Both Barrels May 2020
Hunters it’s time to head to your your maimai! The 2020 game bird season starts in nine days’ time on Saturday 23rd May.
Buying your licence will unleash the opportunity to crush that cabin fever and get out into the outdoors and celebrate our kiwi tradition of duck hunting.
Our patience has been rewarded as hunting under Alert Level 2 allows us to travel, stay overnight, use boats and do most of the things we normally do for opening weekend. It’s just a delayed start and keeping our social groups to 10 or less people.
Those who hunt in regions with short mallard seasons have had their season extended and you can download the revised regulations books here.
Our regional report links above/below are packed with great pre-season information and tips.
Around the country regional staff are reporting lots of birds in the Wellington, CSI, North Canterbury and Southland. Covid-19 restrictions have prevented staff in other regions from undertaking their annual game bird surveys, but they are observing high number .
Southland Fish & Game have also done a couple of videos for hunters, the first one on “tips for shooting success is available here. A second video on decoy tips is coming soon so keep an eye on their Facebook page for that one.
With no overseas trips for kiwis, how about some “Duck Tourism” plan a hunting trip to a region you’ve never hunted in before? Regional Fish & Game offices can help you plan a public land hunt in their region.
A reminder that this year is also the second year in the transition to non-toxic shot in all sub gauges except .410 bore. In 2020 you must use non-toxic shot on all land administered by the Department of Conservation and Fish and Game councils.
Any hunters who have (or have had) firearms licences that expired during the lockdown period, on 5 May the Government introduced the Covid-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Bill which includes measures to extend the expiry of certain licences. This will give you four months to put your application in for renewal once the bill has passed.
For those of you want to take novice or new hunters out for a hunt and introduce them to our fantastic sport, day licences are valid from 1 June.
The Game bird Habitat Trust is holding two photo competitions this year for the Habitat Stamp, the species in question are the NZ Shoveler (for 2021 stamp) and the pheasant (for the 2022 stamp). Make sure you take your camera with you hunting this year and be in to win a $1000. Click here to watch Matt Winter talk about how he captured this year’s stamp.
Don’t forget our series on gundogs with South Canterbury’s gundog guru John Stevens, you can check out Part 2 here.
Now is the time to get those final preparations done ready for the 23rd like buying a licence (especially if you want to use the same stand you used in 2019) and get ready for what will be a very unique game bird season.