Hunters praised for sticking to rules

Fish & Game officers have applauded hunters in the Eastern Fish & Game Region for “sticking to the rules” as the new game bird season opened.

The Eastern Region takes in areas including the Gisborne East Coast, Tauranga, Taupo, Rangitaiki Plains, and Rotorua lakes districts. 

Fish & Game Officer Anthony van Dorp says that officers ranged widely throughout the region a in a joint operation with Police officers.

“We were pleased to find a very high level of compliance amongst the hunters we made contact with in the Gisborne Wairoa, Bay of Plenty, and Rotorua Taupo areas.

Only a few hunters had not taken steps to restrict their shotguns to a maximum of three shots, he says.

Eastern is one of a number of regions to bring in magazine restrictions for semi-automatic and pump action shotguns.

The three-shot rule means hunters know their shots are limited – which we believe makes them think more carefully about shot placement and take more care , Mr van Dorp says.

He says that it was also pleasing that only one case of possession of lead shot within 200 metres of open water was detected.

In the Wairoa area one hunter was found not only to have no hunting licence, but Police found he did not have a firearms licence either. He now faces further action from both Fish & Game and Police.

“A handful of hunters didn't have their game bird licences on them as required, but we have since confirmed that all of them did have licences. 

Mr van Dorp says that overall it was a pleasingly high level of compliance, especially when the fact that some 'out of the way' locations were visited “which had not been checked for some time.”

Quite often hunters ask us ‘how did you find us?’ “Google Earth and mapping systems is the answer ,” he says.

 We congratulate all the hunters spoken to who were doing the right thing, Mr van Dorp says, “our regulations are after all, all about the sustainability of game bird hunting.”

 The joint operation with Police, who were checking firearm licences and Arms Act compliance, was well received. “It’s a great opportunity for both agencies to work together in the interests of hunter education and safety.”