East of Tongariro National Park, the Kaimanawa Forest Park is a large area of native forests, shrublands and tussock grasslands. Popular for hunting, Kaimanawa Forest Park is made up of four mountain ranges dissected by a number of large river systems. It lies south-east of Lake Taupō, between Tongariro National Park to the west, and Kaweka Forest Park to the east.
The Sika herd, which also inhabits neighbouring Kaweka Forest Park and the Ahimanawa area, is the only wild herd in the southern hemisphere. The northern part of Kaimanawa Forest Park is a Recreational Hunting Area where recreational hunting is the primary means of deer control. Hunting permits, hut passes and general information are available from DOC’s offices. More info here (PDF).
A set of general objectives have also been developed for the Central North Island Sika Foundation, which include:
- To actively manage the central north island Sika herd in order to provide enhanced benefits to hunters and a higher level of protection for the forests and grasslands in which they live.
- To advance a management regime that involves a collaborative partnership between recreational Sika hunters, the Game Animal Council, the Department of Conservation, local Iwi, interested landowners, and other stakeholders.
- To achieve and maintain consistent, appropriate harvest levels of healthy Sika by better coordination of recreational Sika hunting.
- To increase the understanding, by recreational Sika hunters, of the Sika herd through better information and education.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Sika Foundation Code of Conduct
The Central North Island Foundation promotes a Hunting Code of Conduct to ensure all hunters respect these important forests. The following key messages have been developed by the Foundation to help with ongoing education and advocacy, and to encourage compliant hunter behaviour.
The Sika Foundation seeks your support in abiding by the following Hunter Code of Conduct:
- Plan and prepare
- Wear contrasting clothing
- Follow the Arms Code
- Always get a permit and abide by its conditions
- Respect the rights of private landowners
- Never spotlight on public land
- Take care to protect native plants and animals
- Ensure your dog has avian aversion training
- Remove all your rubbish
- Bury your toilet waste carefully
- Keep streams and waterways clean – and always CHECK, CLEAN, DRY
- Consider others who may be present or follow after you
- Carefully consider the most appropriate animals (sex and age) to remove from the herd in your chosen hunting area
- Kill animals as humanely as possible
- Wherever possible, take a jaw and always carefully complete the jaw data card
- Submit your hunting data forms with accurate data
- Join the Sika Foundation and support sustainable hunting
The hunting culture that this Code is designed to uphold is one of Sika hunters as Guardians or Caretakers of these forest and mountain lands – who hold a strong sense of respect, obligation and responsibility.
For too long, many Kiwi hunters have been simply end-use consumers of our forests and mountain land – consumers that hold a strong sense of entitlement based on a lifetime of just doing whatever they want, wherever and however they want.
The Sika Foundation seeks to de-emphasise this historic sense of entitlement and rights; and re-emphasise a sense responsibility and obligation in Sika hunters. The future of this cherished hunting resource depends on that culture shift.