Otago Both Barrels June 2018
Hunting in cooler temperatures
Winter has finally arrived in the south with cold temperatures and lots of snow on the hills.
Hunters still have to July 25 to hunt mallard ducks, and August 26 for paradise shelducks and California quail.
Right: In hunting quail, finding sunny faces is important.
Harsh conditions and food shortages in winter can make life difficult for waterfowl and upland game birds, but they've survived for centuries.
For mallards, target wet paddock areas and small creeks that hold an abundance of food sources.
Hunting small creeks in the evening is a good option.
Travelling around I witness a lot of paddock birds on stock feed lines and these birds will feed to a pattern returning daily at similar times.
Mallards will still form duck camps on local rivers so scout around for morning hunting opportunities.
Parries mobbed up
As the season progresses, parries will tend to mob up on pastures and young grass paddocks.
Birds tend to feed from early morning, then they'll make their way back to an evening resting place near water providing additional hunting opportunities.
For a weekend outing Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu is worth considering, as is the head of Lake Hawea.
Birds winter over in the Styx valley where there's plenty of scope for some enjoyable hunting.
Upland game birds
There is an abundance of California quail due to the dry spring conditions last year.
As the snow accumulates on the hills and temperatures hit freezing point, quail will be forced to lower ground in search of food.
It’s important to hunt sunny faces and gullies during the day.
They will also inhabit scrubby areas on river and stream margins where an afternoon hunt with the dog can be very rewarding.
Cliff Halford, Otago Fish & Game Officer
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