Both Barrels June 2023 - North Canterbury

  • North Canterbury
  • 20/06/2023

July is great for hunting

July is the last month of our main three-month-long hunting season in North Canterbury.

It's a time when hunting opportunities abound for those prepared to get out there and put in the effort.

With a bit of time spent scouting for the birds, and some door-knocking, you often be surprised by the results you can achieve.

Recently three of us set up for some paddock parrie hunting and were astounded by the number of birds that came in.

The weather had turned atrocious, and we were about to learn why it's important to be out hunting when the weather is turning.

Super dog Whio brings in the first of many birds from our afternoon paddock hunt.

What shocked us, even more, was the number of mallards that came in on our parrie decoys (we had no mallard decoys with us), it was like they were e super keen to get in on the action that these parries were onto and oblivious to us set up in front of them.

So what had started as a parrie focussed hunt turned into a waterfowl extravaganza and our persistence in the face of howling southerly paid off with a nice collection of parries and mallards for our afternoon.

July also has the Matariki Holiday weekend on 14 July, giving you the chance for a long weekend of hunting with a high propensity that the weather will be in our favour being in the depths of winter.

It gives you the chance to plan a bit of a hunting mission with your mates and family, and the chance to get a few more birds for the plate.

After July there is still the opportunity for paradise shelduck hunting in Area B (west of State Highway 1) till September 17,  Pukeko hunting till September 24.

If you haven't tried some of the delicious recipes from the Fish & Game cookbook,  grab yourself a copy and try your hand at some of the great recipes in it for all our game birds.

Take a Newbie Hunting 

Ann putting her training into practice.

July is also a great time to introduce new hunters to the sport, recently our colleague Ann from our Wellington office expressed a desire to go game bird hunting when she was down in Canterbury for Kings Birthday Weekend.

Always willing to oblige, we set about organising a weekend hunt.

Being completely new to hunting we teed a training day followed by a hunting day for Ann.

We took her along to the South Island Sporting Clays Club day for some shooting tuition.

Despite being seven months pregnant, she was soon breaking clays under the excellent guidance of Andrew Bakker.

All of which was get training the following afternoon when we took Ann on her hunting mission out the Canterbury Plains.

Five parries later she was all smiles as we packed up for the day.

The next day she returned to Wellington with her bags laden down with the meat from some extra nice game birds she had harvested here self.

So if a seven-month pregnant mum-to-be can get out there hunting for the first time - what's your excuse for not taking some of your mates who've never hunted before hunting?

Upland game hunting

The second of our three weekends of wild pheasant hunting is on July 1 and 2.

Quail hunting is challenging but very exciting!

The bag limit is one cock pheasant per licenced hunter per day.

We have some of the best wild pheasant hunting in the country in North Canterbury with hunters travelling from across the country to take up the opportunity to challenge themselves.

However, we often overlook Quail hunting in North Canterbury, and with a 10-bird-per-day bag limit, there are lots of chances for hunters wanting to bag themselves some of these quick cunning birds.

A dog is almost essential for quail hunting as they are super smart and you don't have one ask around and plan a quail hunting trip with some mates (old or new-found ones) and try these delicious birds.

Warm Barrels

Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish and Game 

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