Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 5 June 2019
Big Southerly Blow On The Cards
Right: Waiting for the evening flight (Photo: Hamish Carnachan).
Factors couldn't be set up better for duck hunters with a major weather system approaching from the south and due to hit at the start of the long weekend.
The constant nor-west winds over the last few weeks have meant hard hunting for many with birds now entrenched in the sheltered hidey-holes they've found.
This includes rafts of hundreds upon hundreds of ducks reported on the lee shore of Lake Wairarapa and the bigger water bodies in the lower North Island region.
The southerly due to hit on Saturday will force these birds to look for shelter again. Numerous wind shifts over the three-day weekend and, hopefully, plenty of hunters about should make for great action.
If you get a chance, don't forget to take someone new out too. And please ensure you're all compliant and playing by the rules because the rangers are going to be active again.
Grab your licence here and enjoy three days of what should be super hunting!
Here are the prospects:
|Friday||Strong northwesterlies and rain gradually easing.|
|Saturday||Rain, with heavy falls; possibly severe gale southerly.|
|Sunday||Gale southwesterly eases, rain retreats to coast.|
|Friday||Rain; strong northwesterlies easing later.|
|Saturday||Rain returns and northwesterly change to gale southerly .|
|Sunday||Strong southerlies gradually dying out.|
|Friday||Periods of rain; northwesterly easing.|
|Saturday||Northwester change to strong southerly; snow to 800m.|
|Sunday||Snow to 800m at first; southerly gradually dying out.|
Three day rain forecast
For the latest rain forecast click here
|Friday, May 31, 9am.||Saturday, June 1, 9am||
Sunday, June 2, 9am
Factors For A Good Duck Pond?
What makes for a good duck pond?
Well, that's not a simple question to answer but, for the sake of brevity, here are three key factors that certainly help and things that you should look for when selecting somewhere to shoot or develop as a waterfowl hunting spot.
This well managed Wairarapa pond is not overshot and consistently produces good hunting as a result (credit: Hamish Carnachan)
1. Flight Path
Pretty simple but ducks need to find the pond.
If it's on or near a major flight path - such as a river or adjacent to a larger water body- more ducks will drop in to feed or use it for refuge.
Forget about ponds that don't service a flight path as these will generally only hold itinerant birds and if you shot it too often it will become barren.
2. Right Depth
The optimum depth for dabbling ducks (like mallards) to feed is less than 60cm. Any deeper and the pond is only providing the birds are haven to rest and roost.
Feed draws birds in for longer, and brings more ducks in too.
Ponds that can be drained and re-flooded, or are naturally ephemeral, are far more productive as the water level fluctuations boosts food availability and growth.
3. Don't Overshoot
Some landowners get an ego boost out of the number of ducks shot on their ponds... Warning: Stay Away!
I started out my duck hunting on one such pond and it was interesting to see how quickly the bird numbers plummeted as the season wore on and the demands from the landowner for more shooting increased.
After a while it just wasn't pleasant and, more to the point, it wasn't productive.
Well managed ponds that aren't overshot produce much better hunting. And, mixing up your shooting by hunting new places is far more interesting anyway.
Habitat Stamp Comp
Fish & Game and the NZ Game Bird Habitat Trust have agreed to run a photographic competition to select a winning image to be used on the Game Bird Habitat Stamp for 2020.
For more information about the competition and entry forms, click here.
Entry to JK Donald Block
Just a reminder to hunters that you must have a current vehicle sticker and Lake Wairarapa Hunting Permit to access the JK Donald - both are available from Wellington Fish & Game's office by calling (06)359-0409.
You must also obtain the landowners permission. We can provide contact details when you apply for your sticker and permit.
Take a Newbie Hunting
Fish & Game has information and advice on how to start out new participants, and we can even point you in the direction of somewhere safe to take them with a good chance of bagging a bird or two. For more info, contact the office 06-3590409.
*This report was accurate at time of writing - please ensure you check the latest weather information before you head out.
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