Northland Both Barrels June 2017

Temperatures cooling, action heating up

The season is rocketing along and we’ve had some great bags being shot around Northland.

The weather is certainly cooler creating more opportunity for hunters to bag their limits.

Nice bag of ducks harvested on the Kaipara Harbour.

There’s been a lot of water around lately with several flood events spreading birds far and wide.

There would have been no shortage of water at maimais and your favourite shooting spots.

The extra water around presents opportunities to make use of portable hides or temporary maimais, allowing you to move around to where the birds are.

A bit of ‘recon’ time studying their flight paths is beneficial in these weather conditions.

Check out your local outdoor outfitter for what they have available, or erect a couple of Y posts or warratahs with some spare camo netting to make a quick hide and make the most of this opportunity.

Waikiekie Pond hide3


Waikiekie hide.

We’ve had reports of good numbers of mallards and parries being shot with patience, adept calling and getting the ducks in close in the inclement weather, early morning fog and low cloud.

This approach has been particularly successful in the Dargaville and Kaikohe areas on harvested maize and kumara fields. Boat set-ups on the Kaipara have also been very productive this season.

Insert Kaipara boat set up pic

If you are looking for a winter warmer try out this duck shepherd pie recipe.

For a Northland twist if you can get your hands on them, try replacing the potato top with a kumara mash. It’s sure to warm the cockles of your heart.

Duck shepherds pieDon’t forget to try out TopSail’s game bird food festival menu while stocks last.

In between hunting missions, it’s a great time of the year to plant out some more habitat around your pond. This gives the plants plenty of time to establish in the cooler winter months.

Wetland plant species such as the sedge Carex Secta andflax Phorium tenax provide great cover for mallards and dabbling ducks. If you follow this up with some predator control during the breeding season, you’re on your way to having a productive duck factory for next season.

For any help with planting and assistance with developing game bird habitat please contact our office.

Make sure you make the most of the rest of the open season - we have the last weekend coming up on the 1st and 2nd of July for mallards, greys and shoveler ducks.

There is still plenty of opportunity to target paradise shelduck and black swan until the 6th August.

Upland game is coming into it’s own with opportunities aplenty available right through until the 27th August.

Pukeko can also be hunted until the 27th August, remember to add them to your bag.

Here’s wishing you some productive hunting in the weeks ahead - hot barrels!

Andrew Kirk Field Officer

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