 cm


Hunting Considerations

Tahr have excellent senses of hearing, smell and eyesight, which makes them a challenging quarry. Move against the wind and take advantage of as much cover as possible to avoid detection.

The mating period reaches its peak during May to June, so the best time to hunt is from March to the end of July. November is another great time, as the bulls tend to be together.

Tahr hunting in New Zealand is a physical hunting experience, and involves much hiking and climbing. The most remote hunting areas are typically accessed by helicopter. The hunter must possess a reasonable level of physical fitness to enjoy a successful hunt, as tahr tend to frequent vegetated mountainsides with an elevation of between 4500-7000 feet. Wear good footwear and bring along crampons and an ice axe.

Since the horns are quite small compared to the size of the tahr's body, it is hard to estimate the quality of the trophy in the field. However, mature bulls with bigger bodies tend to have longer horns. Therefore, in a group of bachelor bulls, the biggest bull is likely to be the best trophy. The inward curvature of the tip of the horn is another valuable clue. A tip growing towards the center of the animal's back, it is most likely a trophy tahr. When viewed from the broadside, a horn that rises vertically for several inches, is probably a good trophy.

Opt for a flat trajectory calibre with high striking energy in .270 or above with a strong sling that enables both the hunter's hands to be used as needed.

Shot Placement

When placing your shot, allow sufficient space for the mane hair and long ridge. Tahr bulls can be notoriously difficult to hunt once disturbed. Should placement must be perfect, and if not, the hunter must be prepared for quick follow up in order to achieve a clean kill.


Tahr Shot Placement


Tahr Shot Placement


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