Both Barrels May 2022
Reports have been mixed for the hunting success over the opening weekend.
Many hunters reported seeing higher numbers of game birds this year which reflects our expectations for the season after a summer of great breeding conditions.
Some hunters struggled in the calm and clear conditions however most hunters surveyed reported a reasonable amount of success.
A lot of reports also indicate a predominance of paradise shelduck in the bag.
There has been a promising amount of rain through the late summer and autumn which has seen the condition of the birds taken over the opening weekend the best it has been for years.
It is only going to get better so hunters are encouraged to keep getting out there and harvesting some plump birds for winter roasts.
With the excitement of opening weekend behind us mid and late season can also be a great time to get the kids involved.
A casual after-work hunt on a riverbank or flooded paddock or drain can be done with minimal effort.
The evening flight often comes in a flurry so there are no long waits where boredom may develop.
A hot chocolate and a snack helps to pass the time as you wait for the birds to move.
Above Right: The result of a one-hour mid-season evening hunt on a flooded drain close to home.
Take a mate hunting
Hunters are also encouraged to take a new hunters out and introduce them to the sport.
There was a great response to the Take A Mate Hunting R3 programme, encouraging new hunters into the sport.
It is a great way to get another potential hunter involved in the sport at a minimal cost.
Northland Fish & Game will continue the Take A Mate Hunting for opening weekend next year.
Northland Fish and Game rangers encountered some disappointing offending over the opening weekend which ended up with six shotguns being seized from two different parties for hunting game birds without a licence.
Some of the offenders were also committing offences under the Arms Act 1983 and the information has been passed on to Police.
Whilst this behaviour is not representative of most hunters it is still disappointing to see as it puts the reputation of all hunters at risk.
Hunters are reminded to read up on the new regulations regarding transport and storage of firearms that have come into force to ensure that they are able to meet the requirements.
Hunter surveys will continue throughout the season to monitor hunter effort and success.
Any information from hunters is of great value and enables Fish and Game to monitor the resource and make better management decisions.
If you get a call from one of the staff this season, please take the time to answer a few questions.
If you would prefer to receive a survey via email make sure that you provide an email with your next license purchase, or call the office on 09 438 4135 to update your details.
Casual permits are now available for Fish and Game wetlands.
Jack Bisset, Borrowcut, Flaxmill, Kawa Kawa and Underwood are all available.
Hunting at Underwood is not permitted until 01 Jun 2022 due to ongoing earthworks.
These wetlands can provide some good hunting throughout the season, especially in the right conditions.
There is also the forestry permit for upland game hunting which provides a huge range of hunting access and opportunity for upland game hunting.
Craig Deal, Northland Fish & Game Manager