Both Barrels August 2018
Both Barrels August 2018 – Special Edition
As the 2018 game bird season draws to a close, many hunters are reflecting on their success, saying it has been the best season they have experienced for a long time.
Positive reports are particularly evident in the North Island, where the pressure on habitat is fiercest. There, several Fish & Game regions are calling it their best season in years.
In the duck country of Auckland/Waikato, Fish & Game staff reckon that for many, 2018 will go down as “the year the mallards bounced back.”
And it’s not all about the ducks. If you are a keen upland game hunter, it has been pleasing to hear a game bird manager speak of “tripping over pheasants everywhere.”
In the Eastern Region, which takes in a big chunk of central North Island, staff rated the 2018 season as the best for seven years.
Further south in Wellington, there was also talk of the best waterfowling season for many years, “suggesting the mallard population might well be trending back up.”
While game bird hunting comes to a halt in most parts of the country on the last weekend in August, for the keen duck hunter, there is still one region to consider.
Central South Island allows paradise shelduck to be hunted until the end of September in the areas west of State Highway 1. Generous daily bag limits apply.
With the pressure of the main season now off, a trip to CSI hunting parries is a great way to introduce a new hunter and show them the tricks of the trade so they’re prepared for the 2019 season.
Remember too that your game bird licence is valid right through to the next season, allowing you to take advantage of special hunting seasons held by some regions.
So, if your region doesn’t have one and you fancy a game bird hunting summer holiday – there are places to go!
In the North Island, special hunts are being held in Northland, Eastern and Taranaki, with another possible but yet to be confirmed in Auckland/Waikato.
In the South Island, special seasons are being held in the Central South Island and Otago regions.
See below for more details.
As we always say, the end of the hunting season is a good time for some gear maintenance.
And while it is traditional to not touch your shotgun until the eve of the next game bird hunting, why not try a new strategy and use the better spring and summer weather to sharpen up your shooting skills at a local gun club or clay bird range.
Our ‘cover’ photo shows ace game chef Phil Hazeldine with some of the food prepared for a dinner, twelve course no less, run by Nelson/Marlborough region.
Please send your hunting pics to Richard Cosgrove : firstname.lastname@example.org
North Island Roundup - click here
South Island Roundup - click here
Special Hunts in 2019
Northland: Make sure you save the date for the special paradise shelduck weekend to be held on February the 23rd and 24th.
This is a great pre-season opportunity to get your eye in before the main season kicks off. The pukeko and black swan special week will be held from February the 23rd to March the 3rd, 2019.
Auckland/Waikato: A special paradise shelduck and pukeko season is planned for February 23rd and 24,th north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, subject to trend counts.
Note that you will need a permit in this region from the Hamilton office.
Eastern Fish & Game is holding a special season for black swan on the weekend of 23rd and 24th of February in Area A1 (check your game bird hunting guide for details).
Pukeko can be hunted everywhere in the Eastern Region over this weekend with no bag limits (please check the boundaries in your Game Bird Hunting Guide 2018).
In Taranaki, a special paradise shelduck season is planned for March, 2019.
Subject to the results of the January 2019 moult counts, there will be a summer shoot for parries in Taranaki’s Area C (Taranaki province including all of Stratford District) over the first two weekends of March. Details will be provided in mid-February.
Central South Island
On two weekends (Feb 2-3 & 9-10) in February 2019 there is an open summer season for mallards and paradise shelduck in the Central South Island Fish & Game Region.
The open season doesn’t cover the whole region so please refer to you 2018 regulation guide to clarify where you can hunt and bag limits.
Click here to link to the online version of the regulation guide.
In Otago, the summer paradise duck season is open for junior hunters only for one day on March 2.
Stand and be counted
The Fish & Game council elections are on at the moment and time’s running out to nominate yourself as a councillor on one of the 12 Fish & Game regions throughout the country. It doesn’t matter if you’re an angler or a hunter, it is vital you stand for election and at the very least, vote for the sake of our environment and the country’s game hunting and fishing.
Women and younger licenceholders in particular are being encouraged to stand by the chair of the Fish & Game New Zealand Council Lyndsay Lyons. “We need new blood coming through the ranks to ensure there are new ideas and the energy to put them into action,” Mr Lyons says. It is crucial that all licenceholders exercise their democratic rights and vote for the women and men best equipped to sit on Fish & Game councils.
For more information, click here
Spring is the time for some predator control to help the birds at your favourite hunting spots.
Research has shown that nesting birds are particularly vulnerable to predation, which reduces game bird numbers for next season.
Set some traps for stoats and other mustelids, and as well as helping the duck and upland game populations, your trapping efforts will also benefit native birds.
You’ll find advice on trapping on our website here
Pimp your maimai
As you reflect on the 2018 game bird season, it’s also time to think about what lesson you’ve learned and what you could have done better.
Was your favourite hunting spot up to it and is it no longer possible to ignore the fact your maimai needs some long overdue maintenance?
With the experiences of this season still fresh in your mind, think about how you can make your maimai better or even build a new one.
Look here for some great plans to pimp your maimai.
If you had a good season with better duck numbers, we need you to help Fish & Game’s scientists work out how bird populations are faring.
Now is the time to return any bands from the birds you harvested so we can collate that in formation.
And thanks to Hunting & Fishing, there are some great prizes up for grabs for those hunters who take part.
Remember, you can keep the bands, we just need the information that is on them. Go here.
Are you a hunter who turns your attention to fish about now?
Trout fishing licences for the coming year are now on sale for the 2018-19 freshwater sports fishing season.
Why wait for the season to kick off officially on October 1 when you can jump online and order a licence now?
There are ten categories of licence so you’re sure to find one that suits.
Click here to do the business.