Both Barrels July 2023
Above right: Kerry Wratt and Marcus Girvan with a public land rooster.
Late Season Hunting Opportunities
Don’t put away your shotgun just yet, while the regular season is drawing to a close and there is still time to bag some late-season mallards, quail, pūkeko and swan are still on the menu.
We have a reasonably abundant quail population in this region, and you can hunt these birds until 27 August.
The main-stem Wairau riverbed is an easily accessible destination, with most of the hunting taking place in the middle part of the Wairau Valley (MDC ask that no hunting takes place on the bermlands below the Waihopai confluence).
There is also still time to join the final OneFortyOne forests quail hunting weekend (19-20 August), which provides vehicle access into large forest blocks in Rai/Pelorus and Golden Downs. Contact Jacob Lucas for more information.
For those lucky enough to have access to the Marlborough high country, chukar can be hunted until 27 August.
There is a two-week extended swan season from 12-27 August, and it has been great to see some hunters utilise this additional opportunity in recent years in the Wairau Lagoons, where swan are very abundant.
Pukeko, of course, are in high numbers in this region, and you can hunt these birds until 29 October.
All the best to those targeting some late-season mallards – drakes are easily coerced into your decoys at this time of year, and we encourage you to target drakes over hens if possible.
Wakapuaka Pukeko Drive
Our annual Wakapuaka pūkekodrive was held recently, with a decent turnout of around 55 hunters.
It appears our efforts in recent years may be paying dividends for the farmer, as there were far fewer birds around than in previous years, and only around 80 or so pūkeko were harvested, along with a few ducks.
Still, it was an enjoyable day out for those who attended and we will again look to hold it next year.
The meat was taken from the birds and will be going to a good cause, being cooked up into ready-to-eat meals, and the carcasses will be heading to the Marlborough Falcon Trust.
Onefortyone Planting Day
400 natives were planted at Gibbs Rd wetland recently.
Recently staff from OneFortyOne forests got their hands dirty and planted 400 natives at their Gibbs Road wetland, near Kohatu.
We also had assistance from a couple of keen hunters, Neil and Bill, along with Fish & Game staff.
Gibbs Road wetland is on land owned by OFO and they allow game bird hunting to take place there on weekends during the season, with bookings managed by Fish & Game.
The wetland can hunt pretty well at times, being a popular daytime roosting location for greylards with paradise ducks also using the pond.
Thanks to the staff at OFO for purchasing the plants and getting them in the ground.
Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game Officer.