Both Barrels June 2021

Make the most of the last week of the duck season

While the Taranaki Region’s season for waterfowl other than pukeko ends at 6.15 pm on Sunday 27th June, there’s still time to get out for that last hunt or two. 

Most of the active hunters spoken to during our fortnightly telephone survey have had some quite good success with paradise and mallard duck considering the reduced hours they’ve been hunting after opening weekend.

Evening hunts have been reasonably productive for mallards and with the increased rainfall in recent days, temporary water in paddocks will create some additional opportunities for paddock hunting.

Above Right: Mallard duck have provided some good hunting opportunities during the 2021 game season. 

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 29, with a daily bag limit of 10 in Area C and 5 in Areas A & B.

Chasing pheasant is also a good option

Cock pheasant (and California quail) can also be hunted in Taranaki through to 29 August. 

As detailed in our hunting newsletter, there is a weekly permit draw to hunt in the Harakeke and Tauwhare forests near Whanganui.

Hunters need to obtain a permit from Taranaki F&G (0212700239 or taranaki@fishandgame.org.nz), then prior to noon each Thursday contact Taranaki F&G to go into the draw for a permit for the coming weekend.

Harakeke is divided into two blocks and Tauwhare Forest is a single block, all available on Saturday and Sunday only.

Hunters can apply for one or more blocks and/or days but if hunting as a group, then just one application per group.

Applicants will be advised of their success or otherwise each Thursday afternoon.

Being successful in the draw is a condition of a valid access permit for that particular time and place. While there is a bit more involved, hunters can be confident they are the only group hunting their particular block on that day. 

For the Nukumaru hunting area, there is no weekly draw, but hunters need a permit from Taranaki Fish & Game and they must contact the respective grazing lessee listed on their permit prior to hunting. 

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. 

Please report any duck bands

Duck BandThe information on where and when you shot a banded bird is vital to the management of the resource, so please go to the hunting pages on the Fish & Game website https://fishandgame.org.nz/game-bird-hunting-in-new-zealand/banding-form/ and fill out the form to report the band or else contact the Taranaki Fish & Game office on 0212700239 or email taranaki@fishandgame.org.nz 

Band details received before August 31 will go in the “Banding Together” draw, in which Hunting & Fishing NZ in association with Banded Avery are generously providing five prizes consisting of two boxes of Banded XD (extra detail) decoys.

This includes one box of mallards and one box of NZ shoveler decoys.

 Warm Barrels

Allen Stancliff, Taranaki Fish & Game Officer