Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 11 May 2023

  • Wellington
  • 9/05/2023

Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 11 May 2023

Pictured above: Ash with her first retrieve of the season (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)

Season Off To Great Start!

Opening went off with a real bang - one of the better starts to the season in recent years with plenty of ducks and generally happy hunters. 

There was just enough breeze and light drizzle first thing Saturday, which made for some fast and furious action across most ponds.

Conditions settled later in the morning before the forecast northerly kicked in again mid-afternoon and got birds back on the wing, making for some superb evening shooting.        

Wairarapa hunters Ollie (left) and Alex Mitchell (right) helped dad Derek out with this great bag on Opening Day.    

A really good weather system yesterday and today has seen some awesome hunting on the big water with the birds really stirred up and moving around all day.

Conditions are calm for Saturday before winds build and showers come in on Sunday.

The recent heavy rain has added to already waterlogged paddocks around the region so still some good hunting prospects for the weekend.

So, the season is off to a flyer! Grab your licence and get into it, or get mum out into the maimai with the family this weekend to celebrate Mother's day. 

Just a note to hunters using the JK Donald Block in Wairarapa - Access is restricted to quads/ATVs only. The track is currently too wet for 4WDs. Please do not park on Paula Gillett's property (without her express permission) or block access ways.    

Here's the outlook for Opening Weekend...

Best Duck Numbers In A Decade

There was plenty of talk in the lead up to Opening Day about a boost in mallard numbers.

Going by the excellent bags we saw around the region while ranging over Opening Weekend that certainly rang true.  

The graph below shows our latest counts, taken just before the season started.   

The data doesn't actually take into account what we assume were a large number of birds that we likely missed because they were concentrated on flooded pasture and late-harvested crops which had been delayed by the weather.

We expect that the abundance of food still around will mean the mallards stay in the region longer before moving off to other feeding grounds.

This is an excellent prospect for local hunters- it should make or a stellar season!  

Weekend Weather Outlook 

The brighter the colour the stronger the wind (Credit: Windy.com)

Calm conditions on Saturday for the lower North Island but there should be some good early morning and evening hunting as ducks head out onto flooded pasture to feed on worms and other insects.  

There should also be plenty of birds to intercept as they transition from roosting areas to feeding sites. 

Sunday sees an improvement in waterfowling weather with a northerly building and showers which could stir things up again. 

Plenty on offer with all the water around despite the calm Saturday, so get amongst it.       

Click here for the latest weather updates from Metservice, or visit the Windy website to track conditions coming our way.

Take A Mate Hunting

Introducing someone new to game bird hunting is a rewarding experience (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)

Now that the merry chaos of Opening Weekend is behind us, it's a great opportunity to introduce someone new to the pursuit of game bird hunting.

Taking a mate or family member on a low-key evening hunt, for just a few hours, is ample to whet their appetite and give them a taste of the whole duck hunting experience is all about.

Even if no birds eventuate, they'll likely appreciate the down time in a beautiful outdoor environment, get a small taste of what draws us back year after year.

If it comes off and ducks start decoying in, all the better as its hard to escape that sort of excitement.

With some sectors of society increasingly trying to call into question our pursuit, there's never been a time when we need numbers for strength.   

If every game bird hunter introduced someone new to the pursuit each season, our voice becomes more powerful. And who knows, you might just make a new hunting buddy for life...  

Do you bit - introduce some new this season.  

Keep Those Band Details Coming - Win A $500 Voucher

Hunters can keep the bands, we're just interested in the details around where they were recovered (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).   

There's been a brilliant response to our call for hunters to get duck and info back to us - over 300 bands have been recovered so far!

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch - you'll be automatically put in the draw for one of two $500 Hunting & Fishing vouchers from Simon and the team at Manawatu Hunting & Fishing.    

If you've got a band yet to be registered, ring the free phone number 0800 BIRD BAND (0800-247322). Alternatively there's a ready-made form to fill out on the Fish & Game website here (Note: prizes may vary from what is advertised on the website).

Video Of The Week - Calling On Song 

Check out these great calling tips from  world champ Ritson Galloway. Click the screen shot to watch...

Need To Know - Transporting Firearms

A number of hunters encountered over Opening Weekend were still confused about the new requirements for storage and transportation of firearms and ammunition.

Please take a moment to read more on the Firearms Safety Authority's website, or check out the handy videos demonstrating your responsibility towards transporting semi-automatic firearms and leaving firearms unattended in vehicles.

Follow the steps below, and you're good to go.


​*This report was accurate at time of writing. For your safety, please ensure you check the latest weather information before you head out hunting.

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