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Keep a weather eye on the birds
Back in March 2017, near Pokeno on the F&G McKenzie Wetland Block near Pokeno,
one hour south of Auckland off SH1 we were banding grey teal there.

If DU members could keep an eye out for these I would be pleased to hear about them. Now for BOW – this is a pond specially reserved for people who pass our course of how to shoot clay targets, dress (pluck) game, tie trout flies, cast a trout rod and there’s a nice salmon meal in a tent to finish with. The Dean Block is a F&G wetland near Pokeno and BOW pond is part of that.

There’s about 50 grey teal nest boxes there and more on the adjoining McKenzie Block. BOW means Becoming an Outdoor Woman. The lady who did this, Shonagh Lindsay, has since moved on, which means the programme is currently suspended.

We took women of all ages and shooting coaches Brian Thompson or Bill McLeod taught them how to shoot a shotgun at clay targets. I taught them how to dress a duck and then cooked it for them, (Schnitzel-style). The Auckland Anglers club taught them how to fly-cast with a trout rod. Sally Spiers and her daughter showed them how to tie a trout fly in the tent, (they fished the one they tied themselves – a Woolly Buggar – that’s actually what it is called, (it was Sally Spiers who chose it). We then gave them a chance to catch a fish near Waikino, (near Waihi).

It was a popular two-day programme, and we did feed them salmon in a F&G tent, Paul Matos was the professional chef who donated his time for many of these. But eventually everyone who wanted to give it a go did so and bookings in Auckland dried up. Northland Fish & Game also did some for several years with equal success. We were strongly hoping other F&G regions would pick up the proven programme. I think the main idea is that many woman would like to give these things a go with their men-folk but perhaps lack confidence. We thought if we taught them the basics, they’d join in.

After all, if their father, husband, boyfriend or brother already had the gear, the know-how and the places to go. We thought the inspired, initiated and more confident women could now go with them. The feedback was very positive and it seemed everyone, trainers and trainees, had a lot of fun doing it.

John Dyer.

 
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