Wellington Game Bird Hunting Bulletin - 4th May 2022
Just Three More Sleeps!
May 4, 2022
Mallard ducks as far as the eye can see coming off the Manawatu River (Photo: Matt Kavermann)
Here we go – only three more sleeps ‘til Opening Day 2022… It doesn’t get any more exciting than this!
Hopefully you’re all set, rearing and ready to go because it’s going to be a cracker season. Our mallard counts have been completed and the long and short of it is there are heaps of ducks around.
Transect flights along the Manawatu River last week, the final leg of our pre-season field work, revealed staggering numbers of birds – roughly twice what we recorded last year.
Hunters in Wairarapa and the Rangitikei can also expect to see good numbers of birds, particularly Sunday as the weather conditions start to turn.
Let’s hope that by now all your maimai prep work is done, your ammo and gear is sorted, and of course, make sure you’ve bought your licence.
While conditions look calm on Saturday across much of the region, licence sales indicate there’ll be heaps of hunters out to move the ducks around.
Then watch closely because the wind is expected to build throughout Sunday and could lead to some epic hunting in the afternoon.
Here's the outlook for the weekend...
The outlook for Sunday afternoon – The brighter the colour the stronger the wind (Credit: Windy.com)
Calm conditions on Saturday are forecast to give way to what will hopefully be proper waterfowling weather as we head into Sunday.
Windy.com has the wind steadily building from the northwest, gusting around 8m/s from late Saturday around Manawatu and then up to 13m/s on Sunday.
The weather is being channelled through Cook Straight with stronger gusts forecast in the southern part of the region and around Lake Wairarapa on Saturday evening and throughout Sunday.
Conditions only improve from Monday and Tuesday strong nor-westerlies swinging around to a stiff southerly. So, if you can grab a couple of days off after the weekend you will get into some exceptional hunting!
Duck Calling Tips
There is still time to touch up on your duck calling. Click the screenshot below to get tips from some of the experts at Manawatu Hunting and Fishing.
If you missed it last week, check out the latest episode of NZ Hunter Adventures.
The duck season special on Duke TV will provide all the inspiration you need to get sorted and out hunting this weekend.
Don’t Risk Your Firearms Ownership
Police and rangers carrying out compliance checks last season (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).
NZ Police are applying increasing scrutiny to firearms licence renewals. They are ensuring applicants pass the "fit and proper person" test and that means any offence may come back to impact the ability to renew firearms licences.
Breaching the game bird regulations such as hunting without a licence, shooting lead over water, being over the bag limit etc is not a joke. It is an offence that could seriously jeopardise your ability to posses firearms in the future.
Fish & Game rangers will be active over Opening Weekend, working with teams from the NZ Police. Please ensure you have your game bird hunting licence and firearms licence with you.
- Duck Night:
Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing’s “Duck Night” is on this evening (Wednesday, May 4). The details, including prizes and special offers, are on the flyer below…
- 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.