South Island Roundup - Both Barrels 2018
At the close of the regular season, Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game held a game bird food fiesta in order to ‘celebrate the bird' and provide some culinary delights.
It was an extraordinary evening at Club Waimea, made entirely possible by wonder chef Phil Hazeldine, who dazzled 80 hungry punters attending with a 12 course meal.
Pukeko soup, swan sausage rolls, duck sushi and duck liver pate were just some of the delicious entrees, followed by more voluminous dishes like parrie schnitzel, smoked goose and duck breast.
The meal was finished off with dishes like roast duck and black bean sauce, and swan pasta carbonara.
It was a fantastic evening that we hope to repeat next year!
North Canterbury game bird hunters don’t need to pack away the guns just yet – hunters can hunt black swan until September 23rd in Area A, and paradise shelduck until this date in Area B.
If these aren’t species you've targeted much, use the chance to bag a few birds in areas you may not have shot before. It will give you good experience for next year's Canterbury Wild Duck Hunters Competition.
The inaugural competition was such a success it will be back bigger and better next year, providing a mid-season challenge not only for North Canterbury duck hunters, but others from around the country, especially if a game bird hunting holiday grabs their attention.
It is really encouraging to note that large numbers of mallards mating are being seen in the region so early.
This is no doubt due to the mild winter to date, and will hopefully provide into very exciting prospects for the 2019 season.
Central South Island
Parrie season still going
Don’t put your shot gun away just yet.
West of State Highway One, within the Central South Island Fish & Game Region, the paradise shelduck seasons run through to Sunday, September the 30th.
Shoveler counts completed
As part of the national New Zealand shoveler duck population survey, CSI staff were out on August 6 surveying shoveler populations on 22 lowland wetlands – from Kakanui in the South –to Orari in the north.
For 2018, on average 18 shoveler were counted per site which is relatively low for the CSI Region which has ranged from 17 to 73 over the 18 years the survey has been running.
Plan ahead for summer
Your 2018 game bird hunting licence is valid right up until the 2018-2019 summer hunting season.
On two weekends (2-3 & 9-10) in February 2019 there is an open summer season for mallard duck and paradise shelduck in the Central South Island Fish & Game Region.
The open season doesn’t cover the whole region so please refer to you 2018 regulation guide to clarify where you can hunt and bag limits.
Click here to link to the online version of the regulation guide.
The West Coast has had a superb season with lots of hunters having success - especially on Coast lakes.
The West Coast was popular with hunters from other regions this year, and good numbers of parries were harvested by these visiting hunters.
Paradise shelduck numbers have stabilised throughout the coast, but monitoring indicates that a summer season on these birds is not justified.
Numbers will continue to be monitored and if numbers increase in the future then a summer season may be warranted.
Mild winter in the south
It’s been a very mild winter across the region with very few hard frosts.
Otago game bird hunters have enjoyed a good season with birds in great condition. There has been no shortage of ducks and the parrie hunting on paddocks during the past month has been productive.
Quail hunters have reported a mixed season with the warmer temperatures keeping birds in higher ground and somewhat elusive. But some good tallies have been achieved.
From the Otago Fish & Game team, we trust you have had an enjoyable season and look forward to reporting in again next year!
Hunting numbers crunched
Another hunting season done and dusted!
Throughout this season’s game bird harvest survey we asked hunters if they’d been out hunting after Opening Weekend.
This gives us good insight into the overall hunting participation for the whole season.
We found 97.5% of hunters phoned went out hunting Opening Weekend, and this figure dramatically dropped off for every fortnight period thereafter.
Just over thirty-two percent of hunters hunted the first two weeks after Opening Weekend, which fell to 20.8% for the following fortnight.
Mid-June to mid-July saw the greatest lapse, with only 16.7% of hunters participating, and on the last fortnight (with most participation on the last weekend) this figure increased to 23.3%.
By the end of the season, only 56.7% of hunters had participated in hunting after Opening Weekend.
As we head into September, most waterfowl will have well and truly initiated their first nest, or be in various stages of incubation of their first clutch attempt.
This means hens are particularly vulnerable to predation, with 15 -20% of nesting females killed by mustelids or feral cats.
If you are not doing any sort of predator control year-round, now’s definitely the time to do it!
Last year we had a reasonably successful breeding season early on, but then had such warm, dry weather it really hammered the survival of fledglings.
One way to counteract this is to have quality wetland habitat that is available year-round.
The most productive wetlands for dabbling ducks are those seasonal bodies of water that periodically dry up – however, wetlands (dependent on site) can be created with permanent open water, AND seasonally flooded areas.
Please get in touch if you’re thinking about creating or enhancing a wetland – we can help!