Taranaki Both Barrels July 2018
Ducks numbers ‘strong’ for breeding season
Following the end of the duck hunting season, we’ve seen good numbers of mallards during wetland visits - indicating a strong base population going into the breeding season.
Right: Taranaki pheasants can be out in all weathers.
If the wetter than average conditions in the region over the last several months continues on into spring, there’ll be plenty of shallow casual water for newly hatched broods to feed in, leading to good survival and a healthy population of ducks for next season.
Likewise, pairs of paradise shelduck are now dotted around the landscape holding territories on a whole range of swampy areas in readiness for the coming breeding season.
All in all, this is pretty good news for game bird hunters.
Why not drive a few pukeko?
The end of the duck season also means there’s more time to help farmers out by undertaking pukeko drives in areas where they’ve damaged newly planted maize crops in particular.
With a few mates and their dogs, pook drives can provide challenging hunting as the birds flush from thick cover.
As our population monitoring shows, the wetter parts of the region on the northern and eastern slopes of Mt Taranaki hold the most birds.
It’s also well worth taking the breast meat from pukeko, which is great sliced into strips and barbecued, baked, casseroled or made into game soup.
As Fish & Game’s Robert Sowman says in the link here – there’s no reason to hunt them without intending to eat them.
Pukeko can be hunted in Taranaki through until Sunday August 26, with a daily bag limit of 10 in Area C, and 5 in Areas A & B.
Chasing pheasants a good option
Cock pheasant (and California quail) can also be hunted in Taranaki through to August 26.
Access permits to hunt in the Nukumaru Recreation Reserve and Harakeke Forest are available from Fish & Game’s Whanganui office.
In other parts of the region, back country areas with scrub and rough fringe cover are holding reasonable numbers of pheasant.
And a drive in the early morning or late afternoon to locate birds and then seek the landholder’s permission can result in some good hunting opportunities.
If you’re successful in bagging a limit of two pheasant try this recipe, which sounds de-lish!
Reminder on duck band details
Please remember to send in any details of duck bands. If you've successfully harvested a duck with a band on its leg, we need your help.
This information is crucial to our research - so please provide as much detail as possible. This is for our records only.
You can fill out an online form via this link and submit it, or post your band details (not band) to:
Fish & Game, Private Bag 3010, Rotorua 3046; or to the National Banding Office, PO Box 108, Wellington 6140.
If you’d rather phone, ring the free phone number 0800 BIRD BAND (0800-247322).
All band returns go into a draw for a top quality duck hunting jacket plus a six-pack of state of the art decoys generously donated by Hunting & Fishing in conjunction with the U.S. waterfowling company Banded Holdings Ltd.
Don’t forget to Check Clean & Dry
With 'lake snow' now confirmed in lakes Taupo, Waikaremoana, Moawhango and Rotoaira, hunters and anglers using boats on central North Island lakes need to check, clean and dry their equipment – particularly boats, motors and trailers.
Spraying them with a 5% solution of dishwashing detergent or nappy cleaner, or a 2% bleach solution will do the trick.
There is currently no known way of removing Lindavia intermedia once it’s present in a lake or waterway.
Lake snow can produce mucus-like strands of slime which hang and drift under the water, sticking to fishing gear, boat hulls and swimmers. It can also clog boat, industrial and domestic water supply filters.
To find out more on how to protect our waterways, visit www.mpi.govt.nz/check-clean-dry