Taranaki Both Barrels July 2019

Following the end of the hunting season for ducks we’ve seen good numbers of mallards during recent wetland visits, indicating that there is a strong base population of birds going into the breeding season.

If the current wet conditions continue on into spring there will 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 has to be pretty good news for gamebird hunters.

Above Right: Mallards enjoy the morning sun on a wetland east of Stratford.

Why not drive a few pukeko?

The end of the duck season also means there is more time to help farmers out by undertaking pukeko drives in areas where they earlier caused damage to newly planted maize crops in particular. 

With a few mates and their dogs, pukeko 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. 

Pukeko can be hunted in Taranaki through until Sunday August 25, with a daily bag limit of 10 in Area C and 5 in Areas A & B.

Chasing pheasant still an option

Cock pheasant (and California quail) can also be hunted in Taranaki through to August 25.

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, backcountry 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 landholder permission can result in some good hunting opportunities.

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 on-line form via the link below 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, or ring the free phone number 0800 BIRD BAND (0800-247322).

https://fishandgame.org.nz/game-bird-hunting-in-new-zealand/banding-form/ 

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.

Allen Stancliff, Taranaki Fish & Game Officer.