Both Barrels May 2024 - Taranaki

  • Taranaki
  • 23/05/2024

Both Barrels May 2024 - Taranaki

While the fine, calm and clear weather on opening weekend definitely favoured the ducks, most hunters were satisfied with their weekend, even if many didn’t reach their bag limits. Hunters on maize paddocks did well on parries and those hunting lakes and ponds took some reasonable bags of mallards, although generally less than last season.

Pictured above:Taranaki hunters Ian Phillips and John Meikle with their opening day limits of mallard duck.

While there has been some rain, we’ve yet to get enough to refill ephemeral wetlands and create standing water in paddocks that are so attractive to mallards and paradise shelduck.  Apart from a couple of days of  southerly winds, it’s also been remarkably calm. With winter approaching, we should soon get some weather to move ducks around and create more hunting opportunities.

In the meantime, it’s still worth a drive-around looking for ducks on late-harvested maize paddocks and areas of new grass, scouting out farm oxy ponds for a morning or evening shoot, walking the streams, or targeting ponds that have not yet been shot.

Paradise shelduck are still being attracted to paddocks where maize has been harvested for grain.


Why not go for a pheasant hunt

Permits are available for three forest blocks in the Taranaki region. Permits for hunting in Harakeke and Tauwhare forests near Whanganui are available in a weekly draw. To participate in the draw, hunters must obtain a free permit from Taranaki Fish & Game (either 021 270 0239 or, then prior to noon each Thursday contact Taranaki Fish & Game to go into the draw for a permit for the coming weekend.

For the Nukumaru hunting area there is no weekly draw, but hunters need a permit from Taranaki Fish & Game and they must contact the respective grazing lessee listed on their permit prior to hunting. A special condition for Nukumaru block’s 4 and 5 is that in accordance with conditions in the lease agreement with Whanganui District Council, permission must be granted by the lease holder before access to those blocks is permitted.

There is also a lot of good pheasant habitat available outside these permitted areas, in coastal sand country, exotic forestry, lupin, broom, box-thorn, ink weed and briar patches. The best pheasant hunting occurs on bright days, although Taranaki pheasants can also be active in the rain and drizzle! Sunny spells have the birds moving about from daybreak to mid-morning and again from midafternoon to dusk.


Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin

Hamish Carnachan, from Wellington Fish & Game puts out an excellent weekly hunting bulletin on a Thursday with prospects for the coming weekend and heaps of useful tips and videos to help increase your success and enjoyment. If you’ve not already signed up, you can do so by emailing


Return duck band details


Please send in the details of duck bands from birds you’ve harvested this season. This information is crucial to our research and management - so please provide as much detail as possible, including an approximate location. This is for our records only.

The preferred method is to fill out an on-line form via this link or else contact the Taranaki Fish & Game office on 0212700239 or email

Send in your band details before August 31, and you'll go in the Banding Together draw.  Hunting & Fishing NZ in association with Banded Avery have again generously provided five prizes consisting of two boxes of Banded XD (extra detail) decoys. This includes one box of mallards and one box of NZ shoveler decoys.

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