Otago Both BarrelsMay 2016
A fine start to the season with mixed bags
For what must be the 10th year in a row, Otago hunters woke to clear calm conditions for the Opening Day.
By mid-morning, most hunters were dispensing with the heavy jackets and looking for a camo t-shirt.
Right: Look for some jump shooting options – the dog will thank you for it!
As usual bags were mixed. Some hunters on traditionally good ponds had their worst opening in years, but then there was another group of hunters whose usual pond was dry so relocated to a creek for the best results ever! Being adaptive can pay dividends…
One thing was for certain, the lack of wind made for very tough hunting conditions. High flying spooky birds were difficult to decoy by mid morning, and there was a distinct lack of shooting after about 10:30am. The sea was full of ducks, as was the middle of some of our larger lakes. It was very frustrating for some.
Left: Johny and Jack bast in the sun near Tapanui. Some wind would have helped the hunting...
Plenty of opportunity
Benign hunting conditions on Opening Weekend will be good news for those who are active throughout the season, especially one as promising as this one.
There are still plenty of ducks around so now is when the real hunting should begin – hunting for river camps, hunting for paddock ducks, hunting for night spots and hunting for jump shooting opportunities!
It’s a three month hunting season but one shouldn’t be complacent as the end comes around quickly. Get organised and make the most of it.
Second opening on the lower Taieri
Speaking of making the most of it, why not join the second opening event on the lower Taieri (2 & 3 July)?
The idea is to get as many people out and into the lower Taieri and lakes as possible on the same weekend to improve the hunting for everyone.
Afterwards there is a prize draw at the Hotel Taieri and a guest speaker on mallard research. Join us and share a story or two and get the latest update on NZ mallard research from 4pm onwards.
Add it to your diaries now!
Take a bow - great compliance!
Seven ranging teams spread around the region encountered generally good compliance. A handful of offences were discovered though – including no licence, lead shot possession and over the bag limit for parries. All face prosecution action and the prospect of forfeiting their firearm.
Hunters caught using lead shot cartridges near water nearly always tell the same story about not being able to tell the two sorts of ammo apart.
They say it’s confusing because lead is not marked with ‘lead’ in the same way as steel shot rounds are marked with ‘steel.’
The lesson here is that unless it says steel, then it’s undoubtedly lead. If in doubt though, check them all with a magnet before you go – and before the ranger does it for you!
Left: Good keen lads doing the right thing. Compliance was better than 95% again this year.