Both Barrels June 2023 - Southland

  • Southland
  • 20/06/2023

Both Barrels June 2023 - Southland

Above: Foster waterfowl hunting enthusiasm in your youngster by hunting with them throughout the season.

Late-Season Hunting is Great!

As we move into the latter half of the waterfowl hunting season, many hunters pack away their decoys and duck callers and eagerly await next year's Opening Weekend.

However, these hunters who pack their gear away too soon miss out on a myriad of late-season hunting benefits.

For example, hunting later in the season offers an opportunity to get more value out of your game bird hunting licence, spend time with your family, work the dog, harvest birds in prime condition, deepen your understanding of mallard duck behaviour and perfect your calling.

This article will explore the many benefits of late-season hunting and hopefully inspire you to head out for a few more hunts this season.

  1. Getting more value out of your game bird hunting licence
    When you purchase a game bird hunting licence, you invest in an experience that extends beyond the Opening Weekend.
    By taking advantage of late-season hunting, you maximize the value of your licence and make the most of your investment.

  2. Spending time with your kids/grandkids
    Late season is an ideal opportunity to get the kids out in the maimai.
    Hunting in the first half of July aligns with the school holidays, providing an excellent opportunity for quality family time in the great outdoors.
    By involving your children in the hunting experience, you not only impart valuable skills but also create lasting memories.

  3. Working the dog
    For those who hunt with dogs, you will know there is nothing quite like seeing your dog retrieve a bird you have shot yourself.
    If you are on the fence about whether to go for a duck hunt, think of your furry mate.
    It doesn’t take much to make them happy, and if you can get one or two good retrieves in for a morning, that will make for a very enjoyable hunt.
    Hunting through the season provides more opportunities to work with your dog
  4. Harvesting prime condition birds
    Late-season waterfowl hunting often yields birds that are in excellent condition.
    Fat, late-season mallards make for excellent eating.

    The winter rain creates lots of feeding opportunities for mallards which helps them to rapidly gain condition.
    This means you have the opportunity to bring home some particularly tasty mallards for the table.

  5. Understanding mallard duck behaviour
    Late-season hunting provides a unique opportunity to study and learn about mallard duck behaviour.
    You can observe how they respond to changing weather patterns, such as rain and frost, and how they behave with different moon phases.
    By paying close attention to these factors, you can improve your hunting strategies and increase your chances of success.
    Understanding the nuances of mallard duck behaviour adds depth to your hunting experience and hones your skills.

  6. Refining your calling
    Late-season hunting offers a chance to refine your calling skills.
    On Opening Weekend, some of us can get a bit of stage fight, with all the maimai companions and the Opening Weekend tally on the line.
    Later in the season, when you may have the pond to yourself, it provides an excellent opportunity to practice and perfect your duck calling.

As you can see, there are many great reasons to hunt right through until the end of the season, so get out there and make the most of it!

Warm Barrels

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish and Game

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