Excellent conditions greeted hunters for opening weekend of the game bird season, with more than 65,000 people thought to have taken part.
Fish & Game NZ chief executive Corina Jordan, who joined hunters on Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere for opening morning, said some of the wettest spring and summer seasons on record in many regions mean the waterfowl population is thriving.
“The weather has provided perfect conditions for brood rearing and recruitment, with plenty of wet and ponded areas providing ample food,” Jordan said.
Feedback from hunters on the opening was positive.
Nelson Marlborough: Fish & Game Officer Jacob Lucas said it was the best hunting conditions in the region for two decades although high river levels and flooding had affected the ability of some to reach their spots.
There were several firearms compliance issues in North Canterbury and Otago. Fish & Game confiscated a handful of shotguns from hunters for offences such as using lead shot and not having a game bird hunting licence.
“This is disappointing considering the widespread promotion of the necessity for hunters to have a licence when hunting game birds,” North Canterbury Fish & Game officer Richie Cosgrove said.