Where to Hunt Game Birds
Southland offers great hunting for water associated gamebirds. We have the most consistent mallard hunting in New Zealand. Average season bags usually range from 25 – 35 birds per season.
Paradise shelduck hunting can be productive too although we have relatively low numbers compared to many other regions. While we have only about 4500 Canada geese there can be good hunting for these birds. We have a special hunting season in the Eglinton Valley in the spring. While there are limited numbers of birds there a walk up this valley is inspiring at any time and coming home with one or two geese is a bonus. The Eglinton Valley is in the National Park and a special permit is needed for this hunt. Contact Bill Jarvie at (03) 215-9117 for more details.
Other goose hunting is on pastures in the Te Anau basin or along coastal Southland. However, hunters need to have a good knowledge of the movement of birds to be successful. Moon phases and seasonal behaviour are important considerations and successful hunters must respond to these factors. Visitors to the region would generally need local contacts to successfully hunt geese.
Mallard hunting also requires local contacts and a reasonable amount of homework to be successful. Most hunting occurs on farm ponds but river hunting is also available. Hunters from outside the district should make contact with relatives, friends, or friends of friends who might own some land on the Southland Plains so preparations can be made. There is hunting on public land, mainly in estuaries, but these places are no more productive than other areas in the country. It is on the farms, on ponds and rivers bounded by farms, where the best hunting is available. Don't be afraid to politely knock on a door or two. Opportunities are available for those prepared to look!