Both Barrels June 2023

  • Central South Island
  • 20/06/2023

Both Barrels June 2023

Above Right: The Thomas family travel from Greymouth every opening to hunt in the CSI Region-Photo by R Adams

The bulk of the main season is now behind us, and it’s time for the annual late-season migration, not of birds, but of hunters from the North Island.

We believe visiting hunters should also set their sights on spending future Opening weekends in the CSI Region.

So many ponds go un-hunted down here; it’s a case of ‘not enough hunters’ rather than ‘not enough birds.’

We reckon that more hunters in the region on Opening Weekend will help keep the birds moving and lead to an improved harvest.

With a bit of effort, door knocking etc., visiting hunters, or locals for that matter, can secure an Opening Weekend spot down here.

Don’t delay; now is the time to put in the work to find next year’s Opening Weekend pond.

A great place to start would be the numerous private irrigation ponds scattered throughout the Canterbury Plains between the Rakaia and Orari rivers. 

Ponds can be discovered on Google Earth and other aerial imagery resources or by driving the rural roads.

Door knocking at the farmer's house to politely request access permission just may see you set up with some great hunting for years to come. 

Please be respectful if your access request is turned down and move on to the next pond.

And please, whatever you do, do not push out a local hunter from their traditional opening spot! 

Outlook for July and Beyond

Swan hunting in a coastal wetland-Photo Rhys Adams

The world is your oyster for game bird hunting in the CSI Region in July.

The last day of the main season falls on July 30th, the last Sunday of the month.

Most of us tend to focus on targeting mallards, but why not mix it up this July and try for a bag limit of black swan?

Coastal areas like Wainono Lagoon are great spots to target swans.

Beyond July, upland game hunting continues until the last Sunday in August.

West of State Highway 1, the paradise shelduck extended season runs until the last Sunday in September.

Be sure to read up on the 2023 game bird hunting regulations guide here before heading out.

Take a newbie duck hunting this Matariki Holiday

We encourage you to take a newbie out duck hunting this season to show them why we love duck hunting and to share in the harvest of free-range game bird meat.

The Matariki holiday weekend, Friday, July 14th to Sunday, 16th, provides an excellent opportunity to do just that.

If this is a youngster you’re taking out, pick a “mild” forecast. Avoid hard frosts if possible, as it can get uncomfortably cold through June and July – evening hunts are usually much warmer than morning hunts.

Game bird hunting Day licences are $23 for an adult and $8 for a junior.

You can grab a game bird licence on our website here.

Looking for a place to hunt?

Mid-season hunting at Wainono Wetland Reserve-Photo Richie Cosgrove

CSI Fish & Game administer hunting at four wetlands, and in just a few easy steps, you can hunt these wetlands.

These wetlands are balloted for Opening Weekend, but after Opening Weekend, these wetlands can be hunted by all licence holders, provided you obtain a permit and, if required, contact the landowner before hunting.

Click here to Jump on our website for the wetland maps and info.

While there, save a permit application form, fill it in and email it to us, or contact the office directly.

CSI Fish & Game contacts: email csi@fishandgame.org.nz or phone 03 6158400.

Check out this YouTube video of what is available at our Fish & Game Wainono Wetland Reserve.

Light and fast hunting

If you are short on time and can’t fathom the idea of organising friends, kids, boats, eight-dozen bags of decoys, thermos, B&E pie etc. – then ease your mind and get stuck into some light and fast local hunting.

A luxury item in the 'light and fast' hunting game -a camping stool-Photo Rhys Adams

The “light” part means you will only take what you can carry in one load (including harvested birds). So that is just your gun, half a box of ammo, 4-6 decoys, target species callers, waders, camo clothes and a camo net.

“Fast”  means just hunting for the first or last 1 – 1.5 hours of the day – that way you’ll have time for kids' sports etc. at the weekend and perhaps your boss will give you an hour lee-way at the start or end of the work day.

These hunts are all about just getting out there and doing it – not taking many birds.

There’s a fair chance you’ll come home empty-handed and find where the birds are located and plan a more lucrative hunt next time – keep a scouting mindset.

The “local” part will vary for everyone, but for many of us in the CSI region – a huntable river or pond is within a 20-minute drive of home.

The light and fast hunting concept can also be extended to your normal “weekend warrior” hunting spots; just take minimal decoys and gear.

It should go without saying, but never slack on any necessary safety gear such as life jackets and communication devices.

If one “luxury” item is to be taken – we suggest a small camping stool for a seat.

Hot Barrels

Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer

More Posts