Both Barrels April 2022

With the 2022 game season knocking on the door, it sure is an exciting time to be a game bird hunter.  We hope preparations are going well for Opening Day, which this year is on Saturday, May 7. 

After a rather wet Spring in 2021, our recent mallard counts reveal a decent increase in bird numbers for the Marlborough area, while Tasman was only slightly up on last year, so hopefully, this translates to a few extra birds in your bag this season. 

If you wish to hunt the magnificent Wairau Lagoons this season, Fish & Game are now issuing permits for this on behalf of D.O.C. – check out the details below to get a permit. 

We’ve got a heap of facilitated hunting this season, read on to get the low down. 

Above Right: Licence-holders are asked to apply to Fish & Game for a Wairau Lagoons hunting permit. 

ORGANISED EVENTS

As usual, we’ve got some great hunter participation events coming up this season.  

Moturoa/Rabbit Island upland game hunts

Now in its sixth year, these hunts continue to be really popular with new and experienced upland game hunters. 

For each hunt you and your hunting mate will be free to roam a block within the eastern end of Rabbit Island targeting quail and pheasants. 

The dates are set for June 4, June 25 and July 23.  If this sounds like you, you can put your name on the ballot here

Game Food Night

An incredible night of inspirational game food dishes prepared by legendary chef/hunter Phil Hazeldine. 

This is the fifth and final year we will be holding this event and you don’t want to miss out on this one. 

Though get in fast, there are limited spaces available and they are already filling up fast.  Email here to register for the night (family members are also welcome). 

Wakapuaka pukeko drive

Keep the date Sunday 10 July free for a day of driven pukeko. 

For the past few years we have been running this hunt in order to curb the high bird numbers which have a significant effect on farming operations. 

But it’s a great day out for hunters, not to mention a chance to take some rather underrated game meat home too. 

Registrations are essential, which you can do here

Bells Island swan cull

Last year we held a small swan cull at Bells Island to try and address swan numbers which have become an aviation risk. 

We will be holding this event again (date TBC), however, there are limited spaces available. 

Put your name down here for the hunt. 

Note: if demand exceeds supply there will be a ballot.

UPLAND GAME HUNTING

There’s no doubt about it, quail are one of our region’s most abundant game birds. 

They are exhilarating to hunt and tasty to boot. 

We’ve been very active on the upland access front over the past few years, and have now made it much easier for you to succeed in upland game hunting. 

Check out some of the opportunities below: 

Tasman Pine Forests Ltd hunting

After a very successful first year, we have been given the go-ahead again this year and have six forestry blocks within Tasman Pine Forests estate that you can book every weekend of the game season. 

The hunting is mainly for quail, though some blocks hold a few roosters and ducks too. 

Check out this webpage for more information and to book yourself a hunting block. 

OneFortyOne forests quail hunting

We are very excited to bring you another great upland game hunting opportunity. 

We have secured vehicle access to large areas of OneFortyOne forest estate for quail hunting over four weekends of the game season. 

The deal is that hunters apply to us for a hunting permit to one of four forest areas, these are Golden Downs (max 20 hunters per month); Northbank Wairau (20 hunters), Ngaruru (4 hunters), Bannochburn (4 hunters), then once you have your permit you can fill your boots on the selected weekends, using your vehicle to drive around the vast quail rich forests locating and hunting birds. 

If this sounds like you, email here for more info and to go on the list.  

Upland game on DOC estate

Fish & Game is also now issuing permits to hunt on Marlborough DOC estate for upland game hunting.  

There are some DOC areas in Marlborough that contain quail as well as chukar, for more information on hunting these areas, email here

SNAP SHOTS

Hunting the Wairau Lagoons? Apply here.

This season Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game are issuing permits to hunt the Wairau Lagoons, on behalf of DOC. 

If you want to hunt the Wairau Lagoons this season, email us here for a permit request.  

Duck shooters Eye Opener

Get your eye in before the season starts at the Hunting & Fishing Marlborough Duck Shooters Clay Bird Event on 1st May. 

Check out the details here

Hunting at Grovetown Lagoon

The Grovetown Lagoon is a special game bird hunting location with a long history and tradition and good numbers of ducks.

It has also become a multiuse area, and as such, all new stand claims need to be notified to F&G to get advice on where maybe a good location, as well as expected maimai standards and areas that are best avoided. 

New to hunting this season?

Let us know and we’ll send you the latest Fish & Game magazine which is packed full of great information. 

From the team here at Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game, have a safe and enjoyable Opening Weekend and we hope you make the most of the season. 

See you out there.

Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game Officer.