Both Barrels June 2023 - West Coast

  • West Coast
  • 20/06/2023

Both Barrels June 2023 - West Coast

Above: Dan Scoltock making use of paradise shelducks mobbing up during a frost and readily achieving a bag limit. (Photo Dan Scoltock).

June brings stable weather

When you take up game bird hunting, you quickly realise that the weather has a large influence on success.

Over the last few weeks, we have experienced very stable weather with some hard frosts.

The combination of these frosts and the shortest day being upon us, with a bit of scouting good mobs should be found.

Paradise Shelduck in particular are known to mob up during frosts, so be sure to check your go-to parrie spots.

As for ducks, they too congregate around ponds with cover and moving water, with spring creeks or bush ponds well worth a visit.

The paddock activity will likely drop off but be sure to be there when things warm up alongside some rain, as they are hungry.

As always your local pukeko is always there and waiting!

Game Bird Hunting Access

Hamish Coates helping out a farmer by harvesting a few swans. (Photo Baylee Kersten)

The West Coast is unique when it comes to finding hunting opportunities for waterfowl as we have a lot of land; that’s if it’s not raining, and not enough hunters.

Many hunters would be surprised that the majority of landowners will not turn away game bird hunters if they make the effort of calling in and getting permission.

Opening day is a bit of an exception but that’s to be expected with it being not missed by many but this late in the season you should have no issues.

The key to making the most of the readily available land is to go for a drive and spot some waterfowl or get on Google Maps and do some guesswork.

There is even a huntable properties list in the regulations, which is a great starting point.

Once you have eyed up a good possie, call into the nearest farmhouse who will either point you in the right direction or will get you out and thank you for helping manage their game bird population.

If you get any other response, it's likely either they are game bird hunters themselves or they have had negative experiences in the past.

This is especially important to consider when you go out hunting this season and seasons to come that your actions don’t only impact you, but every hunter that follows you.

Therefore, you owe to your peers to ensure you don’t impede opportunities in our sport by sticking to the rules and respecting farmers who provide you with access.

Nonetheless, this season ensure you capitalise on West Coast hospitality to make the most out of your season.

Get out, be visual, seek permission and get hunting!

Organised Hunts

The Barrytown Pukeko Drive 2023- Photo Baylee Kersten

We have now completed two of our three organised hunts for the year, and they are going well.

Hunters have braved strong winds and rain but many have been rewarded with heavy bags and great social outings.

The last events to occur are the Karamea game bird hunting weekend.

If you are not on the keen hunter's list but are interested in the events email .

As you’ll see below, we are promoting the Shortest Weekend Duck Hunt.

The 24th and 25th of June is the weekend Fish and Game are encouraging all hunters to get out hunting game birds again.

Each year, at hunters' request, Fish and Game promote a weekend to get hunters out in force and keep birds in circulation.

A second opening weekend in essence.

Birds will have settled well since the opening day in May, and it may be worth checking your regular spots for large concentrations of birds.

With day licences available, it might also be a great chance to introduce someone new to the sport.

The event and important dates calendar can be found below.




Opening Weekend

6th & 7th May 2023


Pukeko Drive

28th May 2023

Birchfield, Westport

Pukeko Drive

4th June 2023


Shortest Weekend Duck Hunt

24th & 25th June 2023


Game Bird Hunting Trip

1st & 2nd July 2023


Closing Weekend

29th & 30st July 2023


Opening of Summer Pukeko Season

1st January 2024


Opening of Summer Paradise Shelduck & Swan Season

24th February 2024

Locations 200m or more from open water for Paradise Shelduck

Closing of Summer Seasons

17th March 2024


Hope to see you out there.

Warm Barrels

Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer

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