Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 20 June 2019
Changing Weather Favours Hunters
Right: A brace of birds from a flooded backwater (Photo: Hamish Carnachan).
A lot of rain this week saw high river and lake levels, as well as flooded pasture, which really got the mallards moving.
With so much water around there are plenty of places for the ducks to seek refuge and feed but if you're in the right place at the right time you'll have some great shooting if this week is anything to go by.
With most of the surface water likely to subside from now on, look to flooded backwaters on the larger rivers and lakes. With the constantly shifting winds there should continue to be good evening flights moving around.
Only two weekends are left in the main waterfowl season now so be sure to make the most of them. Why not use the opportunity to the kids out for a shoot, or introduce a mate to game bird hunting? It's only $22 for an adult day licence and who knows, you might make a new hunting buddy!
Here are the prospects:
|Scattered rain and northerlies.
|Mainly fine; northwesterly developing.
|Cloudy with isolated showers, wind turns southerly.
|Scattered rain; northerlies turn westerly.
|Morning and evening cloud with northwesterly winds.
|Cloudy and light winds.
|Scattered rain; northerlies turn westerly.
|Cloudy with westerly winds.
|Rain and a southerly developing.
Three day rain forecast
Check out the latest rain forecast.
|Friday, June 21, 9am
|Saturday, June 22, 9am
Sunday, June 23, 9am
Shooting from natural cover is probably a better bet than a maimai at this stage of the season (Photo: Hamish Carnachan).
Your maimai must cover the whole pond for best shooting.
I hear this one all the time and see it on ponds throughout the country – a great big maimai sticking out in the middle of the pond and surrounding area. The rationale for this is the need many hunters have to be within easy shotgun range of any ducks coming in from any angle.
This sounds like a reasonable strategy that should improve hunting. Right?
Well, I believe it actually reduces hunting success as the season progresses.
Yes, for Opening Week perhaps, a maimai placed to cover the entire area will produce some easy shooting when there are still good numbers of young birds around that haven’t yet learnt that a square thing sticking out in the middle of the pond is trouble.
This success is short lived though. Birds quickly become wary of structures and stay out of range during their circling, then finally land well away. Even on large open waters you see flight paths that stay well away from maimais.
Hunters can lure birds in closer but it is hard work and, while unavoidable in open water areas, it is unnecessary on your pond.
A nice pond in a good 'ducky' area will attract birds throughout the season to feed, shelter and socialise. To attract them the site needs to be private and secure looking.
The traditional centrally-positioned maimai looks dangerous and intimidating to a wary mallard which will ultimately carry on to a safer pond.
To improve hunting opportunities later in the season the maimai needs to be well hidden and not be a focal point that birds will avoid.
To establish the best location for a maimai or the best shooting position on your pond, spend a few mornings and evenings watching birds come and go to identify their favourite flight paths, circuits and landing spots.
Then place the maimai to cover the best shooting distance and angles in morning and evening light.
Keep the maimai as discrete as possible by not sticking up above vegetation or being sky-lined; build low and blend the shape into surrounding live vegetation.
Forget the roof and narrow shooting window, instead keep it open with a clear floor space to stand up and take shots at many angles.
If you do this your shooting will be better and last longer into the season.
- David Moate from Fish & Game NZ magazine
Landowners In Clear For Recreational Access
WorkSafe has confirmed that people participating in outdoor recreation are responsible for their own risk rather than landowners or businesses.
An article by Stuff reports that the landowner or principal in charge is only responsible for risks arising from the work, and is not responsible for the risks associated with the recreational activities
Habitat Stamp Comp
Fish & Game and the NZ Game Bird Habitat Trust have agreed to run a photographic competition to select a winning image to be used on the Game Bird Habitat Stamp for 2020.
For more information about the competition and entry forms, click here.
Entry to JK Donald Block
Just a reminder to hunters that you must have a current vehicle sticker and Lake Wairarapa Hunting Permit to access the JK Donald - both are available from Wellington Fish & Game's office by calling (06)359-0409.
You must also obtain the landowner's permission. We can provide contact details when you apply for your sticker and permit.
*This report was accurate at time of writing - please ensure you check the latest weather information before you head out.