The hunters listed below are happy to talk with you and provide verbal testimonials about their experiences hunting with us. As we don't publicise our hunter's contact details on the website, you can complete and submit the request form below and we will email you our hunter contact list.
Tom - Montana (Full name withheld for privacy. Tom's name, contact and full reference are available on request from genuine enquiries).
"In April of 2019, I along with my son-in-law Mike, his brother, and a friend hunted with James Cagney for two weeks and I strongly recommend James, his son Dylan and guide Jake who work with him.
Being from Montana our goals was to hunt “Free Range Red Stags” out of the original blood lines introduced to New Zealand in the 1850’s and then to hunt Tahr and Chamois. I have spent 50 years in Montana hunting free range elk and deer on mountainous public lands and antelope and deer on large ranches in eastern Montana. I have also hunted free range in many other places including Alaska, Canada and Africa. The idea of traveling to New Zealand to hunt “High Fenced -- Put and Take” Red Stags that were raised for the Orient’s horn market and European meat market was not what I or Mike wanted for a hunt. My son-in-law contacted one of the few free range outfitters in New Zealand who happened to also be the president of New Zealand’s hunting guides association, James Cagney. In short order we were booked. At first I was intimidated because I am 74 years old and the hunt would be just a year after the fusion of 4 vertebras in my lower back. It was not the Red Stag hunting but the Tahr and Chamois hunting that I knew could be rigorous. James assured me that if I could handle elk hunting in the mountains of Montana I would be okay.
I am happy to say that not only was I the oldest hunter they have ever guided but I shot the oldest Tahr that they have taken (14 years old). I took my Chamois on my last day of hunting. I also took two Red Stags. The first one was taken in the Tahr/Stag area, an old past prime 4X4 with magnificently long heavy main beams and great tines. The second was taken in the Chamois/Stag area, a 6X6 also with great length and mass. My son-in-law took a nice Tahr, everyone got their Red Stag and two feral goats were taken with bows. It was a 100% success for each of us. Hunting for Red Stag in both areas was hike, spot and stalk and the same for the Tahr. The Chamois hunting required several days of 2 to 4 miles of hiking down into and out of deep valleys and lots of stream crossings. Hunting New Zealand is done with wet feet. Once we got used to it, it was okay. Dry footwear for camp is a must.
In regards to “Free Range Hunting”, the properties we hunted were two enormous private unfenced holdings. Red Stags were seen everywhere on both properties and were in full Roar. We would see 20 to 30 stags daily. The Tahr/Stag area was at least 25 square miles of land of moderate foot hills growing into very steep mountain terrain. The facility was a very modern “hut” with a great bunk room and a cooking/dining/ gathering room. It had a hot shower on the outside of the building and of course an outhouse. The Chamois/Stag area was at least 30 square miles of high rolling mountain side hills with deep valleys, surrounded by snowcapped peaks. The facility was a 100 year old metal sided deer hunter’s hut that easily slept all 8 of us. It was a very primitive accommodation with comfortable beds. It felt much like a Montana mountain wall tent elk camp with water from the creek and cooking done on a camp stove with gas lanterns. It was my kind of place.
The weather was much like early October in Montana; cool in the mornings and evenings but shirt sleeves during the day. We had 2.5 inches of rain on one day. Bring good rain gear and be ready to layer your clothing.
The best part was hunting with James, Dylan, Jake and their friend Shayann. They are very gracious hosts who wanted our hunt to be a successful and memorable experience. This is exactly what we received".
Zach and Julie Dunlap - Anchorage, Alaska.
Zach and Julie hunted free range red stags with us in March 2016. They successfully hunted a nice stag each and Zach caught a beautiful rainbow trout.
"My wife Julie and I knew that we wanted to go to New Zealand and hunt for Red Stag while celebrating our honeymoon. After doing a lot of research, many inquiries with outfitters, we happily chose James Cagney's New Zealand Hunting Adventures. When we emailed James, he responded to us not with the typical spiel, but took the time to answer our questions, and provide us with ample information regarding true free range hunting in NZ. Coming from Alaska we wanted to experience the type of hunting we are accustomed to at home in Alaska.
