Paradise shelduck in firing line

Hunters take aim at special season

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 07:40 10/02/2014
Dog
BARRY HARCOURT
BUSINESS TIME: Meg the labrador returns to her master with a paradise duck from a pond last year.

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Hundreds of hunters across the lower North Island are expected to take advantage of a limited two-week opportunity to bag a few paradise shelducks in a special season that began at the weekend.

Wellington Fish and Game regional manager Phil Teal said hunters were being encouraged to help private crop growers to disperse flocks that had reached nuisance proportions.

"On public waterways they are not a problem.

"But if they group up they can cause problems for farmers," he said.

"They start taking the early shoots from crops, and if there's a mob of 100 or more, they can do huge damage in an afternoon." There was a daily limit of five ducks per hunter.

The season was going to be more about dispersal than a major cull, he said.

"It may be a relatively modest total harvest, but it's something which is really to assist the hunters to break the birds up into smaller groups."

The limited season applies only to Wellington, Manawatu and Wairarapa.

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- Manawatu Standard

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