More than 250 red deer were imported from Britain into New Zealand between 1851 and the early 1900s. Around 1,000 animals had been liberated into the wild by 1923, mainly in forested or mountainous areas. They spread rapidly and by the 1940s were living in most of the southern and central North Island, and the more remote areas of the South Island and Stewart Island. Ever since their introduction they have been the main target species for deer hunters.
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