Wellington Game Bird Hunting Bulletin - 17th June 2021
End Of The Golden Weather... For The Ducks
June 17, 2021
A slow afternoon at Lake Wairarapa last weekend (Photo: Hamish Carnachan)
It's fair to say the hunting has been very slow lately, right throughout the region, but that should be about to change.
With the second-to-last weekend of the waterfowl season upon us, we finally have some decent hunting weather coming our way.
Rain is going to hit the lower North Island on Saturday, followed by heavy falls on Sunday.
This is forecast to be accompanied by a big wind shift with strong easterlies swinging right around to gale southerlies on Tuesday.
While we've got plenty of ducks paired up and broken away from the mobs, Lake Wairarapa and Onoke are very low at the moment and are still holding heaps of birds that have taken up refuge on the exposed sand bars out in the middle.
Hunters report similar on the bigger river systems in Manawatu.
Wild weather ahead, combined with the Wairarapa lakes now filling up and rivers elsewhere in the region expected to rise, means we can expect birds to be pushed off their safe havens and forced to find new refuges.
Flooded paddocks should also see more ducks on the wing over the weekend and into the early part of next week.
So, as we approach the twilight of the season, hunters will hopefully finish with a flourish as the weather plays ball. Get into it!
Here's the outlook...
Click here for updated weather information from MetService.
From Saturday a low is expected to form just off the Taranaki coast and deepen over the next three days as it tracks across the middle of the North Island.
As the map above illustrates, this system is carrying a lot of rain. It will also drag easterly winds in, changing to a stiff southerly as it moves into the Pacific.
From a duck hunter's perspective, this is a great weather pattern for waterfowling!
Breasting Birds Made Even Easier!
A fast, simple way to breast your ducks.
Breasting birds is an easy method of extracting prime meat or making the most of badly damaged birds.
Retaining the breast meat on the bone (sternum) with a layer of skin also helps maintain a moist and flavoursome product when cooked.
Once you’ve done a couple of mallards using the method outlined below, you won't go back:
- Pluck all the breast feathers from the lower neck to the gut area, making sure to pluck right to the wing base.
- Cut a slice across the bird just below the sternum.
- Insert your fingers, then, while holding firmly onto the tail and feet of the bird, strongly pull the sternum base towards the head (left photo).
- Once the sternum is fully extended towards the head (middle photo), use a knife to separate it from the last of the rib cage by cutting down around the inside of the sternum towards the back bone. This can be tricky but becomes easier with practice.
- Finally, cut up towards the head through the neck meat and skin to separate the breasts from the bird (right photo)
- Tidy the meat and wash ready for cooking or freezing.
How To Hunt Lake Wairarapa
The Wellington Fish & Game team have put together a short video offering some tips on how to be successful when hunting Lake Wairarapa. Click on the screenshot below to watch.
- Pheasant hunting:
If you're interested in exploring upland game bird hunting opportunities in the Wellington Fish & Game region, please call us on (06)3590409 for info.
- Band Returns:
Harvested ducks wearing precious metal bands? Please get the info into us and play your part in the long term management of mallard population. You can keep the band, we just need some details from you. Fill in your band return info here.
From the Team at Wellington Fish & Game, happy hunting and please stay safe this season.