Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin 30 May 2024

  • 30/05/2024

Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin 30 May 2024

Gift for Hunters This King's Birthday Weekend  

A week of calm sunny days and then a good southerly blow have allowed lower North Island hunters to enjoy the best of both worlds - upland game and waterfowling.   

Pictured: Brad Wright had some great success on the pheasant in a west coast forestry block.

The rain that accompanied yesterday's southerly has left ponding in some parts of the region, resulting in ducks still moving around well into the morning earlier today.

A full moon late last week slowed the duck hunting down - with birds largely flying at night - but the polar blast really stirred them up. 

It's very calm again today with clear skies but good news is that the wind is going to return with a vengeance on Saturday.

On King's Birthday, Monday, Taranaki hunters are the ones receiving the gift with another strong blow forecast - more details below. This will be the first decent nor-westerly we've had for the season so make sure you get amongst it, particularly with a long weekend on offer.      

Here's the outlook for the weekend...


Weekend Weather Outlook 

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

Saturday is the day!

The nor-westerly, the first decent one of the season, starts to build from before dawn for the lower Wellington Fish & Game region.

It quickly gathers strength, with winds expected to peak at around 13m/s on Lake Wairarapa around midday.This is ideal for kicking the birds off the big water and should result in excellent hunting right through to the evening.   

While Taranaki and Manawatu wake to lighter winds on Saturday, expect the nor-west to build throughout the day, particularly around coastal areas and up on the Central Plateau. 

Sunday sees conditions calm down for most of the lower North Island though it will remain blustery around South Taranaki.    

For King's Birthday, Taranaki is the spot to be - the weather returns with strong shifty winds battering the region from the west and then moving around to the nor-west. 

Some great hunting should be had and there's a bonus day to get into it!

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

A beautiful dawn captured by Joshua Wallace from his maimai near Lake Wairapapa.

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.

Take a Mate Hunting This Long Weekend

There's nothing quite as rewarding as teaching a good mate how to hunt. Credit Hamish Carnachan

With Opening Weekend well behind us and a few good shoots under the belt, the upcoming long weekend provides an awesome opportunity to introduce someone new to game bird hunting.   

Starting out in duck hunting from scratch can be a really daunting prospect for newcomers, especially if they don’t have anyone to show them the ropes, and it can lead to lots of wasted time and effort… as I experienced in my formative years.

Lack of success through lack of knowledge is the biggest cause of people giving up on a pursuit they’ve just started – any pursuit – not just duck hunting.

I guess for me, my stubborn streak is probably the only reason I persevered. It takes a hunter, to make a hunter. It’s an old saying, but it’s stood the test of time because it’s true.

Since my bumbling first efforts many years ago, I’ve become a reasonably proficient hunter and have, subsequently, introduced a handful of newbies to the pursuit who themselves are now flying solo.

It’s been really rewarding watching them grow as hunters, and become successful, without having to go through all the frustrations and trials I went through on my own.

While the number of game bird hunters remains strong nationally, we still need more shooters out there. Not only do more guns shift birds around and create more opportunities, but the future of game bird hunting relies on the strength of our numbers.

There are many forces at play trying to curtail our pursuit, either through fundamentalist and misguided ethics, or the ongoing restrictions being imposed on accessing public areas that have historically been set aside for game bird hunting.

A strong voice, backed by strong numbers of participants, can halt the intrusions on our hunting rights.

There’s a generous season length in place for the main waterfowl species in Wellington and Taranaki, so we’re encouraging hunters to take a day or two to introduce someone new to waterfowling.

Friend or spouse, sibling or a child, it makes no difference. Just investing a few hours to teach them how to hunt could be the best investment you can make for the future of your chosen pursuit, and it could end up making you a life-long hunting buddy too.

Fish & Game has information and advice on how to start out new participants, and we can even point you in the direction of somewhere safe to take them with a good chance of bagging a bird or two.

For more info, contact the office (06)359-0409. And grab your mate a licence and kick start their duck hunting addiction.

- By Hamish Carnachan.  

Need Some Help With Your Duck Pond?

Looking to create a duck pond or improve your existing one? Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game are happy to help with expert advice and may even be able to secure funding to assist with the project. 

Whether you want to hold ducks on your pond longer, or are aiming to create an entirely new wetland from that unproductive boggy paddock, we have the staff expertise and experience. 

Drop us an email and we'll call to discuss your plans and how we can help.   

Video of The Week - Picking the Weather 

Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan and Nathan Field share some secrets for successful hunting on big water like Lake Wairarapa, and mix it up with some top hunting action too. 

Click the screenshot above to watch. 


Top Nosh - Ultimate Duck Pie

Here’s a simple recipe that will have the kids or even the most ardent roast duck hater clamouring for you to keep hunting: 
1. Place two mallard ducks in a deep-sided dish on a bed of celery, onion and carrot and roast at 200degC for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.
2. Allow to cool; transfer liquid from roasting dish into a large saucepan. 
3. Strip all the meat from the ducks, place in saucepan with liquid from roasting.
4. Add beef stock, red wine and a tin of crushed tomatoes to cover well. Season well. 
5. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer; allow to reduce so liquid thickens into nice gravy.
6. Spray coat with oil a muffin tray or pie tins. 
7. Cut out flaky puff pastry (store-bought is perfect) to cover base and sides of tray/tin. 
8. Fill with duck pie filling.
9. Cover with pastry top; poke three or four holes in top to allow steam to escape. 
10. Beat an egg in a cup, add a dash of water then coat the top of the pies with this egg wash.
11. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes in oven as instructed on pastry directions. 
Serve with a garnish of coriander and your favourite fruit chutney. Enjoy!  
- Recipe by Hamish Carnachan    


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.

Need To Know - Transporting Firearms

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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