Game bird hunting regulations review
- North Canterbury
As part of the North Canterbury Fish and Game Councils’ annual game bird regulation review, we are seeking feedback from licence holders.
One of our goals is to simplify regulations for hunters, as complex and confusing regulations are a barrier to participation.
Therefore, we are seeking feedback about the following proposals:
- Have one bag limit for greylards across the regular game bird season
None of our neighbouring Fish & Game regions have a different bag limit after Opening Weekend.
Having one bag limit for the whole season of 15 birds would reduce hunter confusion and increase clarity for hunters.
Complex regulations are often seen as a barrier to participation for hunters, and increasing clarity and aligning with our neighbouring regions would only make it easier for hunters to interpret.
Our annual hunter harvest survey data shows that only approximately 4.8% of hunts on opening weekend between 2015 and 2022 shot 16 or more greylards.
Of note, only 1.2 percent of hunts from 2015 – 2022 harvested a bag limit of 25 birds.
The average number of birds harvested per hunter in North Canterbury on Opening Morning was six mallards; on Opening Sunday, it was three.
High bag limits that are effectively unachievable by hunters are often noted as reasons for hunter dissatisfaction, as they self-perceive their performance against the bag limit.
Therefore, having a bag limit that is slightly more realistically achievable by hunters should increase their perceived satisfaction of the hunt.
Reducing the bag limit to 15 greylards would reduce Opening Weekend harvest by around 6.3% in any given year based on harvest data between 2015-2022.
- Having one bag limit for paradise shelduck across the whole region of 15 birds during the regular season.
We currently have a differential bag limit for paradise shelduck between areas A and B
Approximately 0.1% of hunts during the hunting seasons between 2015 and 2022 shot 16 or more paradise shelducks.
Reducing the bag limit to 15 paradise shelducks would reduce harvest by 1.9% in any given year based on harvest data between 2015-2022.
This would match the new mallard bag limit (if approved), improving clarity for hunters.
- Reduce the paradise shelduck limit to 10 for areas A and B during the summer season.
Summer seasons have low participation rates (~7% of licence holders); however, within the participants, most are specialists who take advantage of the liberal bag limits. Approximately 21.4% of hunts reached the bag limit, and there were no hunts that shot >15 and <20. This results in similar numbers of shelduck being shot during the shorter summer season as the regular three-month season.
Again, matching the mallard limits to increase clarity for summer duck hunters in order to make it easier for hunters.
- Reduce the length of the paradise shelduck hunting season from ending in mid-September to either (i) align with the regular season (end of July) or (ii) end at the same time as the quail season at the end of August.
Again, we are seeking feedback in order to make hunting regulations as easy as possible for hunters. Our Hunter Harvest surveys indicate very low hunter participation during this period. However, we will have more data this year from our August Hunter Harvest survey, which will give a better indication of hunter participation. But we are seeking wider hunter feedback on the extended season.
- Reduce the length of the pūkeko hunting season from ending in late September to finishing at the same time as the quail season at the end of August.
As mentioned above, we are seeking feedback in order to make hunting regulations as easy as possible for hunters. Our Hunter Harvest surveys indicate very low hunter participation during this period. However, we will have more data this year from our August Hunter Harvest survey, which will give a better indication of hunter participation. But we are seeking wider hunter feedback on the extended season.
- Consult on pheasant hunting season dates and bag limits.
We are seeking feedback from pheasant hunters as to whether they like the current season arrangement of the first weekend of June, July and August, or should the season be compressed into one month or any other suggestions. Our ranging patrols over the three weekends have found these weekends to be very popular with the hunters taking up the opportunity
- Open a chukar season.
Chukar were released in New Zealand for the purpose of game bird hunting; there are limited opportunities available in North Canterbury should a hunting season be opened, but we are keen to hear from hunters if there is any interest in creating an open season for chukar.
Please send your submissions on the game bird regulations to firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. on 29 September.
We will hold a public meeting on Monday, 9 October, where submitters can talk to their submission if they wish to.