Waiting game for duck hunters
Hunters eager to target game bird are being reminded to keep waiting it out.
Traditionally the first Saturday in May is the opening of the annual game bird season, but Fish & Game New Zealand has supported the Government’s decision to delay the start of the season due to COVID-19.
The season will now open on the second Saturday following the introduction of Alert Level 2, except if that date falls on 30 May.
The game bird season will not open at Queen’s Birthday weekend specifically to avoid Moving Day on the 1 June, which is an important date in the rural calendar when large numbers of farmers move to new farms.
Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre Controller Dave Simes says based on current Government projections, opening day could likely be mid-May or early June.
An example of how this would work is:
- Level 2 introduced between 11 and 15 May = Opening Day 23 May
- Level 2 introduced between 16 and 29 May = Opening Day 6 June
“Game bird hunting is a national tradition and it’s great that all New Zealanders will have an opportunity to hunt ducks after we move to Alert Level 2,” he says.
“The new date will also allow hunters and retailers some time at Level 2 to get a licence and get themselves set up for the new season.”
All hunters will have to comply with the restrictions of Alert Level 2 while hunting and travelling to their hunting spots, and it will be illegal for any game bird hunting to take place before the new date.
This applies to people hunting on private land, their own land and in publicly accessible areas.
More information on the season will be available on Fish and Game’s website as it comes to hand.
Kia mauri tau. Kia ngākau aroha. E noho ki te kāinga. Tiakina te tangata.
Be calm. Be kind. Stay home. Save lives.