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Good Prospects For The 2005 Game Bird Season

Wednesday May 4, 2005

Good Prospects For The 2005 Game Bird Season

Prospects look good for the upcoming game bird season which starts on Saturday May 7 at 6.30am, says Fish & Game New Zealand. The season runs from between six to 12 weeks depending on the Fish & Game region.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good season this year according to reports from Fish & Game regions around the country,” says Fish & Game spokesperson Graham Ford. “For example, the Auckland/Waikato region had a wet, mild spring with high number of dabbling duck broods. Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty also have had a good breeding season with a predominance of adult female ducks. In the South Island, Central South Island staff report a very good breeding season due to a wet spring with prolific numbers of mallards and paradise shelducks.”

2005 is the first year where lead shot for use in hunting waterfowl will be banned all around the country. It is the first time lead shot is banned for landowners such as farmers who hunt on their own land.

It is compulsory this year to use non-toxic shot when hunting waterfowl such as ducks, geese, swans and pukeko within 200 metres of water bodies over three metres wide.

“Lead shot has been restricted because studies have shown it to poison waterfowl that accidentally eat it as grit. There are some exemptions such as upland game bird hunters and shotguns less than 12 gauge. We have had a very good level of compliance with the non toxic regulations,” says Mr Ford. “But nonetheless 250 Fish & Game rangers will be out around the country this season enforcing both the non toxic and hunting regulations.”

“We remind hunters to maintain the good firearms safety record that they have achieved in the last few years,” says Mr Ford. “Compared to big game hunters fatalities in the game bird hunting community are rare and there has not been a fatality for many years.”


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