Wellington Weekly Hunting Bulletin - 18 May 2023

Superb Waterfowling Weather On The Way!   

May 18, 2023

A beautiful greenhead - one of many from a successful morning shoot in Wairarapa last Thursday (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)

Wow - what a difference a bit of weather can make!

The southerly blow that steam-rolled up the lower North Island last Thursday really got the ducks moving. 

Waves of birds were moving ahead of the front that hit South Wairarapa around 0900, and the ducks just kept moving all day. 

The brief morning hunt I had was the best I've experienced at Lake Wairarapa... there were mallards flying around everywhere!

A handy morning hunt CopySpoils from a handy morning hunt last Thursday morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).

Similar reports have come in from hunters further north and in the Manawatu.

It just goes to show the value of being able to drop everything when the weather is on. 

The good news for folks who can't get off work during the week is there's another system brewing which will hit our region from early tomorrow and last through to Sunday. 

Some wild, windy conditions are on the cards - perfect waterfowling weather - so be sure to make the most of it.          

Grab your licence, grab a mate, and get into the action!  

Here's the outlook for Opening Weekend...


Weekend Weather Outlook 

Weather 18May2023

The brighter the colour the stronger the wind (Credit: Windy.com)

A large low pressure system in the Tasman Sea is forecast to track directly across the lower North Island overnight Saturday.

From later today it will start dragging a very strong north to north-easterly flow across the region. 

As the low transitions into the Pacific, the winds flick around, almost 180 degrees, to blow strong southerly then around into the west and nor-west quarter. 

The weather system is expected to bring periods of rain and showers, some heavy.

So, there's a lot going on this weekend on the weather front. And certainly plenty for duck hunters to get excited about with strong shifting winds over a 48-hour period likely to keep birds moving, looking for shelter. 

Throw in the rain and you can expect plenty of ducks to be flying low over your decoy spread this weekend!          

Click here for the latest weather updates from Metservice, or visit the Windy website to track conditions coming our way.


Video Of The Week - Picking The Weather

Click the screenshot below for a short video from the team at Wellington Fish & Game showing you how to pick the best duck hunting weather.

Video 28May2023


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 you 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

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Hunters can keep the bands, we're just interested in the details around where they were recovered (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).   

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch - Keep them coming.

If you send your band details in you'll be automatically put in 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, just 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

Safety FirstThis Season 18May2023Click the screenshot above to check out some awesome bird hunting action, and also some timely tips on firearms safety in and around the maimai.   


Enhancing Your Farm Dam

Ducks didn't quite show up at your pond the way you would have anticipated this Opening? 

Don't despair, there are plenty of things you can do to make your dam more appealing to waterfowl, as well as increase the value it adds to both your farm and farming operation.

Enhance Farm Dam 18May2023A well planned and planted dam is a real asset to the farm and wildlife (Credit: Hamish Carnachan) 

This excellent guide is based in Australia but there's plenty of relevant information that crosses over to New Zealand too.

And of course the staff at Wellington Fish & Game are always happy to come and visit your pond, offer advice and assistance, and even point you in the direction of grants to help with your project. 

Please get in touch if you'd like some free advice.        


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.

Transporting Firearms



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.