Both Barrels May 2023 - Nelson/Marlborough

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 15/05/2023

Both Barrels May 2023 - Nelson/Marlborough

Above Right: Flooded rivers meant some hunters couldn’t reach their maimai or had to abandon ship.

Opening Day Wrap Up

Instead of the usual sunny skies in the top of the South, hunters were greeted with rain and wind on the Opening Day of the 2023 game bird season. 

The Tasman area experienced very heavy rain on Friday before Opening Day, and as a result, plan B was required for a few hunters who would have been shooting on rivers or some estuary locations and couldn’t get to their maimai. 

Rangers were out and about during the day and caught up with a number of groups, some hurriedly looking for another location as flood water timed with a high tide meant plenty of water was coming up from below as well as from above. 

Compliance was good, which is what we have come to expect with hunters in this region, with just one hunter found without a hunting licence.  

It’s not often in this region that you get the perfect coastal hunting combination of a morning high tide timing with a strong northerly on Opening Day, but the Saturday was exactly that. Birds were flying all day, and most hunters were happy. 

The Marlborough region had not experienced Opening Day conditions like that in two decades, ducks that usually roost on the Wairau River were being moved off by rising floodwater, searching the countryside for flooded paddocks to dine on worms, and some great hunting was had, with good bags from both private and public land. 

Facilitated Hunts

Good quail populations exist within exotic forestry, you just have to find the birds.

We have upland game bird hunting opportunities coming up this season. 

If you want to put your name on the ballot for the Rabbit Island upland game hunt, email Jacob Lucas here

Likewise, we have just held our first OneFortyOne (OFO) forests quail hunting weekend.  We have three more hunting weekends over the season on the following dates:

  • June 17-18
  • July 15-16
  • Aug 19-20 

The OFO arrangement allows for vehicle access into the Golden Downs and Rai/Pelorus general access forestry blocks, and there are plenty to chose from. Email Jacob Lucas to get a piece of the action.

Also, for those wanting to register for the Wakapuaka Pukeko drive on Sunday, 9 July, email here.

Warm Barrels

Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game.

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