Hawke's Bay Both Barrels July 2019

  • Hawke's Bay
  • 23/07/2019

Hawke's Bay Both Barrels July 2019

Off Season shooting makes you a better shot

With the closing of the waterfowl hunting season, it’s a good time to get out on our local riverbeds and look for upland game.

Pheasants and quail provide great sport to hunters in Hawke’s Bay as well as a tasty meal.

Pheasant feathers are also great for fly-tying!

As the upland game season also draws to a close, hunters tend to put their shotguns away for another year.

By joining a local claybird shooting club, you will be able to keep your eye in and have some fun with some like-minded people.

Hunting of species like pigeons and Canada Geese also provides great sport and practice over the off-season.

Farmers are often all too happy to provide access to hunters willing to deal with their pest problem.

Our favourite recipes

pheasant and mushroom

pheasant and mushroom

With a successful waterfowl season behind us and a month left of upland game hunting, many Hawke’s Bay hunters will have a freezer full of cleaned birds.

Eating shot game is an important part of the hunting experience and by putting in a little more prep, your bird will be that much more enjoyable! Here is one of our favourite pheasant recipes.


  • 2 Whole skinless legs and skinless breast of Pheasant, 2 of each-legs and breast.
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup whole pearl onions, Or 1/2 diced yellow onions
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 or 6 whole Shiitake mushrooms , roughly cut
  • 1 pint Crimini mushrooms (Or white), Sliced
  • 1 Cup White wine (I used Sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 Cup fresh curly leaf parsley , finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 tsp. salt , as needed to rub the meat
  • 1 tsp. pepper, as needed to rub the meat


  1. Prepare the Pheasant:
  2. Preheat a dutch oven (OR cast iron combo skillet or other heavy bottom skillet) on your stove to medium heat.
  3. salt and pepper all sides of the meat.
  4. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  5. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and stir until melted.
  6. Put in the pheasant legs first and sear two minutes on each sides. After one minute add the Pheasant breasts. WATCH them. It’s easy to overcook the breasts. Just sear until lightly brown but NOT cooked. (about 2 or three minutes) Scrape pan and stir in the bits.
  7. Remove the pheasant from pan and set aside.
  8. Add the remaining butter. When butter is melted add in the mushrooms. Stir occasionally and cook 5 minutes, covered, until partially cooked.
  9. Add onions and garlic. Stir together with partially cooked mushrooms.
  10. Turn the heat to high and Add the wine. Reduce the wine by half.
  11. Reduce heat to medium high.
  12. Add chicken broth, breasts and legs and cover them.
  13. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes until pheasant is done. (Check a leg)
  14. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce thickens.
  15. Add fresh parsley until wilted.
  16. Serve from the pot.

Gamebird Habitat Trust

Every year when you buy your game bird licence, a few dollars goes to the Gamebird Habitat Trust.

The trust was set up to enhance and protect game bird habitat in New Zealand.

The GBHT reviews applications annually and provides funding to private landowners for waterfowl habitat enhancement projects.

Here in Hawke’s Bay we have lost around 98% of our natural wetland habitat.

If you have a pond that could use some work to enhance game bird habitat or a swampy back paddock that could be scraped out and planted to hold waterfowl, give us a call at the Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game Office.

We can provide site visits, advice and can talk you through the application process.

Jesse Fiedlander, Hawkes Bay Fish & Game Regional Manager.

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