The hunt itself met and far exceeded our expectations. James and his family were fantastic hosts and guides. They made us feel right at home with them. We both were able to take amazing Stags, experience the beautiful and challenging terrain of New Zealand and form close friendships with the Cagney's. Julie and I both worked hard for our trophies, James and his crew worked even harder in order to make it happen. Julie and I wholeheartedly recommend James' guide service. You will not be disappointed."
Gary Sessions - Flora Vista, New Mexico.
Gary and his buddy Kyle hunted with us in May 2018. Gary and Kyle both took tahr and chamois and Gary also took a red stag.
"After doing much research for Free range New Zealand Outfitters my friend Kyle & I decided to hunt with James Cagney’s New Zealand Hunting Adventures. James was first class in the way he thoroughly answered all my questions & helpful in directing us with different things to see and do while we were on Holiday with our wives in NZ. James, Deb & Dylan go above and beyond to try and make you feel welcome & have a GREAT HUNTING EXPERIENCE while you are on your hunt.
I had a hunt of a lifetime & was successful in taking a big Bull Tahr, Buck Chamois & Red Stag, all on totally free range hunts. We also were able to fit in a little bird hunting at the end of our hunt and was successful in taking some Paradise Ducks, California Quail & Black Swans. I was totally impressed with the hunt, James’ knowledge of the area & animals, courtesy to his hunters, handling of the capes and meat and every aspect of the hunt. He was a TOTAL JOY TO HUNT WITH.
It’s magnificent country with great animals that they hunt in.
I would highly recommend James Cagney’s New Zealand Hunting Adventures for anyone looking for a great NZ free range hunt!"
Kyle Barner - Big Sky, Montana.
Kyle hunted with us and his buddy Gary in May 2018. Kyle took a nice bull tahr a chamois buck and did some game bird hunting.
"In May 2018, my buddy Gary and I hunted free range, fair chase Tahr, Chamois, Red Stag, Paradise Ducks, Black Swan and California Quail with James Cagney's New Zealand Hunting Adventures.
James, Deb and Dylan run a first class operation. Gary did all the due diligence to select James, but the entire experience far exceeded all of my expectations.
James is organized, his equipment, food and of course the hunting were all excellent. James is a hard core smart hunter who knows what to do and when.
If you are thinking of hunting free range, fair chase Tahr, Chamois, Red Stag or do some bird hunting in New Zealand, I recommend you call James, then get yourself in "sheep shape". You will not be disappointed."
Dal Kube - Columbus, Georgia.
Dal hunted with us in May 2018, he took a beautiful, thick maned bull tahr, a buck chamois and a magnificent red stag.
"James runs a first class operation in every aspect and truly cares about his hunters having an enjoyable overall experience. Everything from the start to finish of the hunt was flawless along with the quantity and exceptional quality of genuine free range animals. He is a true professional in every aspect. I came as a client, but I left as a friend and I’m looking forward to hunting with James again soon. I also enjoyed meeting his sweet family - Deb and Dylan"
Shayann Tompkins - British Columbia, Canada.
Shayann took two beautiful animals on a multi day fly-camp hunt with us in February 2014, a beautiful big buck chamois and a magnificent bull tahr. In 2016 Shayann accompanied her sister Amanda on her tahr and stag hunt and in 2018 Shay hunted Red Stag with us during the roar and took an impressive and very old 16 point stag.
"I'm a guide myself in Canada and grew up around some of the best and most respected guides in North America, but I was blown away with James's professionalism and work ethic. He clearly loves every bit of the hunt and makes it an experience of a lifetime. I've learnt so much from him as a guide and as a hunter. Way to go JC ! One hunt wasn't enough, so my sister and I are going back to hunt free range stag with James in 2016."
