Northland Both Barrels May 2018
Ingenuity foiling a blue sky opening
Another request for more duck friendly weather forecast didn’t come to fruition in Northland on opening Saturday and with some appeals to mother nature the wind eventually got up and the weather improved slightly on the Sunday it was a brief reprieve.
Above Right: Amazing maize keeping up the Robson family tradition and gives reliable pouch brown dog some exercise.
However with the bumper breeding season good bags were still reported.
It certainly seems that those that did their homework put in the time and effort preparing their spot and took the early morning or late evening opportunities had a good chance of getting their bag limits.
Those that found freshly harvested maize, Tangiteroria shot well, with the Kaipara around the Ruawai area successful when you could see through the mist and initially kept the birds in close.
Those in the Far North also reported bag limits with those in good habitat with returning birds in the evening.
When the cloud burnt off unfortunately that stunning day sent a lot of birds skyward.
It was a good opportunity to reward the morning’s hunting with a nice cooked breakfast.
I did note travelling around the region on ranging duties that hunters were showing an amazing amount of ingenuity when it comes to attracting wildfowl into their favourite spot.
The inventions and design to mimic real life wildfowl activity seems to show no bounds.
I noticed a lot more ghillie suits this year although the warm weather made it hot work in those.
With the weather improving and ducks moving around with recent heavy rain.
There will be opportunities appearing away from your regular spot.
As always remember to get your permits and read them as some conditions have changed.
Be respectful to landowners and ask for their permission to hunt on their land; it is a privilege to hunt on their properties.
It’s always nice to share your harvest too.
Unfortunately this year we came across more non-compliance than we wanted too.
This was disappointing as it’s easier than ever to get your licence.
However it’s good to see most hunters knowing what to expect when they are visited by a ranger.
Remember to be courteous and respectful to our rangers and have your game bird licence ready to be inspected as a lot of these guys volunteer their time.
Local police would like to remind you to carry your firearms licence with you when hunting too.
I’m always on the lookout for a new barbeque recipe to try on my grill.
There’s nothing more rewarding than cooking up a great feed with your opening harvest.
TopSail and The Quay restaurant have joined the Game Bird Food festival in Northland this year.
We encourage you to support them by taking your harvested game birds along to their restaurant.
They will get their talented chefs to turn your hard earned game birds into a feast.
If you are interested in introducing a mate or family member to game bird hunting.
Don’t forget we have a keen field officer John Macpherson based in Kaitaia now who is eager to promote game bird hunting in the area.
Remember to make the most of the whole hunting season as the weather cools down there are loads more opportunities to be had in Northland.
Andrew Kirk, Northland Fish & Game Officer.