Southland Both Barrels May 2018
Opening weekend wrap-up
Unfortunately the 2018 opening weekend will not go down as one of the best. In general, the number of mallards harvested was down in most areas.
Lower opening weekend bags are probably a result of dry conditions over the breeding season and lower duckling survival.
Above Right : Fully compliant hunter Emma Bell, hunting near Waimatua.
Juveniles usually make up a greater proportion of harvest as they are naïve to hunters.
Having less juveniles survive the breeding season means hunters are targeting mostly older and more challenging birds.
Despite lower harvest rates, birds tended to be in great condition, brought about by pre-opening weekend rain and surface water.
These wet conditions force earthworms to the surface creating an easily available, high abundance of protein.
Hunter compliance rates were up this year which was great to see.
We only detected ten offences - seven hunters were found hunting without a licence and three were found using 12-gauge lead shot.
Stuffed wild duck
Select a duck for roasting – the best ones for this will be fat and not too shot-up.
Bone out your duck (heaps of how to videos on YouTube).
Stuff the duck with your favourite flavours. Good ones to try are garlic and sage, thyme and cranberry, honey and soy sauce. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours.
Wrap the bird up with some cooking string – not too tight or the shape of the roast deforms.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 25mins at 180 degrees.
Finish off under the grill to get ultra-crispy skin!
Erin Garrick, Southland Fish & Game Officer.