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The Monster Wairarapa Wild Goose Hunt


4 February 2008

The Monster Wairarapa Wild Goose Hunt

“A great success”, said Phil Teal, Manager of Wellington Fish & Game Region, “with plenty of opportunities for us to learn how to do things better in the future.”

An organised Canada goose hunt coordinated by the Wellington Region Fish & Game Council involved 300 keen goose hunters and four jet boats over the weekend 2nd and 3rd February on and around Lake Wairarapa.

“The aims of the hunts are to establish a win-win, robust and long term solution to goose management. The hunts provide hunter opportunities, build relationships between farmers, hunters and Fish &Game, and as skills and relationships build, the hunts will result progressively in effective goose management into the future.”

“The option of culling excess geese numbers from a helicopter during the moult is both expensive and dangerous, and naturally hunters who have paid for their hunting licence are not happy seeing Fish &Game funds being spent on these culls.

“The initial formal tally was 684 birds, plus those not counted where hunters have taken the birds away, bringing the estimate in the order of 1000. Our aim is to maintain numbers on the lake at 2000 birds, and we have some way to go to meet this target. The Wellington Fish & Game Council is looking at further organised hunts and ways to facilitate hunter involvement in goose management in conjunction with local farmers. The weekend event went a long way to developing good relationships to support this approach.”

At a prize giving held at the Kahutara Hall on Sunday afternoon, local goose hunter Jack Luttrell picked up the overall prize for most geese, using his local knowledge and skills. Hunters were very happy to have the opportunity to hunt this valued gamebird. Several very experienced duck hunters targeted Canada geese specifically for the first time with many finding success.

“We are indebted to the efforts and goodwill of local farmers. Without their support, tolerance and assistance, none of this could have happened, and it is hoped this support will continue as we improve the experience for hunters and the results for farmers. A very big thank you to all participating farmers.


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