Both Barrels May 2022

Opening weekend review 

The opening weekend dawned fine and clear in most parts of the region, although early fog hampered hunters in some inland areas.

Most people spoken to by Rangers or in Fish & Game’s telephone survey were happy with how the hunting went, with more mallards than usual being a common theme. 

Hunters in the Waimarino area near Ohakune found that some of the smaller ponds had low water levels or were dry owing to the lack of rain, but those hunting larger lakes and ponds saw good flights of paradise shelduck and mallard duck.

Bags also contained more “pure-bred” grey duck than usual.

Those at Lake Ratapiko near Tariki commented that the hunting was reminiscent of the good old days when there were heaps of birds around.

Above Right: A good opening day bag of mallards from Lake Ratapiko. 

While it was a safe and enjoyable weekend for most hunters, we were saddened to hear of a quad-bike fatality in the Waverley area on opening morning.

Still plenty of opportunities for the rest of the season 

At the time of writing, most of the region is experiencing some significant rainfall which will be perfect for topping up dams and ponds that may have been low or even empty on opening morning.

Ducks will flock to newly ponded water in low-lying paddocks to feed on worms and bugs so setting up a few decoys in a paddock may well be a good option one evening after work. 

Farms, where maize silage is being fed out, will also be hot spots for hunting activity, as will paddocks oversown with new grass where maize cob is still present.   

Warm Barrels

Allan Stancliff, Taranaki Fish & Game Manager.