A museum dedicated to deer is due to open near Wanaka Airport in a few weeks.

The World of Deer is a venture by retired red deer stud breeder Clive Jermy who started the Stanfield Stud at Bushy Park, near Palmerston, in the 1970s before moving it to a property near Darfield.

Mr Jermy told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he and partner Harry Yu believed there was strong potential in Wanaka for such a museum, which would also sell various deer products.

They have rented space at the National Transport and Toy Museum, and are setting up scores of sets of antlers from the Stanfield Stud and from elsewhere in the world - some of which hold world records.

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"In Europe you've got fabulous collections that are hundreds of years old but in the last 10 or more years, we are breeding bigger and better deer than they have ever had," Mr Jermy said.

The largest set on show will be a replica of antlers weighing 23.4kg taken from 9-year-old stag Hotspur who was eventually shot by a wealthy Slovakian hunter at a safari park in the Cardrona Valley nine years ago.

In its day, the set was "the biggest [red deer] head known to man in all of recorded history - prehistoric, fossilised, any which way you want to cut it," Mr Jermy said.

Some red deer antlers now weigh up to 30kg.

Some other displays are of sets of antlers taken from the same farmed stag at various stages of its life.