Wellington Game Bird Hunting Bulletin - 22 April 2021
Last Chance To Get Set For Opening!
April 23, 2021
Getting your prep done early makes for a more enjoyable and successful Opening (Copyright Hamish Carnachan)
ANZAC weekend is about remembering and honouring those in our armed forces -- present and past -- and the sacrifices they have made for us.
The public holiday on Monday also offers an opportunity to ensure you are set for Opening Day of the game bird hunting season.
By now, only a week out from the eve of Opening, maimais should be dressed up and tracks cut to avoid scaring any resident birds.
If you're late to get organised, this long weekend is the time to get it nailed (see our checklist below).
Before you forget, make sure you've got your licence, then go about getting thoroughly set for the biggest date in the hunting calendar this year -- Saturday, May 1.
Good Duck Numbers
One of numerous ponds we flew over yesterday that was loaded with mallards (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)
Staff undertook mallard counts yesterday and, while we're yet to compile the data, early indications suggest duck numbers are excellent.
Ponds in Manawatu were absolutely teeming with birds... even barren potholes in the middle of paddocks were packed with mallards.
Similar scenes were evident along many of the transects flown in the Rangitikei, with possibly the largest numbers of ducks we've counted in this part of the Wellington Fish & Game region for some time.
The Wairarapa hinterland was hit-and-miss, with good numbers on some ponds, others devoid of birds. However, Lake Wairarapa and the adjacent wetlands were loaded and these birds will disperse quickly to the private ponds as the hunting begins.
So, the ducks are there in good numbers - now we just need the weather to play ball. We'll have updates on the conditions for Opening Weekend in the next issue of the Game Bird Hunting Bulletin on Thursday.
Where To Get 20-Gauge Steel
Wellington Fish & Game has been informed of a shortage of 20-gauge steel, with some retailers having run out.
We've contacted our licence selling agents and have complied the following list of those who have 20ga steel in stock:
- Otaki Hunting & Fishing
- King & Henry, Masterton
- Taihape Sports
- Upper Hutt Gun Shop/Magnum Imports
MUST HAVES – Get them sorted early:
- 2021 Game Licence and regs guide.
- Check up on your hunting mates.
- Confirm access with landowners.
- Grab a permit/access book if you need one for public areas for latest access requirements.
CHECK YOUR GEAR
- Shotgun – cleaned, patterned (if necessary), have a few practice shots.
- Decoys – painted, rigged, and/or replaced.
- Ammo – do a stock take; don’t leave topping up to the last minute as there are shortages this season.
- Dog – sharpened up on fitness and retrieving.
- Check your wet weather gear - waders and jackets.
- Maimai is up to scratch - get it dressed ASAP to avoid scaring birds.
CHECK OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS
- Double check your firearms licence – NZ Police are advising to expect delays in processing reapplications
Get everything sorted now, and it’ll make it easier and more enjoyable come May 1 Opening Day!
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You may have received in the mail a copy of our 2021 Hunting Newsletter. If not, it should hopefully arrive soon.
Click on the cover image below to download a digital version and catch up on the season prospects, new hunting opportunities, news on what we've been up to and heaps of handy tips to make your season more successful.