Game bird hunters were invited this year to help farmers disperse big flocks of Paradise shelduck from paddocks and crops on private land in the Wellington region.
The special three weekend hunting season starting from Saturday, February 8 took place in the Manawatu/Wairarapa areas.
Fish & Game introduced the special season to assist landowners who have groups of birds feeding on new grass and crops. The idea was to disperse the ducks more than to bag them.
Paradise shelduck are known for moulting in groups on open water in January, and once the birds can fly again in February they tend to gather in large groups. They can often be seen in mobs of 200 or more on the lookout for food, and cause problems for farmers.
This special season was restricted to private land only. Public areas including DOC and Fish & Game land were not open during the special season. There was a five bird a day limit so the kill was modest.
The hunt succeeded in spreading out the birds and was seen as a good result.