Thousands revel in opening day’s hunting in spite of Indian summer conditions
Tens of thousands of hunters have turned out countrywide for the opening of the new game bird hunting season.
The balmy May weather left many hunters struggling – as birds flew high overhead - but in some regions hunters headed home happy.
One Fish & Game staff remarked: “ I’m trying to remember when we last had suitably rough weather for the start of the season.”
Top right: Out of range ! Ducks flying high on Opening Day.
Fish & Game staff in the north of the Waikato say the start to the season was “above average,” considering the warm sunny conditions.
Rangers saw groups who’d got close to their bag limit, and a father and son for example, who’d bagged 19 birds between them.
Further north, Fish & Game staff reported that good numbers of ducks were seen on the Hauraki Plains and north of Auckland.
In the Wellington region, Fish & Game ranging staff say most hunters seemed happy – some getting limit bags and others close to it in “slow and steady” hunting.
In the Canterbury Region hunters who had shot at ponds on private land in the region had fare better than those in more open areas.
Here's a short video with a few scenes from Opening Day in North Canterbury.
Nelson Marlborough’s opening was also described as “slow and steady” in Murchison in particular, with a moderate number of birds harvested.
In the Central South Island Region, two teams of rangers had covered 25 ponds and sighted lots of ducks, and found hunters achieving “okay bags” of about eight mallards and a couple of paradise shelduck each. Those spoken to were happy and enjoying the pleasant weather.
On the West Coast, foggy conditions made for an ideal start to the season on the lower reaches of the bigger rivers.
Fish & Game rangers say there were lots of hunting parties, including family groups – and at least one party had harvested their bag limit by 8.30am.