Harvest time for free-range food from the sky
- Richie Cosgrove
The annual duck-hunting season to harvest free-range food from the sky starts on Saturday, May 7, Otago Fish & Game says.
“Game bird hunting is a long tradition just as legitimate today as it was 100 years ago,” Fish & Game officer Bruce Quirey says.
“This opening weekend is even more of a family affair as it coincides with Mother’s Day on Sunday.”
Two days before opening, game bird licence sales are slightly behind this time last year.
“This is not unexpected as tail of Omicron moves through the South.
“But the healthiest place to be is outdoors in the fresh air.”
About 4000 game licence holders hunt in Otago and every year sales surge the day before opening.
The weekend forecast is for fine weather and light wind on Saturday then a southerly change and rain developing on Sunday.
Fish & Game rangers will patrol across the region this weekend with police support.
“We want every hunter to have a safe and successful season.
“Always take care around firearms and water, and let’s have an accident-free weekend.”
Hunters need to be aware of updated regulations for securing firearms in their vehicles.
Otago mallard and paradise shelduck numbers look as good as ever for the 2022 season.
“This year’s annual trend counts on selected ponds, rivers and overland transects set records for both species.
“Harvest what you need on opening weekend and then enjoy hunting the rest of the three-month mallard season.”
Hunters are reminded to always carry their hunting and firearms licences.
“Hunt ethically and responsibly, clean your harvest quickly to ensure the best quality meat for the table, and bury waste after cleaning birds.”