Thousands of game bird hunters turned out for the start of a new hunting season which Fish & Game predicts will be one of the best in years.
While many holidaymakers cursed the miserable summer, it ended up encouraging healthy duck breeding, with Fish & Game officers across the country reporting plenty of ducks.
In the North Island, fine clear conditions on Saturday made life tough for hunters who thrive in wet cloudy and windy conditions when the ducks fly lower.
Fish & Game Communications Manager Don Rood says hunters’ compliance with the rules has been excellent which is pleasing to see, and so far there’s been no reports of any firearm or other incidents which is “great news”.
“It’s very pleasing and we are very hopeful of an incident free weekend – especially after a concerted safety push by not only Fish & Game but the Mountain Safety Council.”
Fish & Game carefully monitors duck populations before deciding how many can be harvested.
This year, annual aerial surveys confirmed good duck populations in all South Island regions, and there are similar reports from the North Island.
Hunters are being reminded to check the rules and regulations if they haven’t already done so. A number of regions have now introduced restrictions on the number of cartridges a shotgun magazine can hold.
All hunters should visit www.fishandgame.org.nz and check the rules for the region they’ll be hunting in.
The game bird hunting season runs from Saturday May 6 through to the last weekend in August, closing Sunday, August 27.