Weather tips advantage to ducks

'It's difficult to hunt in puddles'

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 02/05/2014
wayne golightly
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

READY FOR THE HUNT: Wayne Golightly, owner of Gun City Timaru, looks forward to a busy opening to duck hunting season.

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Duck shooters will require a sharp eye for the season opener this weekend.

Central South Island Fish and Game ranger Graeme Hughes said the recent wet weather could make things trickier.

"There will be a lot of ducks flying around, but the wet weather means they could have dispersed to a whole lot of different places," he said.

"Put simply, there are a lot of feeding spots for ducks, so hunters will need a bit of a sharp eye this weekend."

Hughes said many people's duck hunting hides would require repairs or replacement due to the recent heavy rain.

"The highly mobile mallards have abandoned many of their usual habitats," he said. "The ground's saturated. Ducks love puddles, but it's difficult to hunt in puddles. A certain level of improvisation is in order."

Hughes said there was no change to the bag limit.

"There are still a lot of ducks around. In fact, in some areas, there appears to be more of them this season," he said.

In the Central South Island region, hunters could bag up to 50 mallard in a day, and up to 25 paradise shelduck. However, he urged all hunters to be careful over the weekend.

"We hear reports every season of injuries caused by accidental shots, or worse. Look out for your fellow hunters, and dogs. We don't want this season to end in tragedy for anyone."

Hughes said about 20 rangers would be on patrol over the weekend.

According to the MetService, it is expected to be sunny on Saturday.

"Usually hunters don't like that, but there's so much water around it might not matter this season," Hughes said.

The official hunting season runs from tomorrow to July 27.

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- The Timaru Herald

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