Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 26 April 2023

  • Wellington
  • 18/09/2023

Cracker Game Season Ahead! 

April 28, 2023

Hunters are anticipating an excellent season ahead (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)

With less than two weeks 'til Opening Weekend (May 7 and 8), game bird hunters are getting hyped for what appears to be a cracker season ahead.

Excellent bird numbers, good water levels in ponds and wetlands, everything appears to be aligned... all we need is for the weather to play ball on the day.    

There's still time to get sorted, just don’t leave your preparation to the last minute.

Your top priority is making sure you get your licence, then follow the handy checklist below to ensure you're all set to go. 

From next Thursday, May 5, we'll start sending our regular weekly Game Bird Hunting Bulletins with weather forecasts, reports and tips. 

In the meantime, here's some info and handy hints we hope will help you get set for the coming season.       

Season Prospects Looking Great  

Everything is aligned for a great season in 2022 (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)

There's been plenty of excitement in the hunting community about the number of mallards around ahead of new the season.     

Great breeding and brood-rearing conditions, plenty of rain right through summer and, subsequently, good food availability, will have seen more birds fledge and survive to adulthood.

Ultimately this means hunters can expect to have plenty of opportunities at ducks this season.

We also strongly encourage you to make the most of your investment in a hunting licence and get out as often as you can after Opening, particularly when the best waterfowling weather arrives.   

Check out our 'Hunting News' newsletter below for more in depth analysis of the season prospects.          

Pre-Season Checklist  

MUST HAVES – Get them sorted early:

-  2021 Game Licence and regs guide

-  Check up on your hunting mates


-  Confirm access with landowners

- Grab a permit/access book if you need one for public areas for latest access requirements


- Shotgun – cleaned, patterned (if necessary), have a few practice shots.

- Decoys – painted, rigged, and/or replaced.

- Ammo – do a stock take; don’t leave topping up to the last minute as there will be shortages this season.

-  Dog – sharpened up on fitness and retrieving.

-  Check your wet weather gear - waders and jackets. 


-  Maimai is up to scratch – material for dressing is sorted for camo.

-  Maimai should be marked up by now.

- Try not to disturb the birds on your pond too close to Opening.


-  Double check your firearms licence – NZ Police are advising to expect delays in processing reapplications.  

Get everything sorted now, and it’ll make it easier and more enjoyable come May 7... Opening Day!.

Hunting News  

You may already have received a copy of our 2022 'Hunting News' in the mail (if not, the newsletter should hopefully arrive soon). 

Click on the cover image below to download a digital version and catch up on the season prospects, new hunting opportunities, recipes, news on what we've been up to and a heap of handy tips to make your season more successful.  

Band Returns Needed

If you harvest any birds carrying precious metal bands, or have bands from previous seasons you haven't told us about, please let us know.

You’re welcome to keep the band, we just need some basic details such as where and when you got it.

Also, this season keep any eye out for some very special bands - because of shortages due to Covid, we've used numerous Wildlife Service bands which haven't been seen since the department was replaced by DOC way back in 1987.     

Get those band detail into us and play your part in mallard management.

Must-see TV 

Don't miss the the waterfowl show for NZ Hunter Adventures which airs at 8:30pm, Sunday, May 1 on DUKE TV.

Season 8, Episode 10 – MUMS AND DADS ON THE DUCKS

The mums and dads take to the water to harvest some ducks during the last waterfowl season. When things turn competitive, the mums call in help from Dame Lynda Topp.


If you have a game bird hunting related message or information you'd like us to publish on this noticeboard, please contact the Wellington Fish & Game office on (06)359-0409 or flick us an email.  

More Posts