Hunting Regulations

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.

Click here for the latest regulations

West Coast Fish & Game Region

west coast map

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           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

Karamea         N Simpson           0272053365

Karamea        R Anderson            782 6762                 

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.

Organised Hunts

Complaints about concentrations of game birds such as pukeko and paradise shelduck indicate problem areas that hunters can be directed to. Pukeko and shelduck hunting success often depends on a team of hunters working together.

Organised hunts have become increasingly popular on the West Coast as access to good hunting becomes more difficult in other regions. Contact our West Coast Office to register your interest in organised hunting.

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.


West Coast Hunting Spots