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Game Bird Season Opening Confirmed

The Government have announced that the game bird season is delayed. However, we are pleased to announce we will have a game bird season under Alert Level 2 with the season also running longer in some regions.

The game bird season will open on the second Saturday following the introduction of Alert Level 2, except if that date falls on May 30. The game bird season will not open at Queen’s Birthday weekend specifically to avoid Moving Day on the 1st of June (an important date in the rural calendar when large numbers of farmers move to new farms).

Based on current Government projections, we are likely to see an opening day mid-May or early June. An example of how this would work is:

Level 2 introduced between May 11 & 15 - Opening Day May 23

Level 2 introduced between May 16 & 29 - Opening Day June 6

Fish & Game New Zealand have been working with the government to ensure the best possible options for the 2020 game bird season. It has been a complex task to ensure the fight against Covid-19 continues, while still providing the best experience for game bird hunters.

"Game bird hunting is a national tradition and an important population management tool. It is great we can confirm a season will take place," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.

This will allow a fair and equitable game bird season for everyone. This new date also allows hunters and retailers some time at Alert Level 2 to get a licence and get themselves set up for the new season start date.

All hunters will have to comply with the restrictions of Alert Level 2 while hunting and travelling to their hunting spots. This includes hunting with your bubble if possible; keeping it local, no non-regional hunting; keep your social distancing if hunting outside your bubble; no overnight trips; travel in your own vehicles; and limit your exposure to people outside your bubble.

All hunters will start hunting on the same day and it will be illegal for any game bird hunting to take place before this as it is a legal change to the season dates. This applies to people hunting on private land, their own land and in publicly accessible areas.

Fish & Game New Zealand will be undertaking compliance work throughout the game bird season and prior to the season to make sure that the new season dates are being adhered to.

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