Hawke’s Bay hunters urged to ‘do homework’ as game bird season looms

With the Hawke’s Bay game bird hunting season only days away (Saturday 6th May), local Fish & Game officers are urging hunters to swot up the “rules and regs” before they head out. 

Hunters are urged to take the time to read the 2017 Game Bird Hunting Guide given out with purchase of a game bird hunting licence.

Right: Faithful retriever in action.

“If you are unsure of anything please contact our Fish & Game office to clarify the issue, as the consequences for breaking the regulations are taken very seriously, says Hawkes Bay Fish & Game Manager Mark Venman.

“It’s a stand taken by our council in fairness to all the other hunters who do abide by them.”

He says that rangers will be checking game bird hunters throughout the season.

“Hunters need to have worked on their shotguns magazines to ensure they comply with the three shot rule in force this season.

“The three shot rule says that a shotgun magazine must not hold more than two rounds of any size, plus one more in the breech – three in all.  And the rule applies for all waterfowl including pukekos.”

Hawke’s Bay bag limits:


Season Dates

Daily bag limit

Mallard/ Grey Duck

6 May – 18 June


NZ Shoveler Duck

6 May – 18 June


Paradise Shelduck

6 May – 2 July



6 May – 27 August


Black Swan

6 May – 2 July


California Quail

6 May – 27 August


Cock pheasant

6 May – 27 August



Mr Venman says that hunters in the Hawkes Bay region are lucky to have a variety of species to harvest, including quail, pheasants, ducks, swans and the pukeko.

“Thanks goes again to our local preserves for their donation of over 150 cocks pheasants that were released along our river corridors last spring,” he says.   

HB season 3Mr Venman says that results from the annual mallard banding programme indicate that we had a good breeding season, “and coupled with plenty of rain throughout April there are plenty of opportunities for hunters to harvest game birds.” 

Hunters are urged to report the details of any banded bird that they harvest as these reports are crucial to sustainable waterfowl management.

Several Hawke’s Bay restaurants are participating in the Game Bird Food Festival which allows hunters to have their game prepared, cooked and presented by a local chef and have the meal matched up to an appropriate local beer or wine. Details can be found on Fish & Game’s website: www.fishandgame.org.nz

Mr Venman says the pre-season days are always a bustling time and the many hunting stores are offering “deals on ammo, firearms and new gadgets for you to buy and try out this season.”

The game bird season kicks off at 6.30am on Saturday May 6.

“Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game staff wish you a safe and successful season.”


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