Wellington Both Barrels April 2018

Exciting season ahead

Fish & Game staff and hunters who've been out and about, have noticed far more ducks around this year (Photo Hamish Carnachan).

Little wonder there’s so much hype building ahead of the 2018 Opening – surveys suggest much higher duck numbers. 

The season is almost upon on us (Opening Day, Saturday, May 5) and it is looking like we've got an absolute cracker on the cards.

Staff have spent a lot of time on the road over recent weeks conducting game bird surveys and they’ve noticed significantly more mallards right throughout the Wellington Fish & Game region.

Birds are holding from Waiouru, through the central high country and then down into the lowlands, and all the way to Cook Strait.

Certainly the good breeding season has played a part but so too have the wet conditions which have provided plenty of feeding opportunities meaning the ducks haven’t had to migrate out of the region.   

If you haven't already got organised it’s time to pull finger - this is one season you don't want to miss out on!

Make sure you have all the essentials sorted: Get your licence, decoys and gear out to check before Opening (less than two weeks away!), and if you haven’t already done so, check the patterning of your gun this weekend.

We can't promise the weather is going to play ball over Opening Weekend, but everything else is set up for a stunning 2018 game bird season!

Get into it.    

Grab your licence the easy way

W 2 gamebird 2018 licence cardIf you haven't already purchased you hunting licence for the 2018 season, it's easy as - just click the image above, fill in a few simple fields on the online licencing website, and you're done.

No need to rush out and buy it in a store, you can have it done in a couple of minutes from the comfort of your home.  

A receipt will be issued via email and you can use this until your actual licence turns up in the mail, generally within seven days.

Rangers will be out in force this Opening Weekend - Don't get caught without one.       

Sign up for weekly hunting reportsOur Weekly Hunting Reports give shooters the edge Credit Hamish Carnachan

Our Weekly Hunting Reports give shooters the edge (Photo Hamish Carnachan)

Make the most of your investment in a hunting licence and get out as often as you can this season.

As those of us who have laboured through the last couple of tough fine weather Openings can attest, often the best hunting weather can come later in the season when the it cuts up rough and a strong southerly or nor-west storm sweeps across the region.

Sign up for our Weekly Hunting Reports and we’ll keep you abreast of all the best and timely hunting weather conditions, tips and reports from throughout the Wellington Fish & Game region… delivered to your inbox every Thursday so you can plan your weekend hunt.

If you would like to receive this free service from Wellington Fish & Game then email us at wellington@fishandgame.org.nz with the text ‘Weekly Hunting Report - Sign Me Up’ in the subject line.

Play it safe this season

Remember, safety comes first this season – No bird is better than no buddy.

Always remember the seven golden rules of firearms safety: 

1. TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS LOADED

- Check every firearm yourself.
- Pass or accept only an open or unloaded firearm.

2. ALWAYS POINT FIREARMS IN A SAFE DIRECTION

- Loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.

3. LOAD A FIREARM ONLY WHEN READY TO FIRE

- Load the magazine only after you reach your hunting area.
- Load the chamber only when ready to shoot.
- Completely unload before leaving the hunting area.

4. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEYOND ALL DOUBT

- Movement, colour, sound and shape can all deceive you.
- Assume colour, shape, sound, and shape to be human until proven otherwise.

5. CHECK YOUR FIRING ZONE

- THINK! What may happen if you miss your target? What might you hit between you and the target or beyond?
- Do not fire if you know others are in your firing zone.

6. STORE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SAFELY

- When not in use, lock away the bolt, firearm and ammunition separately.
- Never leave firearms in a vehicle that is unattended.

7. AVOID ALCOHOL AND DRUGS WHEN HANDLING FIREARMS

- Good judgement is the key to safe use of firearms.

 Shooting from a boat W boatYou need to know the law around shooting from watercraft Credit Haish Carnachan2

Be sure you know the law on shooting from a boat (Photo Hamish Carnachan).

Last Opening we were made aware of people shooting from boats on some of the larger water rivers in our region like the Manawatu River while under power - this is illegal!

The law states: "No person use any vehicle propelled by mechanical power (including motorised watercraft) to chase or kill game..."

Further, it is illegal to hunt and kill game from an unmoored camouflaged rowboat in the Wellington Fish & Game region over Opening Weekend (May 5 and 6).

While we weren't able to catch up with the perpetrators last Opening, this year we know where they were operating and rangers will present to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Fish & Game magazine is available online!

W Spec46Cover

Check out the best waterfowl photography available and great duck and upland game hunting articles, along with back issues in full ‘flip-book’ format.

It’s all available on the Fish & Game Online website here

Back to Both Barrels.