New Zealand evolved with an absence of any native large grazing mammals or their predators within its natural fauna, so when red deer and a range of other game animals were released into New Zealand in the early 1900s they thrived, and by 1930s people were referring to the 'deer problem' as deer populations escalated in some areas.

Red deer thrived after their release within Fiordland National Park in the early 1900s. Throughout New Zealand the introduced species multiplied so rapidly that they quickly became a threat to the environment and organised hunting operations were introduced in an attempt to reduce numbers. Recreational hunting has remained popular in the Fiordland area - species include red deer, wapiti and chamois. The wapiti is a larger species than the red deer, with the original stock having been gifted to New Zealand by US President Roosevelt, and released within Fiordland in 1905. A limited season exists for wapiti and the herd is closely managed.

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