Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin 20 June 2024

  • Taranaki Wellington
  • 20/06/2024

Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin 20 June 2024

Wind and Heavy Rain for Taranaki Hunters   

Taranaki is the place to be for hunters this weekend with strong wind and heavy rain coming in on Sunday.

It will be the heaviest rain we've had for some time so the ducks will certainly be moving around, looking for flooding pasture to feed in.

Pictured: One of several mallard drakes taken at Lake Wairarapa last Saturday morning before kids' sport (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).  

The past week has been relatively quiet but those who ventured out last Saturday, particularly around the bottom of the North Island, managed some reasonable shooting during the strong nor-west blow.

Into Manawatu and Taranaki, hunters have reported good morning and evening shoots at secluded spots that haven't been heavily shot, and farm oxidation ponds seem to be a safe haven holding plenty of mallards. 

Hunting an oxidation pond using a layout blind can be very rewarding (Credit: John Meikle)

Just a reminder that there are now only two weekends left to get out for a duck hunt with the end of the main waterfowl season closing Sunday, June 30.

Be sure to get out if you can and make the most of the last few opportunities to harvest some ducks for the freezer.   

Here's the outlook...

Weekend Weather Outlook 

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

Saturday will dawn relatively calm for most parts of the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions but that is set to change as we get further into the weekend.

The images above don't illustrate it but the wind builds to be very strong in the west through Sunday, which should make for great hunting in Taranaki and down into Whanganui (click the screenshot to get the updated forecast).

With the wind comes a band of rain which moves across the lower North Island from the north west with very heavy falls forecast for Taranaki.

While it might be a little quiet over the weekend for Wellington and Wairarapa hunters, they can look forward to a good southerly blast arriving Tuesday - this will spread all the way up to Hawera and Opunake too.                    

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

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

Kyle Tonks setting decoys on a calm Lake Wairapapa morning (Credit: Cameron Tonks). 

Send in your favourite 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, and Wairarapa Hunting and Fishing, 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.

Tip of The Week - Personalised Weather Alerts 

Windy.com allows you to set up weather alerts that are sent to your phone and smart devices (Credit: Hamish Carnachan). 

You've probably noticed by now that we're big on the Windy.com weather app at Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game. 

There are number of reasons for this, not least of which is its accuracy in forecasting. 

But this clever app has some other amazing features which are also super useful for preparing for, and planning, duck hunting excursions. 

Buy a premium subscription - for a very reasonable $18.99/year - and you can view hourly updates, as well as set up alerts that are sent to your mobile phone and smart devices.

You get to set the parameters you're interested in so you're notified when the latest forecast picks up your favoured conditions for the preset location/s you selected. Usually you get a few day's notice. 

For example, in the image above I've set my preferred duck hunting conditions for Lake Wairarapa which are north-west and southerly winds upwards of 8m/s. 

It's a great way to ensure you never miss hunting opportunities when the best weather conditions present. 

Give it a shot - you won't be disappointed.         


Video Of The Week - Drift Shooting Rivers

Drift shooting rivers can be a very productive form of hunting, particularly if the weather isn't playing ball and settled conditions mean the ducks don't have to move around. 

Later in the season ducks love to use rivers to hold up during the day, hiding or loafing under willows and on sunny banks. 

Often the birds can move out before you get in range but invariably there are one or two that sit tight 'til the last minute - these are the ducks to expect, and target.   

There are a number of rivers in the Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game region where this method of hunting could be employed.

As always, though, be aware of landowners, livestock and other river users that might be in the area. Always check your firing zone! 

And remember, you cannot shoot under power.       

Click the screenshot above to watch - viewer discretion advised. 

Start Planning for a Pheasant Hunt

Permits are available for hunting upland game on three forest blocks in the Taranaki region. Permits for hunting in Harakeke and Tauwhare forests near Whanganui are available in a weekly draw.
To participate in the draw, hunters must obtain a free permit from Taranaki Fish & Game (either 021 270 0239 or email us), then prior to noon each Thursday, contact Taranaki Fish & Game to go into the draw for a permit for the coming weekend.
For the Nukumaru hunting area there is no weekly draw, but hunters need a permit from Taranaki Fish & Game and they must contact the respective grazing lessee listed on their permit prior to hunting.
A special condition for Nukumaru blocks 4 and 5 is that in accordance with conditions in the lease agreement with Whanganui District Council, permission must be granted by the lease holder before access to those blocks is permitted.
The Wellington Fish & Game region also has arranged managed hunter access to several forestry blocks in Manawatu and Wairarapa.
If you're interested in learning more about the hunting opportunities here, see page 48 of this season's North Island regs booklet.
To obtain permits, please email us.       

Want to Keep Ducks on Your Pond Longer?

Want advice on how to keep ducks on your Wairarapa pond longer, or need help creating or improving your existing one?

Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game are happy to help - we have the staff expertise and experience. 

Get in touch and we'll call to discuss your plans.   

Get those Band Details In

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.

Hunting in Wellington Regional Parks

If you value game bird hunting in any of the regional parks administered by Greater Wellington Regional Council, you need to have your say.   

The annual regional parks and river trails satisfaction survey is now open.

Click here to participate.     

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 season - please keep in touch and let us know how you're going. 

​*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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