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Both Barrels May 2011


This is an archived edition of Both Barrels. As we completely updated our website in January 2012, the internal links within this newsletter will not work.  Please use the main menu system above to navigate to Fish & Game 'News & Events' or select a Region from the menu above to read regional news.


Both Barrels from Fish & Game New Zealand - April 2011 - Season Preview Special

So how did you go on opening weekend? In this issue of Both Barrels....................

  • From the Chief Executive
  • Buy licences online
  • Getting started
  • Canada geese - update
  • 2011 Gamebird Food Festival - in full swing!
  • Your region opening weekend reports

From the Chief Executive

Welcome to another issue of Both Barrels, the second of three for the 2011 Game Bird Hunting Season.

By accounts, hunters experienced mixed results over Opening Weekend, with reports of a great start in certain parts of the country and a corresponding tough time for others. No matter how you got on, there’s still plenty of hunting to be had in the months ahead so remember to make the most of the whole season, not just opening.

Many factors can influence the number of ducks during any given season, including breeding success, natural mortality and climatic conditions, for example, surplus water for birds to hole-up on prior to this opening.

Fish & Game NZ is fortunate to have some of the country’s leading waterfowl researchers working for the organisation, and you the hunter with in-the-field reports, to establish what impacts these are having on populations.

The information gathered from these studies and surveys is vital in helping Fish & Game manage bird populations and hunter impacts to ensure a sustainable number of birds remain to produce broods for future years.

Obviously there some natural factors that hunters and Fish & Game management have no control over. However, hunters can improve their harvest by touching up on their own skills and techniques. Those who put a bit of thought into their hunting – for instance, observe flight paths, note how weather patterns influence bird movements and loafing spots – and are prepared to learn from more experienced hunters, will likely find they are rewarded with greater success.

I strongly encourage those experienced hunters out there to help introduce new participants to this grand Kiwi tradition. Bringing the younger generation into hunting is a great way of involving them in a healthy outdoor pursuit, it gives them an appreciation of the natural environment and where food actually comes from, and hopefully they will go on to become the future champions of the tradition.

If you aren’t already aware, the Gamebird Food Festival is running again this season with restaurants across the country participating – make the most of this opportunity to have your birds cooked by some of New Zealand’s leading chefs, and introduce friends and family to the delights of game birds harvested from the “outdoor supermarket”. Details of the festival can be found in this issue of Both Barrels.

On a final note, there has already been a hunting fatality this season. Hunters are reminded about adhering to the seven rules of safe firearms use – it is important that Fish & Game is able to help transmit the safety message through the likes of Both Barrels.

Until next time, I wish you safe and successful hunting.

Bryce Johnson
Chief executive, NZ Fish & Game Council


You can buy these online right now



If you haven't already bought your 2011 Game Bird Hunting licence, then you can do so now here - you will receive your durable and attractive plastic card licence within 5 working days.


The complete ‘Getting Started in Gamebird Hunting’ package – including 28-page booklet, Duck Hunting DVD, Where to Hunt CD-rom, and Food Safety for Hunters DVD – is available from your regional Fish & Game office, Hunting & Fishing stores, and leading hunting retailers for only $5



Canada Goose protection status

The Minister of Conservation's decision to change the protection status of Canada geese by removing them from Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Act 1953 and listing them on Schedule 5 will become law on June 9, 2011.

This is following the statutory 28-day period after it was published in the New Zealand Gazette on May 12, 2011.

After June 9, 2011, Canada geese will no longer be a game bird and can be hunted without a game licence or permit.

Until then, Canada geese remain a game bird subject to the conditions set out in the Game Notice published on March 16, 2011.

Hunters targeting game birds while hunting geese are reminded of the need to comply with the game conditions for that Fish and Game region.

Regardless of the protection status of Canada geese, there remains a $30,000 fine for illegally poisoning geese.

For further information on Canada geese please refer to the Department of Conservation's website


From field to feast, get dining on your ducks and feeding on your pheasants


The Festival is in full swing - great restaurants all over the country cooking gamebirds to fantastic recipes. Check out the website to see full details of where to take your birds for a feast, as well as Festival events and more.

Latest news: Simon Gault (Masterchef) has confirmed that 4 of his restaurants will be participating in the Festival - who knows - he might even be cooking the night you go!.



Check out the Opening Weekend reviews and more.......


Opening Weekend review - Mixed reports, poor weather, well prepared hunters limiting out early! Compliance generally good.


Opening Weekend review - Duck hunters have won praise for sticking to the rules around the Eastern Fish & Game Region – in a patchy weekend opening to the game bird hunting season. Roast Duck – American style. Rangers out in force this season.


Opening Weekend review - Opening weekend produced a mixed bag. Birds well spread around the region. Compliance good with 96% obeying the rules. Request for reports and photos from hunters.


Opening Weekend review - Evasive ducks defy predictions to make opening hard for hunters. Plenty of burds still available. Mallards and Parries moving to new areas.


Opening Weekend review - Most duck hunters were happy with the start of the duck hunting season, with many getting good bags.Prospects for the rest of the season. Look out for leg bands. Weekly hunting forecast.


Opening Weekend review - While the hunter bag results were about average, ranging results unfortunately netted a large haul of hunters not sticking to the rules. A few lucky hunters did very well as they were in the ‘right spot’.


Opening Weekend review - Opening hampered by weather, but promising reports since indicate good season ahead.Quail hunting on the braided riverbeds looks good.

The Great North Canterbury Fish & Game Goose Hunt & Sporting Clay Shoot


Opening Weekend review - Opening weekend on the ‘coast was a raging success. Grey Valley duck hunt. Junior upland game hunt. Rest of season prospects.


Opening Weekend review - Torrential rain played havoc with opening weekend shooting dampening bumper season predictions. Update on Chukar hunting.


Opening Weekend review - A very promising gamebird hunting season looks to be underway. Plenty of ducks about, so far proving hard to shoot! Compliance excellent so far. Rest of season looking good. Fish & Game improves access to Lake Waipori.


Opening Weekend review - Southland had one of its poorest opening weekend’s for some time; low mallard population, calm weather. Compliance was once again disappointing. Better prospects ahead as weather deteriorates. Evening hunting looking good.

Alcohol and firearms do not mix - EVER

© Copyright Fish & Game New Zealand 2003-2011

Both Barrels is sent to you by Fish & Game New Zealand; 2 Jarden Mile, PO Box 13-141, Wellington Phone: 04 499-4767

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