Otago Both Barrels July 2018
Otago game bird hunters...don't despair with the end of the mallard season.
You can still hunt paradise shelduck, black swan, pheasant, California quail, red legged partridge and chukar in some areas until August 26!
Otago has nine species of game bird available for hunting, so don't just limit yourself to mallards, challenge yourself and try some of these other species.
Above right: Otago's new duck factory - the Takitakitoa Wetland. For more info see below.
The results from the fourth annual aerial survey of mallard populations are in and have been made public.
If you would like to read the report, you can download it here.
The initial results indicate mallard numbers are down but this may be due to normal fluctuations from environmental conditions.
This summer was very dry from November through to January which would have resulted in lower fledgling survival.
On top of that, grain was typically harvested three to four weeks early this year, which could have made a difference to the pond and cross country transects in south Otago areas.
This season the stubble had already been re-sown so mallards presumably spread over wider areas. Populations of birds were observed beyond the target ponds because of more surface water around.
With only four years of data, Otago Fish & Game can't make any conclusions about the mallard population. But staff are working to refine the survey methodology to enable comparable data sets for the future.
Ever wondered where the three dollars from your game bird stamp goes?
The Game bird Habitat Trust undertakes projects all throughout the country with the money received from hunters.
One such project that has achieved spectacular success is the restoration of the Takitakitoa Wetland near Mosgiel.
The project run by Fish & Game's Ian Hadland has turned the wetland into a veritable bird factory in two short years - which you can see in this video here.
The wetland is closed to hunting now, but there are five maimai sites available to junior and novice hunters during the season.
We also recommend you take a look if you're out that way to see where your money has gone.
Hot barrels from the team at Otago Fish & Game.