Duck hunters urged not to leave buying licence until last minute
Game bird hunters are being encouraged to buy their hunting licence now to avoid missing out on what is being predicted to be one of the best seasons in years.
The 2017 game bird season opens nationwide this weekend on Saturday 6 May.
Fish & Game field officers throughout the country are reporting that while the long, wet summer wasn’t great for holidaymakers, it was perfect for rearing ducks. As a result, there are good duck populations through most regions.
Anyone planning to take advantage of the high numbers to harvest a duck for the dinner table needs to have a game bird hunting licence.
However, Fish & Game New Zealand’s planning manager Robert Sowman says hunters are notorious for leaving their licence purchase to the last minute.
“More game licences get sold in this last week before opening day than any other week of the year, and the Friday night before Opening Day can be the busiest.
“The result can be long queues of hunters at sports shops waiting to buy their licence late Friday,” Mr Sowman says.
His advice is to buy now (click here!).
“Don’t leave it too late! Go and buy your licence now – one of the easiest ways is to go onto the Fish & Game website and buy online. The new website is very mobile phone friendly, so you can buy without having to queue,” he says.
Robert Sowman is also urging hunters to make sure they are aware of the hunting rules for the region they are planning to hunt in.
“You get a regulation booklet when you buy your licence - make sure you read it to find out how long the season lasts and how many birds you can harvest each day. Breaking the rules can land you in court, so a few minutes reading is time well spent,” he says.
Robert Sowman points out that everyone buying a hunting licence is helping improve the environment.
“Each licence carries a habitat stamp and the money raised from these stamps is used to save wetlands and create new ponds.
“This protects and provides great habitat for native birds and fish, as well as game birds, so it is money well spent.
“The best bit is you don’t have to be a hunter to buy one. If you care about saving our few remaining wetland areas, then buy a habitat stamp safe in the knowledge that the money will go toward creating habitat,” Robert Sowman says.
The 2017 game bird season opens on Saturday 6 May and runs until Sunday 27 August.