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Special hunting season for paradise shelduck

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Paradise shelduck hunting

The season has been declared by Fish & Game to help farmers disperse flocks that can damage pastures and crops. Photo: Supplied

A special hunting season for paradise shelduck has been announced in March for Taranaki game hunters.

Taking place over three weekends, including the Taranaki Anniversary weekend, the season has been declared by Fish & Game to help farmers disperse flocks that can damage pastures and crops and provide free-range food for the table.

The first weekend was 25 and 26 February, followed by 4 and 5 March and then 11, 12, and 13 March.
Hunting hours on each of the seven days will be from 6.30am until 8pm, and the daily bag limit has been set at 10 parries per hunter.

Hunting is permitted only in the Taranaki Game Management Area ‘C’ – the area includes the Taranaki province north of the Waitotara River and all of the Stratford District.

Fish & Game acting manager Allen Stancliff said the aim is to disperse the ducks and move them back to their home territories after they’ve gathered for their annual moult.

“This reduces the potential for mobs to cause damage to chicory crops, recovering hay paddocks and areas of new grass before the main game bird hunting season gets underway in May.”

Hunters who want to participate in the special season must hold a 2022 game bird hunting licence and obtain a $5 permit from Fish & Game or a local game bird licence agent.

The permit is free to land occupiers who want to hunt their own land, but they still need to hold a permit.

Hunters without a 2022 game licence can still participate in the special season by purchasing day licences online at fishandgame.org.nz.

The special season applies to paradise shelduck only, and all other game birds remain protected and cannot be hunted. Fish & Game Rangers will be out checking on compliance over the seven days.

“This is a great opportunity for some enjoyable summer hunting that helps our farmers. We ask that hunters stick to the rules, including that there is no hunting within 200m of any urban sewage oxidation pond,” said Stancliff.

“Also, please remember that hunters need permission to hunt on private land – don’t forget to ask the landowner.”

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