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Successful Goose Hunt A Win-Win Outcome

Successful Goose Hunt A Win-Win Outcome

A Fish & Game organised goose hunt over Labour Weekend was a win-win for hunters and farmers.

“We are delighted with the effort put in by the gamebird hunters, who achieved a combined bag of 1952 Canada Geese,” said Neil Deans, Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game Regional Manager. “This is an exceptional tally which resulted from brilliant weather and hard work by the hunters, including many teams from North Canterbury for the first time.”

Two hundred and forty hunters put in long days and nights over four days of hunting in the rugged terrain in the Marlborough High Country during the Fish and Game organised hunt. A major effort was made during the day with hunters often walking up to 20 km up and down hills and gullies as they stalk the geese. Most of the hunters then spent the hours of darkness calling geese over decoys. “It is hard work and we appreciate the effort that the hunters put in. Fish and Game and the hunters also appreciate the assistance of the high country run-holders and land managers that allow access, and provide some accommodation, advice and other assistance.”

Canada Geese can cause problems for run holders if large numbers of the birds are allowed to flock to new crops. Hunters regard them as amongst the wiliest of game birds. Fish and Game responds to these problems and manages goose numbers to levels set in the Goose Management Plan, preferably through hunter harvest but if necessary through culls.

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“In the Nelson Marlborough Region Fish and Game has been able to achieve the agreed population level for more than 20 years by using organised hunts over most of the south Marlborough High Country and involving up to ten different land owners. Having Fish and Game organised hunts means better success for the hunters and maintains goose numbers below target levels. It’s a win-win situation for run holders and hunters.”

“The organised hunts are very popular with hunters, with nearly 50 hunters being unsuccessful in the ballot for access to hunting blocks. They are equally popular with run-holders and land managers, who, together with hunters, would like to see Fish and Game continue to manage Canada Geese and organised hunts.”

The next organised Marlborough Goose Hunt is scheduled to take place next autumn in early March. Interested hunters should contact the Nelson Marlborough fish & Game Council office.


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