Wellington Weekly Hunting Bulletin - 25 May 2023
Versatile Hunters Reap The Rewards
A good bag of parries for Wairarapa hunters shooting over late-harvest maize stubble (Credit: Jacob Morison)
The weather that looked great for hunting didn't really eventuate last weekend.
The wind, which was supposed to be strong and swinging around as a low moved across the region, got blustery on the south and west coasts but unfortunately it never really filled in further inland.
Hunters who adapted to the conditions did well though, with several parties moving off their ponds and targeting parries on late harvested maize crops or flooded paddocks (of which there are still plenty around).
Plenty of mallards holding on this small Manawatu pond (Credit: Matt Kavermann)
Fingers crossed the weather ahead holds true because it looks promising for some productive shooting on Saturday, especially in the morning.
The good thing about the start of the season so far is the constantly shifting winds which have just been strong enough to prevent the birds from settling for too long.
It's calm today but a stiff southerly yesterday saw ducks on the wing all day.
With a strong north to nor-west flow building from tomorrow, it should stir the ducks up again just in time for the weekend.
Grab your licence and get amongst them!
Here's the outlook for this weekend...
Weekend Weather Outlook
The brighter the colour the stronger the wind (Credit: Windy.com)
We can see from the Windy screen grabs above that a good northerly to north-westerly starts to build from early tomorrow.
The wind peaks around 7 and 8am, first thing Saturday - perfect for a morning hunt!
Conditions should hold through to about mid-afternoon Saturday, before calming right off on Sunday.
Click here for the latest weather updates from Metservice, or visit the Windy website to track conditions coming our way.
Family Hunting Photo Comp
Got any great photos of you and your family out hunting this season?
Flick them through to us and the best shot at the end of the season will win $200 worth of Hunting & Fishing NZ clothing, courtesy of Greg and the team at Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing in Masterton.
Photos can be of groups or individuals hunting, but the main criteria is that it is about families and family members, especially highlighting kids' love of the pursuit.
Please remember firearms safety when framing your pics - breaches cleared and actions open, kids closely supervised around firearms.
Get snapping, and send get your entries in. Don't forget to let us know the details of who's in the picture, and where it was taken.
Condition of entry is that images can be used for publicity purposes.
Upland Game Hunting Opportunities
The recent run of fine and still days has prompted an increase in enquiries about upland game hunting in the Wellington Fish & Game region.
A cock pheasant about to be release into the wild (Credit: Matt Kavermann)
Quail are doing well in certain parts of the region, including in some of the riverbeds of the larger rivers where there is adequate cover and feed.
There are also good covoys building up on private land, but obviously getting access requires a bit of door knocking.
We have negotiated access to several commercial forestry blocks where there are good upland game bird numbers, and there is reasonable pheasant hunting in parts of the lower/mid Rangitikei River too.
To find out more, check out the information on our website, or get in touch with us at the office.
Tip Of The Week - Lake Wairarapa Decoy Rig
Following NZ Hunter Adventures last TV episode, interest in hunting Lake Wairarapa has been high.
For those of you new to the lake, here is a hot tip on how to rig your decoys.
As the lake bed is quite firm, weighted decoys won't hold position in a good wind. Consequently, you need to use a peg system.
The 6 mm metal pegs are approximately 300 – 400mm long with a enclosed circle end (see below).
Decoy peg with loop.
Rig two decoys to each peg. The section of car inner tyre tube at the end of the cord allows stretch in wind and wave action.
Most seasoned Lake Wairarapa hunters use very strong mono fishing line (100lbs plus) and tie onto the decoy one end and make a loop at the loose end – often using crimps rather than tying.
The loops at the loose (peg) end are about 80 -100 mm long.
To set up the two decoy system, just thread one decoy loop through the other decoy line (see below), which allows one decoy to floats nicely behind other.
Double decoy rig system.
The second decoy's loop should tighten at the keel on the leading (windward) decoy. Then, to position both decoys, thread the loop of the leading (windward) decoy through the metal loop of the peg, then take the line loop and thread the sharp end of the peg through the loop.
Pull the line loop back up towards the metal loop – thus fixing the decoy line to the metal peg.
Push the peg into the lake bed by hand, or by foot to cement in place. To remove, just vertically pull on the leading decoy line which will lift the peg out.
Pitch In On Planting Day
Greater Wellington Regional Council is holding a planting day at Lake Domain - northern end of Lake Wairarapa - on June 10.
It would be great for hunters to show up and pitch in, even if it's just for half and hour or so.
Remember, it is a privilege to hunt on Wairarapa Moana, so it's important we can show we are responsible and respectful lake users.
If you are hunting nearby, please be courteous and respectful to those involved in the planting day.
Those wanting to help out should RSVP to the organisers.
Take A Mate Hunting
Taking a mate or family member who has never been hunting can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Just a few hours is ample to whet their appetite and give them a taste of the whole duck hunting tradition.
And who knows, you might just make a new hunting buddy for life...
Do your bit - introduce someone new this season.
We've got some information to help new hunters find their feet too.
If you'd like a 'Getting Started In Game Bird Hunting Pack' for someone starting out, please get in touch with the team at Wellington Fish & Game (stock is limited).
Keep Those Band Details Coming - Win A $500 Voucher
Send your band details in and you'll automatically go into the draw for one of two $500 Hunting & Fishing vouchers from Simon and the team at Manawatu Hunting & Fishing.
Got a band to be registered, ring the free phone number 0800 BIRD BAND (0800-247322).
Alternatively there's a ready-made form to fill out on the Fish & Game website here (Note: prizes may vary from what is advertised on the website).
Safety First This Season
Click the screenshot above to check out some awesome bird hunting action, and also some timely tips on firearms safety in and around the maimai.
Need To Know - Transporting Firearms
A number of hunters encountered over Opening Weekend were still confused about the new requirements for storage and transportation of firearms and ammunition.
Please take a moment to read more about this on the Firearms Safety Authority's website.
Follow the steps below, and you're good to go.
- A note to hunters using the JK Donald Block in Wairarapa: Access is restricted to quads/ATVs only. The track is currently too wet for 4WDs. Please do not park on Paula Gillett's property (without her express permission) or block access ways.
- Hunters wishing to access the JK Donald block are reminded they must have an access sticker, and follow the conditions of entry. Please ask for details through the Wellington Fish & Game office.
*This report was accurate at time of writing. For your safety, please ensure you check the latest weather information before you head out hunting.
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