Wellington Game Bird Hunting Bulletin - 2nd June 2022
Long Weekend Means 'Take-A- Mate-Monday'
June 2, 2022
A good mob of mallards feeding in a flooded paddock in Wairarapa this morning (Photo: Hamish Carnachan)
This coming long weekend means a bonus day off to go hunting!
Conditions look pretty good for waterfowling on Queen's Birthday too, so why not grab a mate, get them a day licence, and introduce them to the wonderful pursuit of game bird hunting.
The last few days have seen some of the wildest weather of the season - if not the year - hit the lower North Island.
High winds have pushed birds off the big water, and heavy rain has left the water table high with flooded pasture in many parts.
Ducks are having a ball feeding on worms and insects in the paddocks, but the weather has dispersed the birds.
This means driving around a little to locate them and then planning your hunt from there.
You don't have to go too far. This week's picture of 50 mallards feeding in a puddle was taken on the outskirts of Carterton, Wairarapa.
And staff say there are birds everywhere in Manawatu - in the main river, but also in ponds and potholes around the region, as well as tiny drains and streams.
We're now half-way through the season so please make the most of the excellent waterfowling that's available.
Grab your licence if you haven't already. There's still plenty of hunting to be had.
Here's the outlook for the weekend...
'Hotter' colours mean stronger wind (Credit: Windy.com)
A brisk southerly today in the lower part of the region gradually gives way to a northerly flow which then builds over the long weekend.
The good southerly today should make for some better hunting on Lake Wairarapa, however it eases through Saturday before swinging right back to the north in the evening.
Sunday morning could be a bit slow until the northerly starts pushing through and gaining velocity, with the best Queen's Birthday hunting likely to fall on Monday.
The southerly change brings with it another good band of rainfall that eases towards dark.
Patchy rain returns again for much of the lower North Island early Monday morning.
Not ideal waterfowling conditions but certainly nothing enough to move ducks around, particularly if hunters turn out in good numbers over the long weekend.
Decoy Setting Tips
Fish & Game field officer Ben Sowry shares some secrets to help you harvest more birds. The video covers:
- Setting decoy species that are present in your area.
- Matching decoys to natural numbers.
- Grouping different species.
- Setting largest species upwind.
- How shoveler decoys are handy but not essential.
- Tricks for parrie decoys.
- “Rangefinder” decoys.
- Wind direction.
- 'J' and 'U' shape spreads.
- Keeping decoys apart.
- Avoiding frost or dew on decoys.
- Shoreline sets.
Please Get Those Band Details To Us
Band information provides us with a wealth of information to help with the management of the mallard population (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)
The biggest issue that the banding programme for mallard management faces is non-reporting of bands.
We don’t need the physical band, it is yours to keep - we just want the band number, an accurate location of where the band was recovered and the date the bird was harvested.
The easiest way to provide this information is call your local Fish & Game office (06-359-0409) or through the ‘Banding Together’ page on our website.
The information you provide is vital for waterfowl hunting in New Zealand, and benefits every game bird hunter.
From the Team at Wellington Fish & Game, happy hunting and please stay safe this season.