Central South Island Both Barrels July 2018
The traditional game bird hunting season is drawing to a close in the Central South Island Region (CSI).
The 2018 game bird season was ordinary weather-wise throughout the region which didn't dictate which style of hunting to use.
This time last year it was super wet and hunting paddock puddles was very rewarding.
Above right: Last call (Photo Rhys Adams).
The mallard, grey, shoveler duck, pukeko and swan seasons all close on the last Sunday in July, the 29th.
But the paradise shelduck and upland game seasons are continuing.
Don’t put your shot gun away
West of State Highway 1, within the CSI Fish & Game Region, the paradise shelduck seasons run through to Sunday, September 30.
These birds, especially younger ones, decoy well when you set up in their home turf.
Developed high country pastures can be hot spots for these birds in late winter, and the scenic surroundings add to the enjoyment of the hunt.
The quail and chukar seasons close on Sunday the August 26 this year.
Quail are scattered throughout the region and are most active on warm sunny days.
Scrubby river bed areas are a good place to start looking for them.
Need a possie for the 2019 opening?
Depending on water levels, the CSI Fish & Game Council has up to 16 stands available for Opening Weekend on wetlands it owns or manages.
These stands are balloted annually and invitations to apply are run in local papers and Fish & Game's website in February.
There is one stand for a group of four hunters at Ealing Springs on the Rangitata River, up to nine stands at Wainono Reserve adjacent to Lake Wainono by Waimate, and three stands each at All Day Bay Lagoon and Devils Bridge wetland near Oamaru.
Other than at Ealing Springs, the stands are occupied by up to two hunters, the ballot winner and a companion.
The stands offer modest hunting opportunities and are a great way to secure a spot for opening in attractive hunting grounds.
The stands must be hunted both days of Opening Weekend and a diary of hunting efforts and harvest kept and returned to Fish & Game.
Get the most from your bird
Many Fish & Game staff are keen as game bird hunters with years of hunting experience to draw on.
CSI Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens thought that by sharing his “plucking” technique developed over 25 years of hunting, more hunters would realise how quick and simple it really is to prepare a bird from in-feather to roast-ready.
The main benefit of preparing your birds this way is that you get the most use from the meat.
Check out the Youtube video “how to pluck a duck” by clicking here.
Want to be a Fish & Game Councillor?
Fish & Game Council elections are coming up in October.
If you'd like to stand for council and volunteer your time to help manage the sports fish and game bird resources of the CSI Region, then visit our website here and find out more.
Candidate nominations open on August 13 and close on August 30.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
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