Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 4 May 2023

  • Wellington
  • 4/05/2023

Wellington Weekly Hunting Report - 4 May 2023

Eyes to the sky as the first flight of mallards circle the decoys (Credit: Richie Cosgrove)

Just Two More Sleeps 'til The Season Starts!

May 4, 2023

It doesn’t get any more exciting than this - only two more sleeps ‘til Opening Day 2023!

Hopefully you’re all set, rearing and ready to go because it’s going to be a cracker season.

Our mallard counts have been completed and there are record numbers of ducks around.

Heavy rain the last 24 hours should see these birds on the wing, moving around looking for food on flooded pasture, and keep them flying for the next few days.  

And while the weather isn't quite what we wanted for Opening Weekend, it is forecast to be more unsettled than previous Openings, which should hopefully prevent the birds from settling for too long.

By now all your maimai prep work should be done, so it's time to get your ammo and gear sorted, and of course, make sure you’ve bought your licence - click the image below.

Here's the outlook for Opening Weekend...

Ducks Galore - Best Numbers In A Decade

There's been plenty of talk in the hunting community about the excellent numbers of mallards around this year.

If you don't subscribe to the hype, however, check out the graph below. 

It's clear to see, and the numbers don't lie! 

Hunters can realistically expect to see more birds on Opening Weekend and throughout the season, and have plenty more shooting opportunities.

Grab your licence - don't miss out on what is going to be an exceptional season.

Opening Weekend Weather Outlook 

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

The season starts with a blustery northerly flow pushing down the lower North Island. 

Average winds across the region are forecast to be around 4-5 metres per second - strong enough to ruffle the surface of ponds and create small standing waves on the larger water. 

The wind backs off throughout the day on Opening Saturday, but picks up again on Sunday morning before again dying away.

Early rain is forecast for most places on Saturday morning but clears to showers, then fines up for Sunday. 

All-in-all there should be enough in the weather to keep ducks moving for a good part of both Saturday and Sunday.   

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

Top Tips For Opening Weekend  

Willie Duley from NZ Hunter shares some advice for this season's Opening Weekend.

Find out what he's looking forward to most, how he stays sharp on the day, essential safety rules for the maimai, and his top tips for beginners.

Click the screen shot below to watch. 

More safety pointers and advice for the coming game bird hunting season can be found here.    

Banding Together For Mallard Research  

Wellington Fish & Game and Manawatu Hunting and Fishing are banding together to help manage waterfowl populations in the lower North Island.

Each year Fish & Game staff and a keen bunch of volunteers band over 2500 ducks as part of research to monitor population trends, and help staff manage game bird resources along with other available tools such as season lengths and bag limits.

Duck banding and the data we get back from hunters who recover banded birds helps Fish & Game monitor the mallard population (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).   

Manawatu Hunting and Fishing is a long term supporter of Fish & Game’s duck banding programme. This year Simon and the team at Manawatu Hunting and Fishing have offered up two $500 vouchers to be won by hunters that send in their duck band details.

How do you get in the draw? Simple. Ring the free phone number 0800 BIRD BAND (0800-247322). Or you’ll find a ready-made form to fill out on the Fish & Game website here (Note: prizes may vary from what is advertised on the website).

Remember, Fish & Game doesn’t need the band itself, just the number on it and one or two other details like where and when you recovered it.

Video Of The Week

The team at NZ Hunter Adventures really puts together an excellent TV show and their latest 'waterfowl special' which aired earlier this week is no exception!

Check out the action as they hunt a wild, windy and wet Lake Wairarapa, chase upland game in snowy Central Otago, and return to the big water of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere for more waterfowl action. 

Remember, quality lake and upland game hunting like this is right on your doorstep in the lower North Island so make the most of it this season!

Click the image below to watch.

Need To Know - Transporting Firearms

All firearms licence holders must meet requirements for the safe and secure storage and transportation of firearms and ammunition.

There has been some confusion around what this entails, but it is essentially quite straightforward. You can read more on the Firearms Safety Authority's website

They've also got some handy short videos demonstrating your responsibility towards transporting semi-automatic firearms and leaving firearms unattended in vehicles.

Basically, 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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