Taranaki Both Barrels June 2017

Mallards off the menu - turn to pooks and pheasants

While the season for ducks and swan ended on Sunday 2nd July, pukeko can still be hunted in Taranaki until Sunday August 27, with a daily bag limit of 10 in Area C and 5 in Areas A & B. 

Pukeko can be a wily bird that provides challenging shooting as they break from cover.

Coastal sand country can provide some good hunting opportunities for pheasant.

The best way to hunt them is to get a few dogs and hunting mates together and mount a pukeko drive.

The critics are wrong - their breast meat makes good eating, so please make good use of the birds you shoot.

Cock pheasant and California quail can also be hunted in Taranaki through to August 27. 

Although quail populations are now very limited as a result of the loss of rough cover, hunters are reporting good success chasing pheasants in both Nukumaru and Harakeke Forest.

Not surprisingly, the obvious areas have received a lot of pressure this season and it’s worth looking for some tucked away corners that may have been overlooked.

Concentrate on sunny corners with open areas of lupin, ink weed and patches of grasses.

In this country, not every bird provides a shooting opportunity, however if a bird beats you once it will often use the same escape route next time, which with a bit of planning can lead to its undoing. 

Hunters are reminded that they need an access permit available from the Whanganui and New Plymouth Fish & Game offices to enter the Nukumaru and Harakeke Forest areas.

Similarly, once hunters get back into the less intensively farmed country with more scrub and rough fringe cover, and particularly along river flats and stream margins, there can be reasonable numbers of pheasants in the Taranaki region.

This tends to be an under-exploited opportunity and a good ploy can be to drive back country roads in the early morning or late evening at any time of year looking for obvious concentrations of birds.

Then go and knock on the nearest door seeking the landowner and possible permission to hunt.

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. 

1 Close up of a duck band2.Close up of a freshly banded mallard's bangle.

You can fill out an on-line form (click here) 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.

 Allen Stancliff, Fish & Game Officer

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