Otago Both Barrels June 2017

Hunting in the big chill

Winter has finally made an appearance: the days are shorter and temperatures have dropped considerably but the rain has stayed away.

The main lakes are critically low which is great for fishing and duck hunting but the power companies must be a little edgy.

Above right: Hunting exposed lake bed with a simple set up can be rewarding.

Ducks will benefit from the exposed shore margins which will make a lot of food available and provide some exciting hunting opportunities.

The head of Lake Dunstan is looking very attractive with an abundance of waterfowl.

Wait for the next big southerly and tuck into the willows near the Clutha confluence.

Ducks will look for sheltered areas and with a small decoy spread and some good calling you could be in for a productive session.

As the winter hardens ducks like to settle in small creeks in the evening that provide cover and plenty of food - great for an evening hunt. 

On stock fattening units, there is still a lot of green feed that both mallards and parries will target.

Keep your eye open as you travel around the region and don’t be afraid to do some door knocking if you spot some huntable mobs.

Remember you only have until July 30 when the season closes for mallards so make the time to put a few more birds in the freezer.

Quail hunting season in full swing 

P1000322Reports on the quail season are a bit patchy but generally good and there appears to be no shortage of birds.

Left: Trusty Labrador Pip after a successful day on the hill (Photo Hamish Stevens).

 As the high country freezes, quail will be forced lower making them a bit more accessible.

Quail love the early morning sun and open areas so keep this in mind when you plan your outing. 

Dogs need time on the hill to learn their trade so hunt regularly, keep them fit, and enjoy your time with them!

Cliff Halford, Otago Fish & Game Officer

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