The St James Conservation Area is open for recreational hunting except in the fenced-off Ada homestead area. Deer and pigs are present in moderate numbers, with a few chamois. Spotlighting is prohibited on all public conservation land.

Hunters require a hunting permit, available from any Canterbury DOC office.

Molesworth Recreation Reserve and Rainbow Conservation Area are managed by the Nelson/Marlborough Conservancy. You will require a separate permit from the DOC South Marlborough Area Office to hunt there.

Dogs (including pig-hunting dogs) are only permitted on the east side of the Waiau River. A separate permit is required to take your dog into this area.

Game-Bird Hunting

For game-bird hunting a special permit is required, available only from the DOC Waimakariri Office at Rangiora during office hours - phone 03 313 0820 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . This is in addition to the game-bird hunting licence issued by Fish and Game NZ.

Hunting Canada geese is very popular in St James Conservation Area and Molesworth Recreation Reserve. Nelson-Marlborough Fish and Game have organised goose culls in the past and these are usually held over Queen's Birthday and Labour weekends, and the first weekend in March (Friday to Monday). For more information contact Nelson-Marlborough Fish and Game office on 03 544 6382.