About Us

Netherdale was purchased around 1881 by William Cowie, who with hard work developed this windy virgin land into a sheep and arable farm. In 1913 William retired to Timaru and son James continued to run Netherdale. Struggling through the Depression and two World Wars existing by selling milk from their small herd of cows to the local dairy factory.

In 1948 the property was sold to William’s grandson, Henderson Stevens, who enjoyed prosperous years with high returns from wool and grain. The farm was also developed into a successful Coopworth Stud and in 1979 his son David introduced wild deer captured by helicopter onto the property.

David and Lynley bought Netherdale in 1982 and gradually the sheep were replaced with deer and from humble beginnings the Netherdale Red Deer Stud was developed.

During the 1980’s AI, Embryo transfer and Embryo splitting were carried out making for very exciting times within the deer industry. In those early years the herd was culled hard for temperament with strong emphasis placed on velvet production.

Deer were imported from the UK and Europe to improve the genetics enhancing existing bloodlines.

In 1996 the Deer Complex was built, at which a Sire Stag Sale is held annually with the 37th sale being held in 2024.

Over the years Netherdale has featured consistently in the NZ National Velvet & Trophy Antler Awards winning the 3 year old class many times with quality, stylish velvet. Our 3yr old stags are now producing up to 11.50kg of velvet, with the 2024 Sire Sale average of 9.0kg. Netherdale will continue to offer New Zealand the finest in velvet genetics for many years to come.

David has four decades of dedicated membership with the New Zealand Deer Farmers Association (NZDFA), having held the presidency from 1999 to 2001. He has contributed extensively, having served as the past-chairman of the NZDFA Selection & Appointment Panel, a member of the NVSB, and maintaining an active role in the Southland Committee. In recognition of his remarkable commitment, David was honored in 2015 with a NZDFA Life membership and the esteemed Deer Industry Award and also the Southland Deer Farmers Branch life membership award in 2006.