Waterfowl hunters applauded for responsible attitude

The start of the 2019 game bird hunting season got off to a great start in the Manawatu last weekend although calm weather conditions favoured the ducks, says Wellington Fish & Game.

Right:Happy hunter Mark Atkinson preps a bird from his successful morning hunt.

“Hunters in good spots did really well on Saturday morning with plenty of birds around but unfortunately Fish & Game can’t do anything about the settled weather,” says manager Phil Teal.

There are still seven weeks left in the waterfowl season (closes June 30). Mr Teal says there are plenty of chances to come with many experienced hunters now awaiting the first big southerly storm or nor-westerly blow.

“This is the weather that really stirs the ducks up and gets them on the move, providing the most exciting and rewarding hunting.”

Ranger teams noted that on Opening Weekend hunters checked were generally very happy and compliance levels were good.View from the maimai calm conditions favoured the ducks


View from the maimai - calm conditions favoured the ducks.

“Most people were playing by the rules and the attention to safety was excellent,” says Mr Teal. “We seized a handful of shotguns and equipment for alleged indiscretions such as hunting without a licence and using lead shot.”

Mr Teal says hunters should be congratulated for being sensitive to issues around firearms safety and the wider public.

“They have been very responsible this season, and Fish & Game would reiterate that there is no room for complacency when dealing with firearms.”

He encourages hunters to remain safe for the rest of season and also get out and make the most of the weeks ahead.

“Given the good duck numbers around this year, those hunters who keep an eye on the weather and get in position for when the weather turns will definitely reap the rewards.”