Hunting & Fishing New Zealand’s ‘stay dry’ offer to duck hunters

Game bird hunters are again being given the chance to win a camo' hunting jacket this season if they send their duck band details in.

Shearwater hunting jackets landscape 1Hunting & Fishing New Zealand has confirmed it will sponsor the Banding Together programme in conjunction with Fish & Game for the second year running.

The nationwide retail company’s Marketing Manager, Andy Tannock, says the company is again delighted to join Fish & Game in a repeat of the programme that lifted the return of band details last season.

“It’s another way we can contribute to the worthwhile research Fish & Game has committed to – whatever helps the duck populations ultimately benefits hunters”.

“We help Fish & Game as and where we can, knowing how much work they do in preserving game bird habitat, researching mallard population trends and much more.”

The band information is a vital part of Fish & Game’s research into mallard ducks, information that goes towards informing management decisions.

Eastern Region Senior Fish & Game officer Matthew McDougall says the banding information is simply one part of the research now underway, “just one of the tools we’re using to help assess what the different populations are doing.”

He says the banding helps Fish & Game determine productivity, population sizes, movement, and not least, survival rates for both adults and juveniles of both sexes.

“We’re delighted that Hunting & Fishing New Zealand is committed enough to support the promotion for a second year in a row to help boost the return of band information.

“We would ask that hunters play their part again in returning their band details – the data remains crucial and will complement the latest findings from the new projects, including telemetry tracking of mallards.”

Mr Tannock says the prize draw will work in the same way as last season. Hunting & Fishing New Zealand will put up another five of its Matuku camo Shearwater Gen II waterfowling jackets as prizes for the season beginning May 2, 2015.

Hunters who return their band details by August 31, 2015, go in the draw to win one.

“We’re quite proud of these Shearwater coats, and whoever wins one is going to find out how well it performs.

“So it’s great to provide them as incentive for hunters to return duck band details. The banding programme is a long running one – and worthy of support.”

Mr Tannock says the camo’ jackets are an awesome prize. “The name Matuku means bittern in Maori, the wetland bird regarded as the master of disguise.

The Matuku camo blends into New Zealand wetland or alpine backgrounds better than any American pattern as it is created from high-resolution shots of actual NZ swamp and tussock vegetation. ”

Mr Tannock says they’re a specialised hunting jacket - 100% waterproof and breathable, with waterproof chest pockets, bellow- style ammo pockets plus hand warmer pockets.

They also have an advanced hood system to maintain shooting vision and neoprene adjustable cuffs that allow the wearer to seal out the worst of the weather.

“Our message to hunters is again ‘let’s band together’ and make sure Fish & Game gets those duck band details.”

A hunter’s story: how I won my camo’ hunting jacket

Bryce RackleyBryce Rackley in his new Shearwater jacket.

Hunter Bryce Rackley says he harvested the banded bird three weeks into the season.

It was one of those slow Sunday mornings in the lower Waikato River area when anything flying was out of range and on a mission to spot ‘x’ without any detours.

It was three weeks into the season with not many birds around, so any going over had already had a few nasty bangs going off around them.

That’s when I heard a duck quacking, coming in behind and trying to talk to one of my feeding decoys that I had going with a bilge pump on it.

I was sitting back enjoying a cup of tea in the maimai so I had to put it down and jump out of my seat, grab the under-and-over and look for the birds as they did a high speed fly by.

I dropped the duck on the far side of the pond with the drake flying on into the distance.

Only too happy to be going home with a bird, I raced around the pond to retrieve it with my black girl Kate when I heard that noise ducks make at night when they are flying low looking to come in.

The stupid drake (young bird) was coming back to look for his mate. Lucky I had the gun with me but I had to reload in a hurry and take a shot; I winged it and it came down into the pond not far from the black girl.

She was onto it only to have it dive as soon as she was about to grab it so I had no chance of putting another shot into it. After a bit of yelling at Kate I managed to call her off it and take a shot, trying not to fill the duck with pellets.

I managed a head shot for which Kate was very grateful. When the black girl returned with the drake the band was gleaming in the sun as a bonus to getting the birds, as that was it for the rest of the morning.

When I got home I then had the problem of finding the return site for the band, as I remembered reading about Hunting & Fishing offering jackets as a prize for returning duck bands, but never thought I’d get the phone call to say I’d won one.

Thanks Hunting & Fishing for giving back prizes to hunters (still waiting for that new quad bike call though)

Thanks again,
Bryce Rackley

Details of the Banding Together prize draw, including how to enter, and the deadline for entries, can be found on Fish & Game’s website – on the hunting page:

Senior Fish & Game officer Matthew McDougall
Matthew McDougall
Senior Fish & Game Officer
Tel: 07-375 5501
Mob: 021-2789 408