Both Barrels June 2021
- West Coast
Great Hunting on Offer!
Good numbers of game birds are still being observed across the region.
With there still being plenty of the season left to chase them, all you need to do is get out scouting!
Right: Harrison Calder retrieving a mallard pair during a flooded paddock hunt. (Photo Baylee Kersten).
It has been an interesting season so far, with warm wet weather rather than our typical fine frosty winter days we typically experience on the Coast.
This has made for great paddock hunting for grey and mallard ducks but with typically the best paradise shelduck hunting occurring during frosty periods, I suspect fewer paradise shelducks have been shot this season.
Nonetheless, we are due for some fine frosty weather and ducks are very social at this time of year so things are looking good for the coming month.
Looking at the game harvest survey data it has been fantastic to see many hunters targeting both pukeko and swans.
Diversifying your bag does not only allows for more hunting opportunities but in many cases helps local landowner's keep game bird populations in check.
The pukeko drives at Barrytown and Birchfield have now been completed with fantastic results.
They were not only great social events but plenty of game birds were harvested.
The weather for both events was pretty average but it made for great game bird hunting!
The last event of year, the Karamea game bird hunting weekend, is the 26th & 27th of June and is set to be an awesome trip away.
I highly encourage anyone considering coming to future events to just get along, you won’t regret it!
Late season opportunities
As mentioned above the good hunting is far from over, with great decoying action often seen in July.
Currently, there are good river camps being observed and mobs on bush ponds.
Scouting is key when it comes to hunting these birds and try to avoid disturbing them when doing so.
As we approach the end of the season birds will start pair off.
This will often leave lone drakes; they are perfect bird to take if you're being selective about your harvest, leaving breeding pairs to do their thing.
Often referred to as going for green in other regions but with our region full of grey ducks it isn’t quite as easy.
If you are looking for opportunities to hunt pukeko, paradise shelduck or swans, and no too sure where to start, feel free to get in touch as we likely have properties local to you that would appreciate your assistance.
Hope to see you out there!
Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer.