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Aotearoa NZ's independent voice of fishing, hunting & outdoors

Game bird hunting season 2024 kicks off

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Game bird hunting season 2024

Hunters Scott Kelly, Reagan Molloy, and Chris Dominikovich in the Kaituna Wildlife Management Reserve. Photo: Fish & Game

Hunters around New Zealand kicked off the game bird hunting season on the first weekend of May, with 60,000 game bird hunters heading out during the opening weekend.

“Opening weekend is a high point in the rural calendar, and people from cities travel to wetlands and waterways far and wide to be part of it,” Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive Corina Jordan said.

“The excitement has been building for [today], and I’ve been sorting my decoys, training my dog, and working on preparations, as have many of my friends and family. However, like most in Fish & Game, we spend the opening weekend working and supporting our ranging teams and hunters across the country. Like most of my colleagues, I’ll get my chance for a hunt in the coming days.”

Jordan said the feedback received from hunters had been positive.

“We could have done with some rougher weather to get the birds moving more, but it sounds like it’s been a great day with lots of birds for the table or the freezer tonight. The great thing about hunting season is there are many more opportunities to come, and conditions will improve in the coming weeks.

“We’ve had a couple of good breeding seasons, and more rain and rough weather will mean birds disperse out to ponds and other wetlands, providing more hunting opportunities.

“Regardless of what conditions we get over opening weekend, we know hunters will have a good time – they love getting out with their dogs and spending time with friends and family. Hunting is also a great way to get kids off their devices, out in the fresh air, teach important skills, instill a desire to protect the environment, and help them learn independence.

“Women are also increasingly getting out and having a go, and my experience is that it’s liberating. It’s time to share with your hunting buddies, but it also means you can bring back something delicious and healthy for dinner.”

Photos: Fish & Game NZ

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