Both Barrels July 2023
Above: Dwayne Devanny with a nice drake.
Eastern Region opening weekend
We had predicted a good start to the game bird season following a great mallard breeding season but had kept the season short as the number of hens were still low.
Total mallard harvest was up slightly on last year but hunter numbers were down by about 170.
So, although Eastern hunters shot more ducks on average compared with last year they also hunted for more hours.
The result of this was that they shot about the same number of ducks per hour as last year (Figure 1).
Mallard and grey duck (greylard) shot per hour hunting waterfowl in the Eastern Region 1993 – 2023
Upland game hunting got off to a tough start.
All this rain is not good for pheasant breeding and like mallard, a lot of the harvest is young birds.
The hunter survey doesn’t pick up too many upland game hunters so it is always difficult to comment extensively on the results.
Black swan are still plentiful in the Bay of Plenty (Area A1) and provide plenty of hunting opportunities as are pukeko everywhere.
Some hunters are combining a trout fish expedition and a swan hunt such as on lakes like Rerewhakaaitu.
Or you could try Tauranga Harbour for a kahawai or snapper and a swan.
Make the most of the last month and remember to keep reporting those bands either by calling 0800 434 742 or scan the following QR code to enter your details on the Fish and Game website.
Matthew McDougall Eastern Fish and Game Officer.