Wellington Game Bird Hunting Bulletin - 9th June 2022
Another Weekend of Wild Weather
June 9, 2022
A prime eating greenhead taken last week - time to target drakes now and let the hens pass for breeding (Photo: Hamish Carnachan)
The wild weather we have today right across the lower North Island is set to continue throughout the weekend.
While we don't expect any of the major shifts that've been great for pushing ducks around over the last fortnight, the persistent gale strength winds into Sunday mean the birds must move at some stage to find feed or shelter.
This weekend could be an opportunity to park up on a pond near big water where the ducks have been seeking refuge from hunters, as the strong winds will certainly forced the birds to move into cover.
Alternatively, look to farm dams and out-of-the-way backwaters where smaller congregations of ducks are sheltering.
Jump-shooting could also be a good option as larger mobs of ducks disperse and pair up.
All in all the conditions should certainly favour the hunter over the coming days and, with the tail end of the season nearing, it's time to maximise on the remaining opportunities.
Here's the outlook for the weekend...
'Hotter' colours mean stronger wind (Credit: Windy.com)
Gale to severe-gale winds are forecast right through to late Sunday and potentially into early next week too.
This will be coupled with heavy rain at times for much of the region on Saturday morning.
The rain does retreat to the Kapiti Coast on Saturday afternoon but returns again on Sunday and is forecast to get heavier towards evening.
Wind and rain warnings look likely to persist over the weekend.
This equates to plenty of wild weather and what should be some great duck hunting conditions.
An inflatable kayak ready for a hunting mission (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)
Anyone who caught the last duck hunting episode of NZ Hunter Adventures would have noticed the guys using some serious lay-out boats.
While many of us don't have the time, skill or money to invest in building one of these, there are some inexpensive alternatives that can open up new hunting horizons - kayaks!
These versatile personal watercraft are light and easy to handle, and more importantly they can get you into places on big water, large lagoon/wetland systems and even rivers you can't reach by foot.
I also regularly use my small inflatable kayak to drag my gear - guns and decoys - across wet grass to my preferred hunting spots.
And it has been invaluable for reaching those spots that ducks prefer to drop into just out range of you decoys.
For hunters who don't have a dog to retrieve their game, a kayak again comes into its own for birds that fall into water too deep to wade.
Ducks Unlimited has written an excellent short article on this topic with some great tips for those interested in a kayak for hunting. Check it out here.
Set up in an inaccessible site using the kayak, ready for some ducks to drop in (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)
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.
From the Team at Wellington Fish & Game, happy hunting and please stay safe this season.