Both Barrels July 2021
It’s not over until the fat lady sings and I ain't heard her sing yet.
Pheasant numbers are still good by all accounts and providing some fun hunting.
The paradise shelduck season has now finished on the East Coast North of Tolaga Bay but black swan can still be hunted in Area A1 and pukeko across the whole region as can cock pheasant and quail.
The 29th of August sees the end of the 2021 game bird season in the Eastern Region but there is the two-day summer season (26 & 27 February 2022) for Area A1 black swan and, pukeko across the whole region.
Mallard hunting over the last three years has been very tough with poor breeding seasons.
Tentative hunter survey results suggest a similar harvest over these three years which was down about 10,000 on the 2018 harvest.
Having said that hours hunting waterfowl in 2018 was way up on the last three years so ducks per hour might be similar (we still need to crunch the numbers)?
For those that carry out predator trapping around their pond now is a good time to start.For those that don’t trap, now is a good time to start.
A recent Fish & Game study in Southland is pointing the figure at Australasian harriers as a significant nest predator during the laying period (12 days before the hen starts to incubate).
A dense nesting cover might be the key to reducing this.
So, it is also a good time to start thinking of planting part of your pond with some shrubs/trees that will hide vulnerable nests.
Pukeko are also reputedly significant predators of ducklings.
Numbers of this species appear high in this region so make the most of the remaining season to harvest some of them.
What’s more, your dog is still busting to get out.
Matthew Mcdougall, Eastern Fish & Game Officer.