Both Barrels July 2017
Hunters... name the widespread game bird which provides great shooting and doesn’t get targeted nearly enough.
If you picked the humble pook, you’d be right on the mark.
These birds provide some challenging hunting and if you haven’t tried them, they taste good too. They’re in season until nearly the end of August in many regions (but check your rules & regs – Otago and Southland for example have closed seasons).
By keeping pukeko numbers down we’re also helping duckling survival because the birds are killers when it comes to young waterfowl.
Farmers and growers will be grateful if we harvest a few too, so get some mates together for a pukeko drive.
If you’re a Nelson-Marlborough local, Sunday August 13 has been set as the date for the annual pukeko hunt at Wakapuaka.
A reminder too that the Great North Canterbury Black Swan Hunt runs until Thursday September 21.
North Island hunters have access to some great pheasant and quail shooting through Northland, Waikato and Central North Island to the Wellington west coast and Hawke’s Bay river beds.
And of course in the South Island, the east coast regions are famous for their quail hunting.
So, make the most of the remaining opportunities, check your regulation booklet or the Fish & Game website for info on access, locations and bags.
And finally, we hope you’re all set (if you haven’t already) to do your bit to provide quality nesting habitat for game birds. Get in touch with your nearest Fish & Game office for advice on planting your pond or wetland. August to December are also crucial months to get your predator control in place.
P.S. This month's cover photo from Dirk Barr shows black lab Brace, at a “secret location” in the Selwyn River.
P.P.S - If you think you've got an image worthy of featuring on our 'cover', email it to Richard Cosgrove for consideration.
Straight Shooting ...
Time to ‘weigh up’ political party promises
With only weeks to go until the General Election on September 23, it’s time to take a hard look at which parties will do the most in the interests of hunters and anglers.
Which parties have outlined the best environmental policies to protect our outdoors environment and heritage? Water quality is already emerging as one of the key issues that voters will consider before they cast their vote. Most parties have woken up to fact that our dirty rivers are way out of step with what Kiwis want – immediate action to return rivers to a swimmable, fishable and drinkable condition. There is even the outdoors-focused Outdoors party – formed by hunters and fishers “so the outdoors can have a voice.”
The fishing season Fish & Game magazine will look at individual party policies and keep an eye on our website for our quick Fish & Game guide to who is promising what. And visit www.h2whoa.co.nz for an easy way to lobby your local MP.
Protection for Hawke’s Bay rivers
If you’re a hunter who also fishes, have your say on moves to protect the Ngaruroro and Clive rivers in Hawke’s Bay. A Special Tribunal set up to consider an application for a water conservation order is calling for submissions. Water conservation orders are designed to recognise and sustain the outstanding values of specific rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water. There are 15 Water Conservation Orders already in force in New Zealand, but if granted, this would be the first new water conservation order in about a decade. Click here.
Southland Fish & Game staff are planning to track feral cats as part of their predator studies.
They’ve begun deploying live-capture cage traps for feral cats to get accustomed to. They are being baited with fresh rabbit meat to encourage regular visits from the local ferals, and equipped with game cameras so the activity at each site can be observed.
During peak mallard hatch, staff aim to capture some of these feral cats and attach GPS collars.
These collars will take location fixes every ten minutes so Fish & Game can learn about the type of habitat feral cats are spending time in. Local Fish & Game Officer Erin Garrick has already been involved in tracking mallards. Read here.
Take care where you go with that firearm
A man who was following the law and seen taking a firearm into the Ashburton public toilets has been vindicated as all the charges against him were dismissed, after a judge ruled there was no case to answer on any of the charges.
On the day of his arrest, Richard Lincoln had been travelling from Timaru to Christchurch to deliver a Heckler & Koch SL8 firearm to a gunsmith for work.
He stopped twice and had the gun slung over his shoulder, as the law requires you to not leave firearms in an unattended vehicle.
Read the details here.
Nelson pukeko hunt happening
The date has been set for the annual pukeko hunt at Wakapuaka, north of Nelson.
Keep Sunday August 13 free for an enjoyable few hours of ‘driven-style’ hunting. Hunters will meet at the usual spot near the Boulder Bank car park at 9am, where there will be a briefing before splitting into two groups to begin the drive.
Junior or un-licenced hunters will also be required to be under direct supervision, meaning only one gun will be allowed per pair.
Inquiries to Nelson / Marlborough Fish & Game Office on 03- 544 6382.
Win a signed copy of Fish & Game NZ magazine writer Peter Ryan’s new book – Hunting New Zealand, Parts Unknown
Email us a pic of your game bird hunting season and you’re in the draw to win.
(Fish & Game reserves the rights to use your image entries for promotional purposes).