Both Barrels April 2024 - Hawke's Bay

  • Hawke's Bay
  • 21/04/2024

Both Barrels April 2024 - Hawke's Bay

All signs are pointing towards a bumper game bird season for 2024.

While recent dry weather is seeing many areas drying up, birds are still present in good numbers across the region.

Hunters focusing on traditional areas may not be as successful this year as those who are more mobile and have the ability to shoot areas like open paddocks.

Farms are still harvesting maize and the ducks have been flocking into these fields.

Waterfowl hunters with layout blinds shooting these areas should have a great opening weekend.

Hawke's Bay rivers will provide some good shooting on opening weekend with many access points having been repaired since last year’s cyclone damage, but you’ll need to do some leg work before hand as some areas have changed.

Despite feeding in harvested maize fields, ducks will still congregate in backwater pools along the river.

Those waterfowl hunters who spend time identifying these sites should have a good opening weekend.

River shooting provides some great opportunities for those willing to do a little extra work to identify areas that the ducks are using.

Game bird hunters are encouraged to take opportunities to hunt other game birds through the region.

Populations of California quail & pheasants are recovering, and they are enjoying the abundance vegetation along the riverbeds and the dry weather so numbers are looking pretty good.

There are plenty of opportunities to harvest paradise shelducks in the agricultural regions particularly in Central Hawkes Bay.

For the hunter who likes a challenge, there is an abundance of Pūkeko throughout the region with many landowners happy to have the numbers knocked back.

Opening Weekend Operations

Planning is being finalised for our operation with Rangers & Police who will be out & about checking compliance with regulations, so make sure you up to date with the current season's regulations by clicking here

Hide Building on a Shoestring Budget

After two years of talk and gonna do discussions, work started seriously on hide construction, some rules were applied to the job which was to spend as little money as possible and use as much recycled material as we could.

Materials used were old posts, (deer posts are great for their length) large pallet timber for framing, (this was coated in waterproofing to stop rot), stain or oil, suitable flooring was steel meshed source out of a scrap bin, roofing tin was cover sheets saved from various building jobs.

A design was soon drawn up but was immediately lost due to misplacement or maybe blown away.

But the important part was to set a height for levels and then not worry too much about straightness.

Money had to be spent on hardware and the odd 2x6 floor joist when recycled did not cut it.

Just make sure that the plan can change to what you have, test lengths out before you cut, do test runs on roof height and walkways, have a post planning /drinks to cover the next working bee and have fun, the kids came often to help even if it was to make sure that mud pies are good to throw.

This hide took three guys three-four Saturdays with a couple of after-work hours to build no one being a tradie but a hell of a lot put another bugle in to make sure it wouldn’t blow away.

Finally, from all of us at the Hawkes Bay Fish & Game, have fun out there this season, good luck, and be safe!


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