Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 30 May 2019

Big Southerly Blow On The Cards

Right: Waiting for the evening flight (Photo: Hamish Carnachan). 

Factors couldn't be set up better for duck hunters with a major weather system approaching from the south and due to hit at the start of the long weekend.  

The constant nor-west winds over the last few weeks have meant hard hunting for many with birds now entrenched in the sheltered hidey-holes they've found.  

This includes rafts of hundreds upon hundreds of ducks reported on the lee shore of Lake Wairarapa and the bigger water bodies in the lower North Island region. 

The southerly due to hit on Saturday will force these birds to look for shelter again. Numerous wind shifts over the three-day weekend and, hopefully, plenty of hunters about should make for great action. 

If you get a chance, don't forget to take someone new out too. And please ensure you're all compliant and playing by the rules because the rangers are going to be active again.   

Grab your licence here and enjoy three days of what should be super hunting!

Here are the prospects:

Wellington/Wairarapa

Friday   Showers icon17  Strong northwesterlies and rain gradually easing.  
Saturday Windy icon7 Rain, with heavy falls; possibly severe gale southerly.  
Sunday Windy icon7 Gale southwesterly eases, rain retreats to coast.




Manawatu

Friday  Rain icon24  Rain; strong northwesterlies easing later.  
Saturday Windy icon8 Rain returns and northwesterly change to gale southerly . 
Sunday Showers mainly fine19 Strong southerlies gradually dying out. 




Rangitikei

Friday   Rain icon25  Periods of rain; northwesterly easing.   
Saturday Snow icon2 Northwester change to strong southerly; snow to 800m. 
Sunday Snow icon3 Snow to 800m at first; southerly gradually dying out.  

Three day rain forecast

For the latest rain forecast click here

 Rain 31 May edited Rain 1 june edited Rain 2 June edited
Friday, May 31, 9am. Saturday, June 1, 9am 

Sunday, June 2, 9am

Factors For A Good Duck Pond?

What makes for a good duck pond?

Well, that's not a simple question to answer but, for the sake of brevity, here are three key factors that certainly help and things that you should look for when selecting somewhere to shoot or develop as a waterfowl hunting spot.

Pond1 edited CopyThis well managed Wairarapa pond is not overshot and consistently produces good hunting as a result (credit: Hamish Carnachan) 

1. Flight Path

Pretty simple but ducks need to find the pond.

If it's on or near a major flight path - such as a river or adjacent to a larger water body- more ducks will drop in to feed or use it for refuge. 

Forget about ponds that don't service a flight path as these will generally only hold itinerant birds and if you shot it too often it will become barren. 

2. Right Depth

The optimum depth for dabbling ducks (like mallards) to feed is less than 60cm. Any deeper and the pond is only providing the birds are haven to rest and roost.

Feed draws birds in for longer, and brings more ducks in too. 

Ponds that can be drained and re-flooded, or are naturally ephemeral, are far more productive as the water level fluctuations boosts food availability and growth. 

3. Don't Overshoot

 Some landowners get an ego boost out of the number of ducks shot on their ponds... Warning: Stay Away!

I started out my duck hunting on one such pond and it was interesting to see how quickly the bird numbers plummeted as the season wore on and the demands from the landowner for more shooting increased.

After a while it just wasn't pleasant and, more to the point, it wasn't productive. 

Well managed ponds that aren't overshot produce much better hunting. And, mixing up your shooting by hunting new places is far more interesting anyway.     

Habitat Stamp Comp

Fish & Game and the NZ Game Bird Habitat Trust have agreed to run a photographic competition to select a winning image to be used on the Game Bird Habitat Stamp for 2020. 
Habitat photo compFor more information about the competition and entry forms, click here

Entry to JK Donald Block

Just a reminder to hunters that you must have a current vehicle sticker and Lake Wairarapa Hunting Permit to access the JK Donald - both are available from Wellington Fish & Game's office by calling (06)359-0409. 

You must also obtain the landowners permission. We can provide contact details when you apply for your sticker and permit. 

Take a Newbie Hunting

Fish & Game has information and advice on how to start out new participants, and we can even point you in the direction of somewhere safe to take them with a good chance of bagging a bird or two. For more info, contact the office 06-3590409. 

*This report was accurate at time of writing - please ensure you check the latest weather information before you head out.