Shooting season a mixed bag

by Paul Campbell

Early predictions that this year’s game bird season was expected to follow last year’s successful hunt have not quite measured up in the days following the opening, but according to Fish and Game Northland, it is shaping up to be a “reasonable” season.

“So far it has been a bit of a mixed bag in Northland and the Kaipara Harbour, with some hunters doing okay particularly on shelducks picking up grain left from local harvests, while other bags have been patchy,” said Northland Fish and Game manager, Rudi Hoetjes.

“The weather has not been ideal for shooting with low-lying fog proving a problem when shooters sometimes can’t see a bird until the last minute.”

He said hunters were having some success with waterfowl in some forest areas and noted that there were plenty of pheasants about.

Fish and Game field staff say there are good duck numbers generally across the country.and advise hunters to keep up to date with the latest rules and information by checking the Fish and Game websites for their areas.

Six out of the 12 Fish and Game regions, including Auckland/Waikato, which begins just south of Wellsford, have introduced a three-shot policy, restricting hunters to three rounds in a magazine to help conserve duck numbers.

The Northland Fish and Game Region extends from a line midway to a point between the North Head and South Head of the Kaipara Harbour, then running due east to a point just north of Wellsford and then a line running northeast to Te Arai Point just south of Mangawhai Heads.

Mr Hoetjes says while this area does not limit shooters to three rounds, the local board is awaiting reports from those areas with a limit, to assess the results.