Both Barrels April 2023
Opening weekend and the 2023 game bird season is fast approaching.
It’s a magical time of the year for those that hold this pursuit dear to their hearts, a chance to reunite with family and friends and hopefully bag a bird or two for the pot.
For everyone heading out on May 6-7, we wish you a safe and enjoyable season opening, with good hunting beyond until the season closes.
We look forward to seeing some of you at some of our organised events over the season.
Read on for details of what we have coming up this season.
Above Right: Opening Day scenes from 2022.
Hunting Wairau Lagoons - Get your permit
As with last year, we are now issuing permits to hunt Wairau Lagoons on behalf of DOC Renwick.
To get a permit to hunt this excellent waterfowl area, email here.
Wakapuaka Pukeko drive
We will be holding our annual Wakapuaka Pukeko hunt on Sunday 9 July.
Here’s your chance to attend a driven-style hunt, with the aim to get a few birds for the pot and reduce overall numbers which affect farming operations.
Registrations are essential for this hunt to ensure we have sufficient numbers for a successful outing – the more hunters, the better.
As with last year, we will be processing the meat for consumption, with carcasses going to the Marlborough Falcon Trust.
To register, email here.
Free patterning sheets
All hunters know it is important to pattern your shotgun to ensure good pellet density into the right zone.
Different chokes will show variability with different ammunition choices.
We have free patterning sheets to give away – call into the Richmond office and grab a few or drop us an email here, and we’ll put some in the post.
A reminder about transporting your shotguns and ammo
New firearms regulations came into force last year, which remain very important for you to be aware of.
For many of you, this relates to the transportation of your shotgun.
The Firearms Safety Authority have made some great videos which make your responsibilities clear to understand.
You can view them here, noting the videos that may apply the most, being Semi-automatic Firearms Transportation and Firearms in Unattended Vehicles.
OneFortyOne quail hunting weekends
Ray Bennett after a successful outing from a OFO quail block.
After our successful first year, we are pleased to announce four more quail hunting weekends which will be taking place within OneFortyOne (OFO) forests.
The deal here is that you apply to us for a one-off permit for all four weekends, and you can hunt the vast Golden Downs Forest, as well as get access into forest blocks in the Rai/Pelorus, Ngaruru (Southbank Wairau) and Bannochburn (lower Awatere).
Apply here for a permit or for information on the hunting.
Rabbit Island/Moturoa upland game hunt
Now in it’s 7th year, we will be holding three organised upland game hunts at Rabbit Island/Moturoa this winter.
The dates are June 3, June 24 and July 15 (the following day is a reserve day in the event of poor weather).
Register here to go into the ballot for these popular hunts.
New public land pheasant weekend added
Opening Weekend (May 6-7) is now a public land pheasant weekend.
Your Fish & Game Council decided to introduce this new weekend to create an additional hunting opportunity for upland hunting enthusiasts.
Molesworth chukar season cancelled
Unfortunately, due to a 1080 operation, the Molesworth chukar season has been cancelled for this year.
Next season, we are planning to hold an organised one-off upland game hunting weekend in Molesworth, which will provide for vehicle access to hunting blocks.
More details to come in 2024.
Meat donations needed
We will also be looking at doing some more cooking of ready-to-eat meals to be given to people in need.
This great initiative is only made possible through the generous assistance from the legend Phil Hazeldine at his Club Waimea restaurant.
We will be accepting any well-looked-after game bird meat from hunters over the season (steel shot only) – so get in touch with the Richmond office if you have any meat to donate.
We’d also like to give a big shout-out to Phil for his continued passion and enthusiasm to highlight the culinary qualities of game bird fare.
While the iconic game food nights have now come to a close, we look forward to more inspirational efforts by Phil, which aim to benefit the wider public and showcase our great resource.
Check out the write-up from the Nelson Weekly, “Game bird hunters provide for Families in Need” here.
Donate your carcasses to Marlborough Falcon Trust
In the past couple of seasons, some hunters have made valuable game meat contributions to feed falcons housed at the Marlborough Falcon Trust.
The Trust is very keen for more donations this year, so if you have any breasted-out carcasses from any game birds (including geese), you can drop them into the Trust on Brancott Road near Renwick or the Richmond Fish & Game office.
It is essential that steel shot is used to avoid the risk of lead poisoning.
Contact Jacob Lucas for more information.
Duck hunting gear for sale
Are you new to hunting and are after some quality gear at a sharp price, click here to view and get in touch with the seller.
Game harvest survey
There’s a good chance you’ll be contacted throughout the season to participate in the game harvest survey. The results from this survey provide important information about harvest rates which aid in our management. Thanks in advance to those of you who will be called up to participate.
As always, if you need to contact us we are always happy to assist.
Hot Barrels, the Team at Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game