Gamebird Hunting Regulations and Guides are updated annually.
Please be aware at all times of local and national regulations to ensure the safety of others and the sustainability of Gamebird Hunting.
West Coast Fish & Game Region
Hunting on the West Coast
The primary attractions for game bird hunters on the Coast is the diversity of habitat, providing for a range of species, but predominately grey and mallard duck. (and hybrids thereof).
Shoveler, paradise shelduck and pukeko are also widespread throughout the region.
In general, developed valleys with improved pasture and open drains offer the best waterfowl hunting – particularly for mallards, pukeko and shelduck – however riverbeds, bush ponds and coastal wetlands – most of which are on Department of Conservation (DOC) administered land – also provide excellent opportunity. Some relatively unexploited hunting opportunities remain in South Westland river valleys south of Harihari.
For anybody planning a trip to hunt the West Coast, Fish & Game can provide advice on key landowners to contact.
At the present time there are few problems with access to hunting on land administered by DOC, however if in doubt about land tenure contact the nearest DOC office (refer below) for a permit.
Department of Conservation contact numbers
- Greymouth 03 768 0427
- Hokitika 03 756 9100
- Buller 03 788 8008
- Sth. Westland 03 751 0807
Game bird hunting is permitted in six Scenic Reserves; Hunters wishing to shoot at Lakes Rotokino, Ianthe, Arthur, Swan and Lady, or Saltwater lagoon are required to request a permit from DOC before the end of March. In the event of problems contact Fish & Game.
If hunting in riverbeds or along bermlands, contact with adjacent landowners is recommended. Their advice could well add value to your hunting.
Please note that it is unlawful to use or possess lead shot when hunting waterfowl within 200 metres of any open water wider than 3 metres.
Paradise Duck Hunting
A phone call to one of the contacts listed below will be of great assistance for visitors seeking shelduck hunting opportunities.
It is so important to do it right the first time, and to this end the following advice is important;
- Phone a local contact above to locate birds, then, if possible observe their movements for a day or two before hunting.
- Construct a hide with minimum disturbance and using natural vegetation where available. Paradise ducks will usually avoid a paddock that looks different than the previous visit.
- Use plenty of decoys – facing into the wind.
- Use camouflaged clothing and keep movement to a minimum.
- Often it’s best to let an incoming mob land, then flush and shoot.
- Although they look like they’re moving slowly paradise ducks can fly at up to 80km/hr. If you are not hitting them increase your lead by swinging through the target more quickly.
Most private landowners will react favourably to reasonable requests for access to hunt. The contacts listed below are recommended for hunters seeking new areas, particularly to hunt parries. It is essential to phone the landowner before visiting and to respect any reasons they may have for limiting access.
Area Property Contact Ph Number
Ahaura B Rogatski 7380225
Ahaura M Bray 7323576
Ahaura R Becker 7323879
Ahaura G Paterson 7323140
Atarau A Becker 7323576
Atarau C Brake 7323080
Atarau A Berry 7323856
Atarau C Van der Geest 7323718
Atarau G O’Connor 7323859
Atarau J Liddell 7323747
Atarau M Mills 7323001
Atarau P Berry 7323856
Atarau R Little 7323034
Atarau D Kennedy 0276327795
Atarau G Graham 7323063
Atarau P Jefferies 7680193
Barrytown George Coates 7311805
Haupiri C Egan 7380389
Haupiri H Temple(G.C.C) 7380224
Haupiri J Butcher 7380227
Ikamatua G Prendergast 7323518
Ikamatua R Lemon 7323525
Ikamatua M Fitzgerald 7323577
Ikamatua P McLennan 7323755
Kokiri D Bradley 7625798
Kokiri (C.M.P) 7625055
Kowhitirangi T Sheridan 7557227
Mawheraiti K Harvey 0272228360
Tips for Hunting on the West Coast
The key to success in all hunting is to be observant and to recognise that game bird movements and feeding patterns change in response to the time of year and availability of food. In the case of geese and shelduck, feeding patterns are largely dictated by the location of preferred pasture. Prevailing weather patterns also have a large influence on where concentrations of birds will be at certain times. For example during wet periods in June/July intensively grazed paddocks are favoured by mallards seeking high protein in the form of worms and grubs. Seed from fed out hay and baleage is also a favoured food source. During frosty periods drains and wet areas with willow (pig) weed infestations may be popular. Observant hunters will notice that birds alter their daily habits and flight patterns in response to length of daylight hours, prevailing weather and level of disturbance.
In general waterfowl tend to avoid large open water bodies during rough windy weather, preferring sheltered swampy margins and farm drains.
Similarly, during extended frosty periods there is often good hunting in small running creeks and small ponds with a bush canopy.
Many hunters become frustrated by large congregations of ducks – predominantly mallards – loafing in open paddocks after the first week or two of the season when ducks become more wary. These birds are often difficult to hunt, however for those prepared to chance the odd unsuccessful outing success is more likely to improve later in the season, especially on rough days and at first and last light.
Late in the season birds are preparing for breeding and require extra protein in the form of aquatic invertebrates and terrestrial insects. At this time small creeks, farm drains and wet paddocks often provide favoured feeding habitat.
During this period it is often possible to call in ducks that earlier in the season were simply not interested. In intensively farmed areas the daily routine heavily influences hunting opportunity. Look for concentrations of birds near stock feed out pads, and, particularly in the case of shelducks, on saved pasture and green crop.
Complaints about concentrations of game birds such as pukeko and paradise shelduck and periodically prompts a need to direct hunters to where the problems are. For example pukeko and shelduck hunting success is often dependent upon a team of shooters working together.
Organised hunts have become increasingly popular on the West Coast as access to good hunting becomes more difficult in other regions. Currently such hunts are arranged independently by a number of different clubs and organisations and Fish & Game provides coordination and assistance where possible.
The West Coast Gameshooters Club is very active and organises some very successful hunts. For further information on membership contact David Brooks on (03) 7625604
Enjoy your hunting on the ‘Coast, comply with the few rules we have, and please show respect for landowners and your fellow hunters.
Game Bird Hunting Regulations
Download the latest regulations for this region below.