Shay Tompkins - Big 9 Outfitters - Canada
Amanda Tompkins - British Columbia, Canada.
Amanda and her sister Shayann hunted with us in April 2016, Amanda took a big bull tahr and a nice red stag.
"My sister and I went for a free range red stag and tahr hunt with James in April 2016 and were absolutely taken back with how great it was. James and his family went above and beyond while hosting and guiding us in New Zealand. They made us feel like family as they shared our excitement throughout the trip and celebrated with us once we harvested our trophies. James's consistent enthusiasm, optimism and ethic was what made our hunt truly successful and our time so enjoyable. We are planning to return in the next few years to experience more of the incomparable professionalism and quality that James's outfit provides. If you are ever considering free range hunting in New Zealand, booking with James is a must.
Barry Tompkins - British Columbia, Canada.
Barry operated Big 9 Outfitters for over 30 years, a top hunting outfit in British Columbia. Barry made the arrangements for his daughter Shayann to hunt with us in New Zealand in 2014. Barry spent some time with us while in New Zealand.
Barry's daughters Shayann and Amanda hunted with us again in 2016 and 2018.
Paul Terhart - Ontario, Canada.
Paul hunted with us in April 2018 during the Red Stag roar, he took a nice long even 13 point free range Red Stag. Paul was guided by Dylan, we all had a ton of fun on Paul's hunt !
"I met James and Dylan while hunting Elk in B.C. Canada. Made the journey to New Zealand to hear the roar of the Red Stag first hand. It was amazing, exactly as they had described. I managed to harvest a beautiful 13 point free range Red Stag.
James, Dylan and Deb run a very professional outfit. Every aspect of the hunt is meticulously well thought out. They score a 10/10 in my books"
Frans Pieterse - Polokwane, South Africa.
Frans took a beautiful tahr and a buck chamois while hunting with us in July 2014.
"What an amazing adventure and experience! James is the most polite and experienced guide I ever hunted with. With the ability to adapt to different circumstances and making the most out of every opportunity without compromising safety and assuring the best trophy. It was an adventure of a lifetime"
Frans Pieterse Jnr
David Hunt - Berkshire, England.
David hunted with us in March 2015. Due to David's narrow timeframe which was compressed further with a couple of days of stormy weather, David opted to use the helicopter to maximise his limited time with a heli-assist hunt. Most of our hunts are multi day, camp out foot hunts, sometimes with a helicopter drop out and pick up at the start and end of a fly-camp trip, or Land Rover drive into a comfortable cabin as a base for foot hunting. A heli-assist hunt is an option we can use on limited occasions if a client choses to do so. David got a very nice buck chamois and a heavy old bull tahr.
"I did a heli-assist hunt with James in March 2015. The time I had available was limited and the weather unsettled, but because of James's intimate knowledge of the mountains and the hunting area, we were able to make the most of the narrow weather windows and were successful in taking excellent trophy Tahr and Chamois. James's professional approach and synergy with Nathan, our pilot, made the whole experience unforgettable and gave me the hunt of a lifetime"
Jannie Engelbrecht - Polokwane, South Africa.
Jannie hunted a magnificent buck chamois and a nice bull tahr with us in July 2014. Jannie hunted with us again in July 2017, taking a nice Red Stag.
"If you want to do a trip of a lifetime in the magnificent New Zealand Alps, James Cagney is your guy!! James is a world-class hunting guide and will get you that trophy you always have dreamed about in an adventure you could not even dream about.
You will go as a 'client' and leave (to return again) as a friend"
Daniel Rapley - Connecticut, USA.
Daniel took a big heavy bull tahr and a red stag while he and his brother Ed hunted with us in July 2015.
Dan and Ed hunted with us again in March 2017, Dan took a young stag with a magnificent 220 yard shot with open sights from his Dad's old Lee Enfield .303 British.
