Both Barrels July 2022

  • Hawke's Bay
  • 19/07/2022

Both Barrels July 2022

Another Waterfowl Season Been and Gone

Another waterfowling season is behind us here in Hawkes Bay, and you would have to say it was a fairly standard season.

Starting off with the normal calm, foggy and then clear bluebird days of opening weekend, then random pockets of wild waterfowling weather dispersed throughout the season.

It's always hard to predict how well the season went when you have hunters reporting great seasons and others poor to average.

So we will have to wait until the completion of the ‘Game Bird Hunter Phone Surveys’ before we can analyse that data and stack it up against previous years.

Still Hunting Opportunities Available

Although the main waterfowl season is over, and many will see that as the end of hunting opportunities for the year, don’t forget that pheasant, quail and pukeko can still be hunted until August 28th.

Upland game provides such a different hunting experience than waterfowl.

It’s a little less social than the hours sitting alongside mates in a maimai sharing terrible yarns and is more about the bond between a hunter and their dog, putting in the hard yards as a team in pursuit of a wary and cunning pheasant.

Something definitely better experienced than reading about.

And Yes, that was pukeko we mentioned!

Underrated on the dinner plate and in abundance in the region.

A very cunning and tricky bird to hunt at times, but there would be plenty of orchardists and market gardeners who would appreciate the help from a local hunter to harvest a few pukeko.

Staff would highly recommend trying ‘pulled pukeko,’ it goes great in burgers and wraps!!

You heard it here first!

Above Right: Pulled Pukeko Burgers will be your family's new favourite!

The work never ends


Seven ferrets in 11 Days from this wetland!!

The breeding season is in full swing already, with mallards chasing each other around, pairing up and mating.

As game bird hunters, this is one of the areas you can really have a positive impact on waterfowl numbers in your wetlands.

Predator trapping is very rewarding but also often difficult to sustain.

So, if you are going to do it, we recommend starting ASAP and running a rigorous program as long as you can towards the end of the year.

This will hit those predators hard while nesting mallards and ducklings are at their most vulnerable.

After that, you can ease off the efforts a bit, so you are fresh and keen to get into it again in the lead-up to the new season and then again for the next breeding season.

Share the load between hunting mates and keep those predator numbers down.

Feel free to call or email the F&G office for trapping advice.

Habitat Work


Four projects down, two to go for this ONE landowner!! Amazing work and commitment!

Leading up to the end of June cutoff date for Gamebird Habitat Trust funding applications, staff were busy assisting landowners in developing wetland enhancement or creation plans and then completing and submitting funding applications.

Over those five weeks leading to the end of June, staff visited six different landowners to look at potential wetland projects and give advice.

This resulted in three GBHT applications being sent in for this round of funding and two likely to go in next year.

Staff have since inspected another project that shows real promise.

It's great to see landowners wanting to do this work to enhance these otherwise wet and unproductive areas of their farms.

Support with funding or not, it certainly isn’t cheap work, and we tip our hats to them for undertaking this work.

It bodes well for our region’s waterfowl going forward, and all hunters should be grateful for this work they do.

If you hunt on someone else’s property, be sure to ask how you can assist them with this kind of work; whether that be some fencing help, planting, or predator control, it all helps!

And obviously, if you’re a landowner with some wetland development projects you want to get stuck into, get in touch with the F&G office, and we’ll assist you as best we can.

Warm Barrels

Tom Winlove, Hawkes Bay Fish & Game

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