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Shortest day could be longest for ducks

Shortest day could be longest for ducks

Otago Fish & Game Council are encouraging all licenced game bird hunters to earmark this coming Sunday to take part in the Shortest Day Duck Hunt.

Otago Fish & Game operations manager Ian Hadland says the shortest day hunt concept is about encouraging as many of the regions duck hunters to get out on the same day in a concentrated area in an effort to get ducks up and moving. The more hunters that are out there, the more birds there will be in circulation and available for harvest. He said the hunt is focused on the lower Clutha and Taieri River catchment areas.

“There is a behavioral change at this time of the season which sees game birds flock together in larger numbers. That usually coincides with lower mid season hunter activity meaning the birds can become a bit too settled” Mr Hadland said.

Survey’s conducted by Fish & Game since the beginning of the game bird season have indicated there are healthy populations of mallards in the region and this, coupled with the recent wet weather, should make ideal hunting conditions.

“The rain and floods have left a lot of surface water about and we are seeing good numbers of birds making great use of shallow water on paddocks for feeding”

The shortest day hunt is also about encouraging hunters to make the best use of their resource, and their licence fee. Mr Hadland adds “What we want to create is an Opening morning type atmosphere and really give hunters the best chance to harvest a few birds. That takes a bit of coordination and mobilizing plenty of other hunters. So remind your mates that Sunday is going to be an occasion to be part of. You don’t want to be hearing about how good Sundays duck hunting was on Monday”

‘Otago Shortest Day Hunt’ – Closest Sunday to the winter solstice (shortest day)
You MUST have a valid Game Bird Licence to hunt game bird species.
Mallard season: 4 May – 28 July 2013.
Hunting times: 6.45am – 6.30pm.

Fish & Game remind all hunters to please hunt ethically and responsibly. More info can be found online at www.fishandgame.org.nz/game-bird-hunting-new-zealand or the game bird regulations booklet, available from all good hunting stores.

Pegged maimai rules: Any stand not occupied by the claimant within one hour after the opening hour of hunting, on any day, can be occupied by another licence holder for the remainder of the day.


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