Wellington Game Bird Hunting Bulletin - 30 June 2022
Last Weekend For Waterfowl
A quiet afternoon at Lake Wairarapa with little activity until last light (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)
There is just one more weekend to go before the waterfowl season draws to a close.
The weather isn't looking overly great for duck hunting but a few wind shifts, combined with what should be plenty of guns out having a last crack, should see birds being moved around.
Make the most of this last chance to harvest some ducks for the table, and consider also taking someone new out for a shoot to introduce them to the pursuit this weekend.
You can pick them up a day licence which is great value at just $23, or juniors only pay $8 and kids (under 12 at May 7, 2022) can hunt for free.
While this weekend is the last for chasing waterfowl, we encourage you to make the most of the remainder of the season and seek out some upland game which can be hunted all the way through to August 28, 2022.
Pukeko also provide plenty of hunting opportunities after the main waterfowl season closes this Sunday (see our tips below).
This will be our last Game Bird Bulletin for the year.
We hope you have had a great duck hunting season and can get out and enjoy the upland game and pukeko hunting that remains on offer in the Wellington Fish & Game region after this weekend.
Here's the outlook:
'Hotter' colours mean stronger wind (Credit: Windy.com)
The country is wedged between a high pressure system in the Tasman and a low out east in the Pacific.
This is funnelling a southerly flow over much of the country but there isn't enough of a gradient to generate particularly strong winds for the lower North Island.
The southerly gives way to more westerly conditions later on Friday, before becoming light-variable for Saturday and Sunday.
Rain arrives Friday morning early with the incoming southerly but clears towards late morning and leaves fine skies for the weekend.
Not the greatest conditions to end the season on but hopefully there will be a big turn-out of hunters to move some ducks around.
Get Into Upland Game
Wellington Fish & Game region has some great upland game on offer (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)
As well as plenty of opportunities on private farmland, pheasant and California quail hunting is available in four forests and one reserve in the Wellington Fish & Game region.
Quail have done particularly well in recent years in the lower North Island with good numbers building up. Often these can be found in river bed areas (with public access), or along forest margins.
Being observant - looking and listening for calls - will give you a good steer on where the birds are holding and in what numbers they are there.
If you notice quail or pheasant on or around private land, politely door knock and ask about the potential for having a hunt.
You can also call into our office, or give us a buzz (06-359-0409), to enquire about upland game hunting opportunities.
Upland game and pukeko can be hunted right through to August 28, 2022.
Tips For Targeting Pooks
Pukeko are great game birds for introducing new hunters to wing shooting (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)
In the Wellington Fish & Game region, hunters have many weeks after the end of the duck hunting season to hold pukeko drives - a fun and exciting form of hunting.
The birds flush well when driven or beaten from cover and present excellent wing shooting.
Study the terrain and wind direction to pick the flight lines and escape routes the birds are most likely to take. Remember they will prefer to take off into the wind, so position shooters upwind to cover these exits, while another couple of hunters start downwind and walk up making plenty of noise.
Pooks don't fly far if the first drive doesn't work, which affords other opportunities to get it right.
Be sure to wear high viz vests and hats, and always check your firing zone to be safe.
Alternatively, pukeko can be jump-shot around the margins of wetlands or drains, making them a great target species to teach novices how to shoot birds on the wing.
We encourage you to make the most of your game licence by getting a group together to go pukeko hunting – you’ll be surprised what challenging and rewarding shooting they offer, and breasted out they make great eating too!
From the Team at Wellington Fish & Game, happy hunting and please stay safe for the remainder of the season.