In case you thought game bird hunting was just an autumn & winter affair…
The season for upland game birds ended at the end of August – but some summer opportunities lie ahead for the hunter who's prepared to do a little travelling.
Why not consider taking part in one of the special hunts that are being held this summer in different parts of the country?
Instead of bringing you all our normal regional Both Barrels reports, this month we're taking a scattergun (sorry) approach to focus on particular regions where some summer hunting activity is on offer.
Oh, and we're also tossing in a few morsels of season "roundup” information and other chunks of information.
We'd be thoughtless if we failed to mention that as of September 1, there are only 247 days til next year's game bird season – Opening Day 2017 falls on Saturday May 6 (Pegging Day 9 April).
In Northland, two summer special seasons have been declared for the summer of 2017.
Further south in Taranaki, there are special parrie weekend hunts planned for weekends in February and March 2017. For more on these regional seasons details, click here.
In the South Island, there are still opportunities in 2016.
The Swan Hunting Competition in North Canterbury runs to the end of September.
And hunters are reminded that the pukeko season continues in the Tasman and Golden Bay sub-area until 31 October 2016. Click here for details.
In the Central South Island, the parrie season (West of SH1) remains open until 25 September, 2016. In February 2017, there is also the summer season for mallard duck and paradise shelduck, which runs on two consecutive weekends – the 4th and 5th and 11th and 12th.
If you have some keen junior hunters in the family, don't forget the West Coast junior weekend that has been added into the regulations guide for this season. It is set down for the weekend of 4 and 5 March 2017.
Click here for the North Island Roundup, and here for the South Island wrap.
Click here to see some photos from the game bird season, kindly sent in by licence holders. (keep 'em coming!)
Aside from catching one or two special seasons, summer is the perfect time for some predator control to improve the breeding success of the birds at your favourite maimai.
Consider setting a few traps for evil stoats and other mustelids.
Summer is of course also a good time to be painting up any faded decoys, and doing any other gear maintenance that you've been putting off.
It's also a good time to keep your eye in… join a local gun club and attend their shoots. You'll keep your skills up and get to shoot with others who're can give you tips on how you can improve your shooting.
If you want to play your part in a citizen science project studying the country's duck ponds – Operation Duck Pond – click here.
Thanks to Alex Gale for the cover shot of his mate's black lab Case working overtime. Please send your hunting pics to Richard Cosgrove : firstname.lastname@example.org