Both Barrels Special Edition March 2018
Get set to hunt some game birds!
Welcome to this special issue of Both Barrels.
The new game bird hunting season is coming round fast – there’s now only seven weeks til Opening Day, May 5.
Stake your claim
Before Opening Day, don't forget to stake a claim for your favourite hunting stand or maimai. Tagging day (or marking day) is on Sunday, April 8 (click here for more info!).
Get a licence!
Have you bought your hunting licence? Licences are now on sale online - click here to buy yours. The $94 for an adult licence (juniors $21) buys you nearly four months of hunting in most regions if you factor in upland game birds.
Getting your licence early means you’ll have your sturdy plastic tag to mark up your maimai.
To help your preparations, click here for other key dates, and some checklists for the 2018 season.
There’s a lot to do over the next few weeks before the season to make sure you are as prepared as possible and ready to take the opportunities as they come.
Have a look on the Fish & Game website at this link for advice on everything from maimais to calling ducks.
Let’s band together…
Hunters, if you return your duck band details and you could win a terrific “double prize” of a top quality duck hunting jacket plus a six-pack of state of the art decoys!
Each prize pack generously offered by Hunting & Fishing is worth nearly $600 in total – containing a Banded White River duck hunting jacket, plus a six-pack of the latest Avery GHG Fully Flocked Floating Mallard Decoys.
Each of the five winners will get a Banded White River hunting jacket (RRP $399.99) plus six Avery GHG 6-Pack of fully flocked Mallard floater FFD decoys (RRP $199.99). Hunters may send in multiple entries, but only one entry is permitted per duck band. For details, click here.
Non toxic shot rules for 2018
This season is the first of the four year transition to non-toxic shot being mandatory in all sub-gauge shotguns except .410s.
For a refresher on the rules surrounding non-toxic shot, click here.
There is encouraging news from various parts of the country on bird numbers and prospects for opening.
We need Auckland Waikato in here and not so much emphasis on Eastern
Eastern Region staff banding ducks at sites in the Bay of Plenty, along the East Coast and Reporoa near Taupo, caught more ducks than ever before. Nearly 2000 birds were trapped and banded.
(Richie something from the south?)
If you haven’t tried it before, consider adding some upland game hunting to your season. Quail and pheasant are challenging quarry, so investigate opportunities in your region.
Northland, Waikato, Wellington’s coastal forests and the East Coast all offer good pheasant hunting opportunities.
In the South Island, eastern regions from Marlborough to Otago have good California quail hunting.
Be safe – swot up on safe practices!
You’re responsible for you and your mate’s safety out hunting – one hunting accident is one too many - please review the key safety rules before you head out. It is not just firearm safety you need to focus on – for hunters using rowboats or kayaks, make sure you have lifejackets. We also have links to safety videos and more – click here.
Good luck with all your preparations and read on for more tips on maimais, and more. Remember to contact your nearest Fish & Game office for questions on non-toxic shot, hunting areas, or any other issues we can help you with!
Preparing your Maimai
With luck, many of you will have been out to your maimai or stand to check on water levels and do any fix up needed.
And for those new to game bird hunting, there’s advice available on how to build your maimai.
For our maimai 'how to' click here.
Are you shooting straight?
No matter how good your shotgun is, or isn't, for successful game bird hunting you need to make sure it's patterned properly.
Any shotgun, whether it's double barrelled or a magazine gun, can suffer from poor barrel alignment or incompatibility with the cartridges you are using.
Click here for our 'how to' video.
For general shooting and hunting tips, click here.
Don't get caught out - swot up on the Rules and Regulations
Study the rules and regulations before you head out this Opening Day, Saturday May 5. Six regions now have three shot or other restrictions. For a quick look over the new season dates and bag limits for 2018, click here for tables with North and South Island info on mallards and parries. To dig deeper into the rules & regs for other species, click here to see our Hunting Guides.