Wellington Game Bird Hunting Bulletin - 25 June 2020

  • Wellington
  • 24/06/2020
  • Wellington

FG wgtn newsletter hdr march 2020 final


Rain Keeps The Ducks Moving Around 

June 25, 2020 


There's been a lot of rain around the lower North Island this past week, with more to come over the next three or four days.

Another good retrieve for Ash on a cold and windy Lake Wairarapa day2Another good retrieve for Ash on a cold and windy Lake Wairarapa day (Copyright Hamish Carnachan)

The good news for hunters is that sodden pastures are proving to be a magnet for the mallards.

While driving around the region this week, big flocks of birds were observed feeding on flooded farmland from Taihape all the way down to Featherston. 

Lake Wairarapa is currently so high after all the rain and the ongoing closure of Lake Onoke into Cook Strait that it is spilling way back into adjacent farms.

This is providing some excellent evening shooting for those hunters who get their positioning right. Find a good flight line, some cover (not always easy in the open) and a reasonable decoy spread will have ducks dipping in for a look as they head in from the lake. 

With all the water around at the moment ducks seem to be moving throughout the day which makes for fantastic shooting if you can wrangle a day off.

If you're stuck at work, don't worry because the rain and shifty winds forecast for Saturday and Sunday will provide ample opportunity. 

Remember the main waterfowl season closes July 12. That means there are still a few weeks left so make the most of them.

Day licences are available for those slow off the mark this year - grab your licence here. 

Finally, this is the last week that hunters are able to access the JK Donald Block; please see the notice board below for more details.  

Weather Outlook

Click here for updated weather information from MetService.




Reader Hunting Photos

Michael Waterreus starting his two boys out early Cameron 6 and Scotty 3 all camoed upMichael Waterreus starting his two boys out early - Cameron (6) and Scotty (3) all camoed up and looking the part. 

More awesome shots keep rolling in from Wellington Fish & Game region hunters! 

This week we're sharing Michael Waterreus' Opening Morning pic of his two young boys - Cameron (6) and Scotty (3).

The boys certainly look the part and again it's great to see more young ones being introduced to the tradition of Opening Weekend duck hunting.   

Please keep your great hunting pics coming. You can email them through or get in touch on the phone (06-359-0409) and we’ll let you know how best to get them to us. 

Remember that it's really handy to have names of hunters too, and perhaps a few details of roughly where the pics were taken so we can caption the shots.

If you don't have pics but just want to let us know how your season is going , or ask us a question, please feel free to get in touch - (06)359-0409.

Time To 'Go For Green'

Hunters are encouraged to target drakes and let the hens passHunters are encouraged to target drakes, and let the hens pass.

Wellington Fish & Game is challenging hunters to “go for green” and let the hens pass as we get closer to the breeding season.

Our research into the mallard duck has shown that as little as 35% of hens will survive their first year of life.

Predators – cats, stoats and hawks – take their fair share of hens, but hunters are estimated to shoot at least as many hens as predators kill every year.

In fact, it was calculated that hunters take approximately 30% of hens in a single season!

For each one of these hens that is shot, we lose a brood of ducklings for the following season and subsequently have fewer ducks to hunt... Think about that.

So, because this year the season was extended to account for the delayed start, we encourage hunters to only shoot green-heads for the remainder of the waterfowl season.        

 - By Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.


Want to improve your pond? 

Creating a wetland, or simply want to improve your pond to attract more ducks? We’re here to help!

Wellington Fish & Game offers a range of advice and assistance for hunters and landowners who want to create wetlands.

No matter how large or small your pond project, we’ll help where we can because any new wetland is valuable habitat and refuge for waterfowl!

We can even provide advice about how to apply for funding from the Game Bird Habitat Trust which could help see your vision turn to reality.

If you want to talk about your wetland project ideas, give the Wellington Fish & Game team a call on (06)359 0409. 


Lake Wairarapa hunting stands

Lake Wairarapa Hunters are reminded that we need photos of their maimais as requested.

Please email these into us with your stand number and, if possible, GPS coordinates. 

Thanks to those hunters who have already been in contact.

JK Donald Block Access

Access to the JK Donald Block is still disrupted while the bridge across the Otakura Stream is replaced. 

Anyone whose hunting plans may be affected this weekend should contact Wellington Fish & Game and we'll put you in touch with the landowner who may be able to facilitate an alternative route to the JK Donald Block.

Please note that this is the last weekend hunters will be able to access the JK Donald Block due to farming operations.     

Pheasant Hunting Opens At Santoft Forest

Upland game hunting is now available in the Ernslaw Santoft and Waitarere forests in Manawatu.

You must apply to Wellington Fish & Game by email or phone (06-3590409), and we’ll issue you a permit, maps of open areas, and advise you of other requirements for hunting in the forest.

We emphasize that you must have a hunting permit and stick to the designated hunting areas. Anyone who fails to meet these requirements will be trespassed. 

Hunting in the forests is a privilege. Please make sure you meet your obligations so we can continue to have upland game hunting at these sites.    

Don’t Forget Those Bird Bands

Please get band details into us for any birds you’ve harvested carrying this precious metal.

By all means, keep the band, but the details are really important for us in terms of providing information we use for the management of mallards in the lower North Island.

Band info can be emailed to us or use the free-phone number 0800 BIRD BAND.

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