"I was looking for a free range hunt in New Zealand, several people pointed me to James Cagney. It was the best trip of my life! 4 days, 2 bull tahr, 1 nice red stag, mountain air and adrenaline. If I was planning a trip again it would be New Zealand and it would be with James Cagney"
Daniel J Rapley
Herman Pieterse - Perth - Australia.
Herman hunted with us in November 2008 and again in July 2014 when he took nice trophy chamois and bull tahr.
"I have had the privilege of hunting with James on a couple of occasions and have met few guides who are as dedicated to the sport, safety conscious and completely focused on the customer's experience. I have recommended James to a number of hunters and all of them had successful hunts and subsequently thanked me for setting them up with James. I fully intend to go back and hunt with James again"
Jeff Hotz - Austin - Texas.
Jeff and his buddy Larry hunted game birds with us in May/June 2016. Jeff is a dedicated game bird hunter, he has hunted many game bird species through North America and globaly. While with us Jeff hunted peacock, black swan, paradise duck and pukeko.
"I threw James a bit of a curve when I asked for peacocks instead of deer or goats. He responded like the true adventure guide he is by not only agreeing to figure out a peacock hunt, he also suggested we add some of their native NZ birds. Game on ! Hunting with James set a new high standard in my book for outfitted and guided hunts. We were on the North Island for peacocks with the Fish & Game Regional Manager and his hand picked/scouted locations. We were near Christchurch for black swans, quail and grey ducks with another Fish & Game Manager and his hand picked spots, not to mention James' personal spots for quail. Then onto the West Coast to his hometown, family and childhood friends for their handpicked spots for pukekos and parry. Not only did we get on the birds, we felt like part of his family. If you're a bird hunter and you haven't hunted a peacock, pukeko, black swan or parade shelduck - you should give it another thought - they aren't like anything else you've hunted. I've never had a hunt and all around adventure that was so thoroughly enjoyable. If you're reading this, you should stop now and just book your hunt with James - you can't miss and this is a once in a lifetime hunt."
Ole Termansen - Jelling - Denmark.
Ole hunted with us for 5 days in February/March 2017 while he was on holiday in New Zealand. Ole hunted hard and took a beautiful early season bull tahr.
"For me the hunting in New Zealand should be more than "the shooting" – I wanted an adventure ( the whole package !! ). The scenery, the country and the walking. I met James, Deb and Tyne as a client - hunted with them as a friend - and left New Zealand with a hunting experience of a lifetime. During my many years of hunting I have met several different guides. James surpass all of them - by far. I have the highest respect for and can only recommend James Cagney's Hunting Adventures. This hunt exceeded, by far, my expectations. Thanks."
Larry Hengl - California.
Larry and his buddy Bill hunted with us in June 2017. Larry put in some big days and was rewarded with a beautiful big old bull tahr and a beautiful winter cape buck chamois.
"Hunting in New Zealand for Tahr and Chamois with James Cagney's Hunting Adventures was a hunt of a life time. James was one of the most knowledgeable and organized hunting guides that I have ever encountered. He knew the territory and where we could successfully hunt the animals. James and Dylan made the hunting experience successful with two great animals. Deb made the accommodations and meals very enjoyable. Thanks all of you for making such a great hunting experience."
Bill Bird - Las Vegas - Nevada.
Bill hunted tahr and chamois with his buddy Larry in June 2017. Bill took nice chamois and tahr trophies.
“James, Deb and Dylan were the best hosts and great guides. The lodge and cabin were great and as beautiful as the great South Island. I had a wonderful time and would recommend this to anyone. Just want to warn you the country is rough and steep but animals were there and Larry and myself had a great time. My thanks to James, Deb and Dylan for an experience that I will never forget.”
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Partners and affiliations
Your assurance of Quality - A proud member of the New Zealand Professional Hunting Guides Association.
We are a Department of Conservation Approved Operator
A member of the Wild Sheep Foundation
A member of Safari Club International - James is an SCI Official Measurer