Both Barrels July 2023 - Central South Island

  • Central South Island
  • 17/07/2023

Both Barrels July 2023 - Central South Island

Above: Gundogs Tilly and Maverick after a solid day retrieving at Wainono Wetland Reserve-photo by Steve McKnight

The traditional game bird hunting season is ending shortly in the Central South Island Region.

The mallard/grey duck, NZ shoveler duck, pūkeko and black swan seasons all close on the last Sunday in July.

For 2023, the closing day is Sunday, July 30.

We do hope you’ve had a great season so far and can get out again by July 30.

Be sure to check out all the season dates first-hand in this 2023 Game Bird Hunting Guide, including those for our 2024 summer season.

If you are ever in doubt about a certain regulation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Central South Island Fish & Game: email -, phone – 03 615 8400.

The paradise shelduck and upland game seasons continue

Don’t put your shotgun away just yet.

The quail and chukar seasons close on the last Sunday in August.


Chukar hunters are required to report their hunting activities to CSI Fish & Game within a month of the season closing date – that reporting deadline is 27 September.

To help with this reporting requirement chukar hunters are urged to contact us to receive a hunting diary that handily specifies all the pieces of information to provide.

Please contact our office to get yours – we are happy to assist.

Email Central South Island Fish & Game or phone 03 6158400.


Hunting quail on the gorse-infested margins of the Rakitata River-photo by Richie Cosgrove

Quail are scattered throughout the region and are most active on warm sunny days.  

Scrubby riverbed areas and rolling hills in the high country strewn with matagouri are a good place to start looking for quail.

Paradise shelduck / pūtakitaki

The season continues through to the last Sunday in September, West of State Highway 1, within the Central South Island Fish & Game Region.

Developed pastures and places where farm animals are being fed-out winter crops can be hot spots for parries in late winter – especially in the high country.

The scenic high-country surroundings add to the enjoyment of the hunt and there might even be a few Canada geese to hunt too.

Parries often decoy well, so if you find where they are feeding and set up right on that exact spot, chances are you’ll be in for some epic action.  

hunting paradise shelduck in the high country is as much about the scenery as it is about the harvest-Photo by Rhys Adams

Plan for hunting in 2024

2024 summer season

Your current 2023 whole season game bird licence covers you for the 2024 summer season for mallard and paradise shelduck.

For just two weekends in February, four days total, mallard and paradise shelduck can be hunted under specific and restrictive ‘summer season’ regulations.

We urge anyone intending to hunt during the summer season to thoroughly read the regulation guide and to get in touch with our office if any clarification is needed.  

Need a spot for Opening Weekend 2024?

Depending on water levels the Central South Island Fish & Game Council has up to 15 stands available for hunting the Opening Weekend on wetlands it owns or manages.

The stands offer modest hunting opportunities and are a great way to secure a spot for opening in attractive hunting grounds.

Rights to hunt these stands on Opening Weekend are balloted annually – you can apply to enter the ballot during the month of February.

If this sounds like the plan for you then be sure to mark it in your 2024 calendar now and get in touch with us in February.

Our managed wetlands webpage has all the ballot info you need - click here

Promoting our values

CSI Fish & Game promote game bird hunting in various ways, including this Both Barrels newsletter, our annual pre-season magazine and in the local papers.

Through this promotion, it is important that we show the general public and our local communities who we are as game bird hunters, how/when/where we hunt and what we value.

Every year Ian Burton and Adam Rossiter travel all the way from Rangiora to South Canterbury to do what they love – hunting Opening Weekend at their favourite pond' photo by Rhys Adams

For example, it is helpful to remind members of the public that the gunfire they hear coming from the wetland throughout the season is nothing to be concerned about.

Rather, it is just a ‘loud’ way for their fellow members of the community to harvest free-range meat – an adventurous alternative to a trip to the supermarket.

Sharing a photo of community members like you out hunting is a great way to personalise hunters in the community.

It’s a great reminder to whoever reads the paper, like your mates on the school board or in the netball team etc, that duck hunters are just regular folks like them who love hunting and harvesting ducks.

If you would like to help us to promote game bird hunting, please consider emailing good-quality photos of you and your hunting companions from the CSI Region over the 2023 game bird season.

Email photos for consideration to Rhys Adams:

Hot barrels

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer


More Posts