Excellent conditions for game bird season opening weekend

Excellent conditions for game bird season opening weekend

7 May 2023, 4:12AM
Fish and Game NZ

More than 65,000 New Zealanders are believed to have turned out for the opening morning of the game bird season with low cloud, a bit of wind, and in some cases, rain, meaning excellent hunting conditions.

"Some of the wettest spring and summer seasons on record in many regions has meant that the waterfowl population is thriving," says Fish & Game NZ chief executive Corina Jordan, who joined hunters on Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere for opening morning.

"The weather has provided perfect conditions for brood rearing and recruitment, with plenty of wet and ponded areas providing ample food."

Jordan says feedback from hunters on the opening day has been positive.

"So much of opening weekend is about the tradition of coming together to spend time with loved ones and enjoying being in the outdoors.

"Often, our ranging teams encounter three generations hunting from the same maimai - a spot that may, in some cases, have been used by great-great-grandparents.

"For many people, it is a sort of pilgrimage as much about rekindling friendships and family bonds as it is about harvesting wild kai, for many people.

"It is also a great time for strengthening relationships between rural and urban communities, with hunters coming from all walks of life being welcomed into rural communities and onto rural properties.

"Importantly, the collective harvest of wild, free-range game birds provides safe, sustainable, and ethical food for families across the country."

Fish & Game manage trout, salmon and game birds to provide healthy recreation for Kiwis. We work to protect the environment that anglers and hunters have enjoyed as a tradition for over 150 years.