Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin - 9 May 2024

  • Wellington Taranaki
  • 9/05/2024

Wellington/Taranaki - Weekly Hunting Bulletin - 9 May 2024

Mixed Start To Season But Great Weather on The Way 

Hunters across the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions had a really mixed start to the season. 

Some limited out on mallards very early, while others only saw ducks flying high against the clear blue sky and calm conditions that beset most of the country for Opening Weekend.

Most parties encountered by our ranging teams were happy and enjoying the day, though, and all had at least some birds in the bag including parries and - for those on the bigger water - lots of black sawn.     

Pictured: Ollie Mitchell stoked with a fat spoonie drake from Wairarapa (Credit: Derek Mitchell) 

While the weather certainly favoured the ducks over Opening, several good southerlies are forecast and we've gone from one extreme to the other. 

A mixed bag of mallards and parries on a very calm Sunday morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan) 

At time of writing, a strong southerly is ripping its way up the lower North Island and into Taranaki, and there's another even stronger blow forecast for Saturday.  

The rain this morning is expected to last throughout the day, so if you can get out tonight you'll find plenty of birds moving around.

These are the first real weather systems of the season, so the hunting is going to be awesome right through to Saturday evening, after which the conditions calm right down. 

So, if Opening Weekend didn't turn out the way you'd hoped, get out over the next few days - it'll be well worth it!        

Make sure you’ve got your licence - click the image below - as rangers will continue to be active throughout the season.     

Here's the outlook for Opening Weekend...


Weekend Weather Outlook 

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

The very strong southerly today eases back tomorrow for most of the Wellington and Taranaki regions but remains gusty out on the Wairarapa coast.

As we head into Friday evening the southerly return with a vengance - very strong along the Wellington and South Wairarapa coasts and up into Kapiti. 

This should offer an excellent evening hunt on Friday for those in the Wellington Fish & Game region, however those around Manawatu will find the wind strongest out towards the coast. 

Taranaki hunters don't miss out. The wind hits around midnight meaning they should wake to cold and very strong south to south-east conditions which last well into the afternoon. 

So, some great hunting weather on its way for Saturday - This is what waterfowl hunters pray for. 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

The Mitchell family - Ollie, Derek and Alex - with eyes to the sky on Opening morning.  

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... Maybe Even Mum 

Now's a great time to introduce someone new to duck hunting and get them hooked too (Credit: Richie Cosgrove) 

Now that 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 downtime in a beautiful outdoor environment and get a feel for what draws us back year after year.

If it comes off and ducks start decoying in, all the better as it's 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...

Don't forget it's Mother's Day on Sunday - a great opportunity to introduce her to hunting if she hasn't been out before. At the very least, cook up a delicious game bird dinner for her (check out our recipe below).    

Do you bit - introduce some new this season.


Top Nosh - Crispy Duck Schnitzel Burger

Wondering what to do with all those ducks you harvested over Opening Weekend?

Check out this quick and tasty Crispy Duck Schnitzel recipe from Fish & Game's Cohen Stewart.    
If you've got a good duck recipe you'd like to share with your fellow hunters, flick it through to us.     


Video of The Week - Mallard Hunting, North America Style...

The team at MeatEater produce some really great hunting TV. 

Here's an episode of them targeting mallards in Montana and introducing some newbies to the pursuit at the same time.

Click the screenshot above to check out some awesome footage of wing shooting, decoying birds and dog retrieves.

The freezing conditions might just give you a taste of what's to come for us this weekend!    

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

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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