Both Barrels May 2017
Game bird hunters around the country are enjoying one of the best seasons for a long time, with good numbers of ducks reported from all regions.
And some luckier, or perhaps more skilled, hunters are going home with limit bags to feed friends and family.
There is still a lot of water around thanks to April's tropical cyclones and this is providing new areas for ducks to feed and rest.
Another benefit for hunters is that the wet weather and resulting soaked ground has delayed the harvest of crops like maize. When harvesting does begin, there will be fresh hunting opportunities for well-fed ducks!
Upland hunters looking for pheasant and quail are also doing well in North Island regions like Hawke's Bay, while in the South Island, Otago reports there are "stacks" of quail around.
In all regions, scout for new hunting areas and approach land owners for permission to hunt. The reward from a concentrated door knocking effort could well be a great new hunting spot!
And once you have a few birds in the freezer, treat your family and friends to a duck dinner at a local restaurant. The Game Bird Food Festival is on again.
The now annual event is also attracting nationwide media attention as in this recent broadcast on Radio New Zealand.
P.S. This month's cover photo - Emily Craig with her shooting party's results from opening day this year.
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 ...
Fish & Game and the Mountain Safety Council have worked together to make the 2017 game bird hunting season safer.
The initiative has included the production of an on-line video on hunting safety and it is proving a resounding success.
Already, it has been viewed more than a 150,000 times. If you haven't seen it yet, have a look here.
Fish & Game puts a lot of effort into research to ensure duck populations are healthy enough for hunters to harvest.
This includes banding ducks, so if you bag a duck with a silver band on its leg, let Fish & Game know.
You can keep the band –we just want the information on it. Go to the Fish & Game website and fill out this form here.
Southland Fish & Game is offering to work with the Southland District Council on developing the controversial Around the Mountain Cycle Trail down the Mararoa valley.
The offer comes after the council withdrew its High Court appeal against Fish & Game's successful Environment Court challenge of plans to build the trail down the remote Oreti River valley, which is valued for its wilderness trout fishing. Click here.
Ever wondered if a chef could cook your duck better than you or your spouse?
Well, wonder no more. This season select a couple of your best birds, pluck 'em, gut 'em and drop them off at a local restaurant a day in advance and let the chef work some magic.
What we're talking about here is the Game Bird Food festival and luckily even those 'bad shots' get to try some delicious recipes as prepared bird dishes are on the menu too. Check out the Game Bird Food Festival website and find out what restaurants are participating near you.
Click on the region to read.