Ducks Unlimited

Displaying items by tag: Game Bird hunting

Monday, 22 July 2019 02:11

Letter to the WTA Editor

Lack of ducks – Where have all the mallards gone…?

A Wairarapa Times Age article (March 3) regarding the dramatic drop in the number of ducks that can be hunted during the forthcoming season makes depressing reading!
 
But lack of habitat and the impact of predators are certainly not the main reasons why our main gamebird – the mallard – has almost disappeared from the Wairarapa; because thousands of acres of wetlands have been created and protected over the last 20 years and, thanks to the Greater Wellington Regional Council, vast numbers of bird predators have been eliminated at well over a dozen key sites in the Wairarapa. 
For example, at 30-hectares of Taumata Lagoon over 4500 predators have been eliminated – feral cats, ferrets, stoats, weasels, rats and hedgehogs – but from 6000 mallards flocking at the lagoon each February between 1990 and 2007 we now see only 100 - 150 arriving!
 
This is because in 2006 the use of lead shot was banned in 12 gauge shotguns and it is now known that steel shot – an inexpensive  alternative – has increased the crippling factor from 6 percent with lead shot to over 50 percent. Which means that a shooter who has retrieved a Limit Bag has actually shot three limit bags, with 50 percent of the birds shot not being recovered.
 
The ban on lead shot was introduced because it was believed that ingested lead kills ducks, but this is now known to be simply not true!
 
The mallard situation is now so serious that the 12 NZ Fish & Game Councils will be lucky to survive the inevitable massive drop in licence sales; with North Island Councils being the first to close up shop!

On top of this it is now known that the aerial bombardment of 1080 is killing trout – and at the same time eliminating a highly lucrative tourist fishing industry and the huge income from the sale of trout fishing licenses by Fish & Game Councils.
 
Neil Hayes QSM CEnv
 

 

Published in Issue 159
Monday, 22 July 2019 02:09

Pre season practise for hunters

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.
 
 

 

Published in Issue 159
Tagged under
Monday, 22 July 2019 01:21

That time of year – again

Game bird hunters are probably all checking their equipment ready for the May 3 Saturday start to the hunting season.

No 1 on the list should be the game bird hunting licence. Check your bank account, the full season licence has gone up one dollar. That’s right $91 this season.
 
Why the extra dollar? Fish & Game tell me the extra dollar will be going toward Mallard research.
 
Hunting has become so hi-tech in recent years the ducks really don’t stand a chance. Some hunters spend thousands of dollars in preparation for the season.

The camo gear, the special maimais, and even the decoys mean the ducks are duped into thinking there are real ducks on the water. 

Special paint on the decoy makes them look lifelike. Some decoys are made to look as if they are sleeping or feeding.
There are also decoys that paddle and splash the water. Then there are electronic callers. The ducks don’t really stand a chance…It is just as well there is a bag limit.
Some reminders for your prehunting list:

• Game bird hunting licence, regulations booklet.

• Carry firearms licence at all times.

• Confirm access with landowners.

• Get permit to hunt on Fish & Game and DOC land. • Fix the maimai: leaks, rotten boards seating etc.

• Clean decoys.

• Vaccinations and worming for the dog.

• Check regulations for the region you are hunting in. • Hunt ethically and responsibly.

• Don’t drink and hunt. Alcohol impairs judgement.

• Be a tidy kiwi – take your rubbish when you leave.

 
Basic safety rules:

• Shotgun in tip-top condition. Check sighting. • Treat every firearm as loaded.

• Store firearms and ammunition safely.

• Always point firearms in a safe direction.

• Load only when ready to fire.

• Always, always - identify your target.

• Check the firing zone.

 
 

 

Published in Issue 159
Tagged under