Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin - 2 May 2024

  • Taranaki Wellington
  • 2/05/2024

Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin - 2 May 2024

Just Two More Sleeps 'til The Season Starts!

It doesn’t get any more exciting than this - only two more sleeps ‘til Opening Day 2024!

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 good numbers of ducks around, though down slightly on the bumper population recorded last year.

We've had some heavy overnight rain back up by strong winds today. While the timing isn't ideal, it should see some birds on the wing, moving around looking for food and sheltered areas. 

The ducks have been congregating on permanent water in many parts after the dry summer, so it's likely the front - the first decent one in weeks - will break up these mobs and they'll disperse more widely.      

While the weather isn't quite what we wanted for Opening Weekend, we know there'll be plenty of guns around to shift the ducks and hopefully keep them moving.

Those lucky enough to have the day off on Monday could get into some great hunting with winds building from the nor-west and them flicking around to a strong southerly after midday - combined with a little rain, conditions will be ideal!   

By now all your maimai prep work should be done; 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...


Weekend Weather Outlook 

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

We've got calm conditions on Saturday and Sunday to bring in the new season but that changes overnight Sunday.

The wind starts to build from the nor-west throughout the day on Monday then there's a dramatic shift to the south around midday. 

The southerly is forecast to be very strong on the south Wairarapa coast with moderate south-westerlies around the South Taranaki Bight.   

Throw in a smattering of rain and you've got some ideal duck hunting conditions to start off the season if you can wrangle Monday off.        

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

Top Calling Tips

Calling is an artform but there are some basics sounds even a beginner can pull off to turn ducks and get them decoying in. 

Click the screenshot above to hear some top tips from Manawatu Hunting and Fishing's Ritson Galloway.

For those new to the pursuit, we've put together some handy tips on calling and setting decoys here.    

Last-Minute Prep 

Hopefully you're pretty much set to go for the season now, but here are some last reminders...

1. If you're hunting Lake Wairarapa reserves make sure you have your permit booklet (these are available by contacting our office on 06-359-0409 - or at select outdoor retailers. 

2. Make sure you've got enough ammo for the whole season, not just Opening Weekend. There have been supply issues and importers may not be bringing any more in. 

3. We empathise with hunters that’s it’s proving difficult to source non-toxic .410 ammo. We are communicating with retailers and are in touch with importers about supply issues. About half the shipment which came into the country this month was pre-sold. The importers (NIOA NZ) have told retailers that they are happy for the ammunition to be sold by the round rather than insisting it be sold by the box; it is hoped this will facilitate cheaper access to this ammunition. The best thing to do at this time is ring around your local stores to see who has it and secure it quickly.

Scout Around 

Most parts of the Wellington and Taranaki region had rain on Wednesday and early this morning.

While some parts of Wairarapa, Manawatu, coastal Taranaki and Whanganui are still quite dry, there is now ponded water appearing in paddocks and this is attracting parries, mallards and pukeko.

Late harvested maize paddocks are continuing to prove a magnet for good mobs of paradise shelduck, and it’s not too late to do a drive around to find out where the birds are sitting and contact landowners for access.

So, if you don't have the holding water in your pond or favoured possie at the start of the season, scout around and find where the birds are loafing and feeding and adjust your hunt accordingly.

Regs Clarification for Black Swan 

Please note that there has been a drafting error in the Wellington Gamebird regulations for 2024.

Swan and pūkeko may be taken by licenced hunters over Opening Weekend as per the rest of the season.

Apologies for any confusion this has caused. 


Top Nosh - Beer Roasted Wild Duck

What to do with those delicious ducks you harvest this weekend?

Here's something a little different - a delectable recipe courtesy of the California Waterfowl Association. 

Not only does it taste like a restaurant quality meal, it's also super easy to prepare and cook.

Give the recipe a shot this season!     

Get those Band Details In

Get those duck band details back to Fish & Game (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).   

If you manage to harvest any ducks wearing 'precious metal' this season, please get the details back to us. 

Hunters are welcome to hold on to the band, we just want some basic information that goes with that precious metal - the banding programme is an important part of our mallard management.   

Band info can be registered by, ringing 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.

Need To Know - Transporting Firearms

Please take a moment to read more transporting firearms, and refreshing yourself on firearms safety, by visiting the Firearms Safety Authority website

There you'll also find handy videos demonstrating your responsibility towards transporting semi-automatic firearms and leaving firearms unattended in vehicles.

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

Dose Your Gun Dog

Hunting & Fishing Photo Competition - Win $300 To Spend in Store

Send in your favourite fishing photos from this game bird hunting season and you could be in to win a $300 voucher to spend in store at Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing.

We won't blow your secret spot, just include the name of the hunter(s), photographer's details, and general location in the Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game region.

Click here to submit your entry.

You can send us as many hunting photos as you like. By submitting images to enter the competition you acknowledge that Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game can publish and use the photos for publicity material.

Entries must be in by 8:30pm, August 25, 2024. The winner will be notified via email.


Safety First This Season!

The team at Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game would like to remind hunters about the importance of firearms safety and encourage you and your hunting buddies to refresh yourself with the seven rules of firearms safety.    

1: Treat every firearm as loaded.
2: Always point firearms in a safe direction.
3: Chamber a cartridge only when ready to fire.
4: Identify your target beyond all doubt.
5: Check your firing zone.
6: Store and transport firearms and ammunition safely.
7: Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms.

We hope you have a great Opening Weekend and continue to make the most of your investment by hunting throughout the season. 


​*This report was accurate at time of writing. For your safety, please ensure you check the latest weather information before you head out hunting. And always be safe and responsible with firearms .  

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