Both Barrels June 2020

  • Hawke's Bay
  • 11/06/2020

After a lot of uncertainty about the Game bird season it was great to have it confirmed and lock in the opening weekend.

Opening weekend compliance was great with everyone encountered following the rules, and the general mood of hunters being happy to be out catching up with family and friends and enjoying doing what they love.

With some rain finally falling after opening weekend hopefully some dams have got some water in them to attract birds back to your favourite spots!

Right: Target drakes over hens towards the end of the season.

The rivers still remain popular; reports are coming in of good numbers of birds still out on the rivers so it is worth checking out some backwaters for a new spot!

The 2020 game bird Hunter surveys are well underway with the first two survey periods already finished.

Those surveyed have reported decent numbers from right around the region

The survey only takes a couple of minutes to complete, so if you get a call over the next month or so to ask about how your hunting is going and have a few spares mins then we would like to talk to you!

Friendly reminder from our team; we have had some complaints about the state of some maimais on the rivers left with rubbish and empty cartridges on the ground.

These areas are for everyone to enjoy and need to be respected! Please be sure to take all rubbish away with you and leave your spots just as you found them.

Season ahead

The waterfowl season is not quite finished with the last weekend coming up (June 20th and 21st).

Hunters are encouraged to get out and enjoy the last moments of the water fowling season in the region for 2020.

The more of us that get out hunting over the weekends the better the hunting will be for everyone as more birds will be kept moving.

Let’s all try and finish the season off with a real bang and make a good effort to really get out there over these last weeks.

If you haven’t bought a licence yet or have a mate that is keen to give hunting a go, remember that day licences are now on sale for the remainder of the season.

With the delayed season this year due to Covid-19, the end of the waterfowl season is slightly closer to the breeding season than previous years, therefore if possible we recommend that hunters try and target Drakes over hens towards the end of the season.

Upland Game

The drier summer has been a great one for Pheasants with plenty of hunters reporting good success!

Pheasants hate rain at the best of times and it can really have an impact on their breeding success.

There have been some hunters really putting in the time and getting some good numbers which has been pleasing to hear.

Reports received have been a mix of older and younger birds, another sign of a good breeding year.

There has still been the usual numbers of hens seen by hunters and with the cock pheasant able to service a large number of hens in a season, hopefully next season will see more good numbers out there.

Calling all upland game hunters

Photo 2

Good predator control and we will see more of these on our river terraces!

Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game in conjunction with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are looking for keen volunteers to regularly check a network of predator traps on our local rivers.

This is a great opportunity for upland game hunters to help increase the populations of pheasants and quail in the areas we hunt, as well as helping out all the other wildlife that call our river corridors home.

The areas we have chosen to set up trap lines have been chosen because of their high value to hunters. These are:

  • The Tukituki River between Blacks Bridge and Red Bridge
  • The Ngaruroro River around Maraekakaho
  • The Tutaekuri River above and below Puketapu

For further information or to register your interest as a volunteer please ring the Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game office on 06 8442460 or email

Hot barrels.

Nick Page, Hawkes Bay Fish & Game officer.

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