Successful start to duck hunting
Hide is the advice for Canterbury quackers. The duck hunting season has begun.
The first shots were heard early yesterday and Canterbury hunters had bagged a good catch by the end of the day.
"It's been a very successful beginning to the season in the South Island," said Fish & Game New Zealand spokesman Andrew Currie.
"The general feeling amongst hunters is that they are very happy about their bag of ducks, despite the blue sky and windless day we had at 6.30am or 6.45am when shooting started. The weather was far from ideal.
"There were quite a few ducks in the air and once you start shooting, it stirs them all out into ponds
"East coast hunters right down central and south Canterbury, and mid Canterbury are saying it's one of the best years in years."
Hunters in North Canterbury are allowed to shoot 25 ducks a day, and five of them can be paradise ducks.
There were no accidents so far, and there were Fish and Game rangers out making sure hunters were using steel pellets rather than lead pellets and they have licences to shoot.
The season for mallards will end on the last weekend of July, and the season for paradise ducks end in September.
Currie said there were good numbers of mallard and paradise shelducks around, but how successful opening weekend was would depend on the weather.
Compliance officers would be out nationwide checking licences. He said hunters should be careful with their guns and avoid alcohol.
Hunters are also being warned to be careful at Te Wairewa/Lake Forsyth on Banks Peninsula, Lake Rotorua near Kaikoura and Lake Roundabout near Ashburton because of toxic algal blooms, which can be harmful to people and dogs.