Duck season is nearly here, with a late start meaning slightly different daylight and weather conditions — gear up for success

Make the most of 2020

by Andy Bryenton

After a period of uncertainty, which had keen hunters worried for this year’s possibilities, all systems are go, and the green light is burning for duck season 2020. A delayed start means slightly different conditions of daylight and weather, though if the fates are kind, it will still be a good season out on the wetlands.

The big message, both from hunters themselves and advocacy groups, is to appreciate the season we have. Nothing makes us feel more keenly the appreciation for what we can do, as almost having it not happen at all. The rational and good arguments for a well-maintained waterfowl season are manifold, from population management through to funding the revitalisation of wetland areas to the immediately obvious. Harvesting game fowl is a vital and appreciated food source for those who love to hunt. 

While Covid-19 threatened the population at large, it seemed that perhaps all of these reasons would be for nought, but good advocacy and governmental liaison work by Fish and Game, along with other hunting and outdoors bodies, ensured that come level two, the way was paved for success.

In Northland, this means opening weekend on May 23 for grey ducks and mallards and also paradise shelducks, with a bag limit of 12 for the former and 20 for the latter species. Those in the know say that good gear is the key to enjoying a good season this year, with a reminder to ensure that all hunters are licensed and ready before opening day. 

Advanced new decoys, calls, camo and equipment give the edge to hunters who can outwit their prey, with the final result being not just a fun day in the great outdoors with friends and family, but also the reward of delicious duck dinners and smallgoods stocked away for winter.