Wellington Both Barrels May 2017
Slow start to rapid action
The fine sunny weather that becalmed the entire lower North Island didn’t make for much action over Opening Weekend but the action has rapidly heated up since then.
Hunters in the Wellington Fish & Game region have been blessed with a series of frontal systems arriving like clockwork just in time for the weekend.
Above Right: Mike going for green - Photo: Phil Teal.
Strong winds, rain and changing weather conditions have stirred ducks up and made for some exceptional shooting.
And the general consensus is that there are far more birds around this season than has been seen for some time.
Pick your weather
After the exciting and action of Opening the most productive times to hunt are when the weather turns foul or a strong change in wind direction kicks in.
Those who watch for these weather systems and can time their run to the best hunting grounds are the ones who are most successful.
Make sure you capitialise when the opportunities present themselves – as has proven to be the case, the action runs red hot when it’s on.
And don’t bemoan “no ducks” being present on your small pond that was shot to hell on Opening – go looking for other water, water where the birds actually are.
Is it too late to get into the action? No way! Buy your licence here.
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Ranging teams have been very active this season – covering more ground and checking more hunters than in previous seasons – and to date the levels of compliance have been very good.
Right: One of many ranging teams out and about in the Wellington Fish & Game region this season - Photo: Hamish Carnachan.
Nationally, hunter safety has been top notch thus far too.
Don’t drop you guard on firearms safety though – there’re simply no second chances.
Always follow the seven gold rules of firearm 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.
Hamish Carnachan, Wellington Fish & Game Officer.
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